Something Smells Funny With Ford’s New Mustang Mach-E GT Ploy

Ford recently did something interesting to market the 2021 Mustang Mach-E GT electric vehicle. And it might leave customers looking for that new-car smell disappointed. That’s because the Blue Oval created a cheekily named fragrance for consumers who want an all-electric Mustang Mach-E GT but still like the smell of gasoline.

The biggest perk of owning an EV is avoiding the gas station, so this move from the automotive giant might seem absurd.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT at a glance

The Ford Mustang Mach-E was recently named Car and Driver’s 2021 EV of the Year.

With a 0-to-60-mph time of 3.8 seconds, the Mach-E GT offers spectacular performance for an all-electric vehicle, Ford claims. The all-wheel-drive GT model starts at $59,900 and offers an EPA-estimated driving range of 270 miles. The five-passenger EV produces an exhilarating 480 hp and 634 lb-ft of torque with an electric motor feeding each axle.

Car and Driver points out the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT offers an “attention-grabbing design, handsome and hushed cabin, and instantaneous acceleration.”

Why is Ford using a fragrance to promote the Mustang Mach-E GT?

The Blue Oval is promoting the Ford Mach-E using a fragrance called Mach-Eau, evoking traditional automotive scents
The Blue Oval is promoting the Ford Mach-E using a fragrance called Mach-Eau | Ford Motor Company

Ford says it designed a “premium fragrance” for consumers with a “fondness for the evocative smells of traditional petrol cars.”

In a recent survey, “one in five drivers said the smell of petrol is what they’d miss most when swapping to an electric vehicle,” Ford claims.

Almost 70% of respondents claimed they would miss the easily identifiable scent to some degree.

“Petrol also ranked as a more popular scent than both wine and cheese, and almost identically to the smell of new books,” the survey revealed.

Unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England, the unique fragrance is affectionately named Mach-Eau.

According to Forbes, the scent “smells pretty nice,” combining the new-car smells of a brand-new engine and interior.

Ford says it tasked Olfiction with creating Mach-Eau. The fragrance combines “benzaldehyde, which is an almond-like scent given off by car interiors, and para-cresol, which is key in creating the rubbery scent of tires.”

Other key ingredients in the strange formula are ginger, lavender, sandalwood, and geranium to create a smoky accent. And an “animal element” helps consumers identify with the history of the Mustang horse.

Though Mach-Eau might appeal to drivers who’ve grown fond of the smell of gas, real gasoline fumes can be toxic.

Inhaling gas fumes is not healthy

Despite the Mach-Eau promotion, Ford isn’t selling the fragrance. Although it sounds like an April Fools’ Day joke, it’s actually a clever marketing ploy to attract attention to the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

According to Electrek, the scent is supposed to prompt “traditional car enthusiasts” to look at everything EVs have to offer. Regardless of Ford’s reasoning to go this route, inhaling real gas fumes can be dangerous. Methane and benzene are toxic hydrocarbons found in motor oil and gasoline.

If ingested, these poisonous chemicals can be deadly. “One of the greatest risks of gasoline exposure is the harm it can do to your lungs when you inhale its fumes,” Healthline reports.

According to the National Library of Medicine, benzaldehyde, an ingredient in Mach-Eau, is “not considered a carcinogenic risk to humans.” The chemical is an “aromatic aldehyde,” often found in cosmetics and perfumes.

So, though the scent is safer than sniffing real gasoline, Ford’s Mach-Eau fragrance is still a far cry from the new-car smell consumers have all come to know and love.

RELATED: Is the “New Car Smell” Toxic For You?