Mach-E – a very different breed of Mustang
If ever there was a car to raise a controversy as it’s making its debut, it’s the Ford Mustang Mach-E. First and foremost, it’s the first Ford to be designed specifically as an electric vehicle, and second, despite looking like a crossover SUV (it’s a five-door hatchback) it’s a Mustang. Questions arise regarding Ford’s first attempt at an all-electric vehicle as well as is it worthy of wearing the iconic Mustang emblem? Let’s find out.
Looking like a cross between an SUV and a wagon, the 2021 Mustang Mach-E is an all-electric crossover about the same size as the Ford Escape. And it’s a very important vehicle for Ford as it’s a test-bed for the brand’s latest technology. For instant, your phone is the car’s key, although there is a key fob and B-pillar keypad for backup. The Mach-E is even capable of receiving over-the-air software updates and providing real-time data on the availability of more than 13,500 third-party stations in Ford’s charging network. And of course, simply being all-electric with no internal combustion engine is a big step for the blue oval.
The Mustang Mach-E is available in either rear-wheel drive(RWD) or all-wheel drive(AWD), and the various levels of battery and electric motor configurations make up the five different trim levels. These five levels are the Select, California Route 1, Premium, GT and First Edition. Distance ranges vary from 211 miles for the Select AWD to 300 miles for the California Route 1 and Premium trim levels. Power output is from 266 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque for the Select all the way up to the 480 hp and 634 lb-for the GT Performance Edition. The GT model, which is capable of hitting 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, will become available this summer. Pricing for the Mach-E starts at $47,000.
As an electric car, the Mustang Mach-E seems to have the goods. But is it really a Mustang?
The answer to that really depends on how you define the Mustang. If a Mustang is quick, sporty and attractive, then you can make the case that the Mach-E is a Mustang. But if a Mustang has to have a nice rumble, and feel at home on curvy roads or a race track, well, the Mach-E just isn’t that.
Badges aside, no one will confuse the Mach-E for the pony car that we all know. The Mach-E has four doors and stands tall. But look close and Mustang cues can be found all over. The hood has bulges in them similar to those on the Mustang, and the headlights and taillights both look to have been designed with the pony car in mind.
And it’s quick too. The tester, a Premium RWD has a range of 230 miles and uses the least powerful motor (with 266 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque) and is able to hit 60 mph in the mid 5-second range – so it’s definitely quick enough to carry the Mustang name.
You enter the Mustang Mach-E by opening the button-actuated doors. Once in, a very unique, albeit simple and plan interior awaits. A massive 15.5-inch vertically oriented infotainment touchscreen controls just about everything – it’s fairly simple and intuitive. Build quality is very good, although it’s not really luxurious. An interesting feature it a fabric-trimmed strip bar that runs across the dash, giving the interior a very modern feel. Cargo space is plenty – with 29 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, and up to 60 cubic feet with the back seats folded. The front trunk (frunk) is made of durable plastic that can be rinsed and then drained- perfect for ice.
On my initial drive in the Mustang Mach-E, I found it delivered a super-smooth ride and an amazingly quiet experience, although I did discover you can opt for it to make a propulsion sound. And while the Mach-E is quick off the line, it’s not nearly as engaging to drive as the traditional Mustang.
So, is the Mach-E worthy of being called a Mustang? It’s really hard to say. It doesn’t drive or feel like a Mustang, but it does make for an interesting name for a very good Electric Vehicle.
– Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium RWD
Base Price: $47,000.00
Price as Tested: $48,670.00
Layout: electric powered / rear-wheel drive
Engine: 88KWH Usable EXT battery
Transmission: single speed
Horsepower: 266 hp
Torque: 317 lb-ft
EPA Fuel Economy: 230 mile range on full charge
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