Written by Theo Koenig – January 12, 2021
Reviewed by Asaf Kedem
The iconic Ford Mustang is due to hit the market in 2021, only this time, the exhilarating sound of its 5-liter V8-engine won’t be present. Instead, the gas-guzzling muscle car has been redesigned into an all-electric, spacious SUV with all the benefits of a modern electric vehicle.
The shift to electric comes after the appointment of new CEO Jim Farley, in October of 2020. Since struggling in international markets such as China, as well as dwindling sales in the commercial vehicle markets, the company now plans to streamline its operations and focus on growth areas such as electric technology and autonomous driving.
In total, Ford plans on releasing 5 different models of the Mach-E: Select, Premium, California Route 1, First Edition, and GT:
The 4-door vehicle will have less in common with its commanding predecessor than the name suggests. According to Ford, design cues such as “exterior muscles,” “sequential tri-bar turn signals” and its “long, powerful hood” all serve to remind customers of the rich history of the original Mustang. That being said the “spacious SUV design with interior benefits” as well as “open and airy cockpit with plenty of usable space for passengers and gear” from the Mach-E brochure might suggest that a hint of practicality has been prioritized over performance. With the car now using an electric drivetrain, driving the Mustang becomes a simple task of pushing the accelerator pedal.
This being said, many users have already reported that the driving experience lies more on the side of responsive performance rather than pure efficiency. Performance enthusiasts will be pleased to know that Ford engineers prioritized the “quintessential rear-wheel drive Mustang feel” delivering steady handling without compromising instant acceleration. All vehicles will come with 3 drive experiences: “Whisper,” “Engage” and “Unbridled”: each offering a different mix of torque, braking and steering, as well as the synthesized propulsion sound. Ford’s main selling point for Mustang fans will be the near instant torque that is available due to the electric drivetrain. The low center of gravity due to the battery means carving out twists and turns will be no problem whatsoever.
The Mach-E series has also been spruced-up with the latest technology to bring the vehicles into the age of electricity. A huge 15.5-inch (39 cm) cloud-connected center touchscreen allows users to control the various features of their vehicle. Customers who have downloaded the FordPass App can now unlock and drive their electric Mustangs without keys, instead, use low-energy Bluetooth on smartphones to unlock the vehicles. Pairing the Mach-E with smartphones also allows users to keep track of how much juice their car has left. DC-fast charging, as well as standard home-plug (120V) charging capabilities mean users should have peace of mind when looking for charge options. Ford also offers an optional charge station that can be installed at home to increase household charge rates. Finally, all Ford drivers will have access to the FordPass Charging Network — supposedly one of the largest charging networks in North America, with a whopping 13,500 charging stations. That being said, some of these are still labeled “coming soon” and many users have reported compatibility issues, which won’t settle the driver anxiety when switching to electric. Under maximum charging capacities, the Mach-E can reach 80% charge in 45 minutes.
Classic Mustang lovers might be less pleased with the freshly designed interior, which undeniably borrows heavily from its Tesla rivals. Mach-E customers now have access to both a trunk and a frunk, as well as a long panoramic fixed-glass roof. The tachometer has now been replaced with a 10.2-inch “digital instrument cluster,” capable of displaying 3-D animations. Optional Bang & Olufsen speakers can help bring extra life to an otherwise relatively simple and clean-looking interior design.
Auto Trendy’s take:
It’s not entirely clear which market-segment Ford will be targeting with the Mustang Mach-E, as blending performance with efficiency has never been an easy task. Customers who have always wanted to own a Mustang but have struggled to live with the inconveniences such as high gas consumption and impractical interior seating might be thrilled. On the flip side, an electric Mustang with a frunk might be too hard of a pill to swallow for classic car lovers. Ford have certainly realized this dilemma themselves, which explains the wide range of options they have allowed their customers. Only time will tell whether they’ve hit the correct blend of performance and practicality. For now, Ford finally has an all-electric SUV capable of rivaling Tesla in what is becoming an incredibly saturated electric vehicle market.