After a number of sizeable delays, good news filtered into the office recently to say the Mustang Mach-E had arrived on Irish soil. For some, using the Mustang name and badge on a fully electric vehicle was sacrilege but Ford needed to get this one right and if you want to get people talking, this was certainly a good way to start! Using styling cues from one of the most iconic cars in the world in a modern package would no doubt be challenging but the end result turned out to be pretty impressive. In Ireland the new Mustang Mach-E is offered in three versions RWD, AWD and GT, as well as a limited number of First Edition vehicles which we were lucky enough to get a test-drive in. This is the first production pure electric, zero emission vehicle built by Ford. Powered by a powerful, energy efficient battery electric drivetrain, the first-ever SUV member of the Mustang family comes with a choice of single motor rear wheel drive and dual motor all-wheel drive with performance that can deliver supercar comparable 0-100 km/h acceleration in just 3.7 seconds. Suddenly the Mustang badge starts to make sense! Standard and extended range battery options eliminate range anxiety offering up to 610 km of pure-electric driving range, which is very impressive.
Up close the Mustang Mach-E wears its proportions well. It’s perhaps not as big as we originally thought from the press images but chunky enough to command decent road presence. From the side you might be hard pressed to know exactly what it is but from the nose or the rear, it is distinctively Mustang with a nod to the traditional lights, bonnet bulges and grill. When you open the driver’s door the Mustang Mach-E is a blend of modern design and smart functionality. Traditional Mustang design cues like the double cowl instrument panel are noticeable but your eye is automatically drawn to the massive centre display unit that acts as your command centre for what is a very futuristic cockpit. Those familiar with current Ford products on the Irish market will be delighted to see the next generation SYNC 4A system that learns from driver behaviours to make time saving recommendations. Phone As A Key enables keyfob free entry by recognising the owner’s smart phone and allowing access. Another cool feature is ‘Intelligent Range’ which can more accurately calculate driving range using cloud connectivity when you are on the move. Indeed when you set off on that journey you will have choice of Whisper, Active and Untamed driving modes that will change the driving dynamics and sensory experiences to match your mood. Updates for all this tech are completed automatically using Ford Power Up Software Updates which are simply downloaded to the vehicle. Ford say in time the Mustang Mach-E will more sophisticated than it was at the point of purchase! The seating position and quality of materials used throughout is very tasteful. Looking up our test car had the panorama fixed-glass roof that has a special ultra violet blocking glass coating to help the interior stay warmer during these winter months and cooler in the summer. It really is a nice place to be!
Getting down to the business end now the Mustang Mach-E depending on choice will either have a 288-cell, 70 kWh standard-range or 376-cell, 91 kWh extended-range lithium-ion battery which is located centrally between the axles for a low centre of gravity and excellent weight distribution. These high-performance batteries have been tested at extreme temperatures such as minus 40 degrees Celsius and desert heat of plus 40 degrees. Temperatures are controlled using advanced active liquid heating and cooling system, which constantly regulates the battery temperatures for the best efficiency. This battery power is then transferred to an oil-cooled rear-mounted AC motor to drive the rear wheels, and an additional front-mounted motor for models equipped with the all-wheel drive system. Power varies across the different models but a base Mustang Mach-E Rear-Wheel Drive delivers 269hp with standard-range battery whilst a top of the range GT can deliver 487hp with a 0-100km/h time of just 3.7 seconds. Our test vehicle was the First Edition variant featuring all-wheel drive and extended-range battery as standard with 351hp, 580 Nm of torque and a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of just 5.1 seconds. These are big numbers on paper but haven driven plenty of electric vehicles this year, the power feels just right. Not to savage or to slow! Our test car had a range of 540km but in real world terms that will drop into the mid 400’s depending on your style of driving. The good news is, both the Rear-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive extended-range battery configurations are capable of achieving a 10% to 80% charge in 45 minutes when using a 150 kW charging output.
As expected Ford have unleashed their latest assisted driving, parking and accident-avoidance technologies designed to deliver a stress free driving experience safe in the knowledge that the Mach-E landed a perfect 5 Star Euro NCAP safety rating. A plethora of aids and airbags are on hand to keep occupants safe.
The Mustang Mach-E RWD Standard Range acts as the entry model which can be purchased for €53,100. Opt for the Extended Range Spec and you will pay €64,400. Stepping up into the Mustang Mach-E AWD Standard Range variant the price will be €68,550 whilst the Extended Range version brings it up to €76,100. The top of the range Mustang Mach-E GT, which is now on the way will be around €82,100. For this you get 20-inch cast aluminium wheels, a unique GT front grille design, Brembo brakes with red calipers, performance Pirelli tyres and MagneRide suspension for a more spirited drive. The GT will no doubt be the true Mustang of the bunch but at a price.
Ford conducted a two-day press event at junction 14 on the M7 recently and we were delighted to get some time with the Mustang Mach-E. To drive it feels sublime with excellent ride quality and that linear waft of power that only an electric vehicle can deliver. The Mach-E has also has single Pedal Drive capability that helps return more kinetic energy to the battery, for greater efficiency. When engaged acceleration and deceleration are controlled through pressing or lifting-off the accelerator pedal meaning you rarely have to use the brake pedal. It sounds strange but it’s rather addictive when you start to use it. Veering off the M7 we got to experience a little back road driving around Kildare and the Mach-E preformed admirably. The all-wheel drive system applies torque independently to the front and rear wheels for improved acceleration and handling giving us confidence on the rain soaked, leaf-strewn roads after storm Barra. The European cars were given unique settings for shock absorbers, springs, anti-roll bars, and steering inputs. Even the powertrain has been tweaked for our typically narrower, twistier roads and higher speed limits. At no stage did the Mach-E put a foot wrong and we were slightly reluctant to return it. As this is the initial first drive Ford have promised us a week with the vehicle in the new year where we can really test range and what its like to live with. For now first impressions are good, in fact very good!
Is it really a Mustang?