Ford Electrifies Mustang

By Derek Price

Ford is bringing its most legendary nameplate into the electric era, and it begs a question: can a battery-powered crossover be worthy of the Mustang name?
After driving the Mustang Mach-E for a week, I found conflicting answers.
The Mach-E certainly looks the part. It has a sleek nose that appears, to my eyes, even more attractive than the contemporary Mustang muscle car. A coupe-like roof and sinewy fenders do a good job masking the fact that the Mach-E is a family-friendly, practical, four-door car.
And just like the Mustang, it’s built for outstanding straight-line acceleration.
Battery power is perfect for performance because of its instant response. There’s no waiting for cylinders to rev up. You just press the accelerator and experience an instant “woosh” of torque that shoves your body into the back of the seat.
My tester was a mid-range Premium model with an extended-range battery and all-wheel drive.

For the first time ever, Ford is expanding the Mustang line to include a four-door crossover. The electric Mustang Mach-E has a range up to 300 miles.

A faster version of the Mach-E, called the GT Performance Edition, does an even better job selling the Mustang-ness of this electric crossover. It clocks a similar 0-60 mph time to the Porsche 911 GTS, Ford claims, of 3.5 seconds.
Where the Mach-E falls short of the Mustang mystique is in the sensations of speed.
It’s eerily quiet over the road, a good thing for traveling in comfort but a far cry from the deep-throated roar that makes internal-combustion Mustangs so much fun to drive.
It also doesn’t handle as well. Like all crossovers, it rides higher than a car, and the suspension feels a bit bouncier and harsher than I’d prefer.
The innovation and tech appeal in this car, though, is undeniable.
A gigantic, 15.5-inch touchscreen in the center of the dash makes that clear not only from its massive dimensions but also how well its interface is designed. A myriad of digital controls give drivers the ability to customize nearly everything about the car, from its lighting and sounds to driving aids and climate control.
I love how easy it is to set the Mach-E up for scheduled departures. If you’ve got a trip planned, or a regular schedule for commuting, you can tell the car to be pre-warmed or pre-cooled before your departure time.
Some parts of it feel more like they’re just different for the sake of being different, though, and not necessarily better.

A huge, 15.5-inch digital touchscreen dominates the Mach-E’s cabin. The technology on this EV is as impressive as the electric powertrain.

Doors that open using an electric button, as they did on my tester, aren’t any better than doors that open with a traditional mechanical handle. I don’t see the point, perhaps other than a marketing-driven desire to make the Mach-E seem futuristic.
Pricing, range and performance all vary depending on which version of the Mach-E you buy. Up to $7,500 in federal tax credits are available for those who qualify.
The base model is priced at $42,895 — closer to $35,000 after tax credits — and has an EPA-estimated range of 230 miles. The Premium model, priced from $47,600, makes more power and has a longer range of up to 300 miles if you opt for a bigger battery pack.
The GT model, aimed at performance enthusiasts with its claimed 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds, is priced at $59,900.

At A Glance

What was tested? 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD ($49,700). Options: Premium paint ($400), 88-kWh battery ($5,000).  Price as tested (including $1,100 destination charge): $56,200
Wheelbase: 117 in.
Length: 186 in.
Width: 74 in.
Height: 63 in.
Powertrain: 190-kW electric motor (346 horsepower)
Transmission: Single speed
Fuel economy: 90 mpg equivalent

Style: 9
Performance: 8
Price: 7
Handling: 4
Ride: 6
Comfort: 7
Quality: 7
Overall: 7

Why buy it?
Strong performance, muscular looks and family-friendly practicality make this electric crossover appealing for a lot more than its green credentials.

Posted in Ford