“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times”. I can’t help but think that Charles Dickens was a clairvoyant of sorts. Perhaps he may have had a tricked-out DeLorean stashed away in the shed at the back of his Victorian home and maybe when he hit the magical 88mph he was given a glance of the 2020’s.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ll be aware of the electric revolution taking place in the motor industry and now finally Ford have joined their fellow carmakers in this new electrified marketplace. However, unlike many of their counterparts, the American manufacturer has decided against using a catchy brand-new nameplate for their first fully electric offering. I’m saddened to say we now live in an era when no longer is the Mustang moniker reserved for 8-cylindered muscle cars. It’s shared by a fully electric, family orientated, 2- tonne SUV – the Ford Mustang Mach-e.
It’s not that I have any issue with EV’s, on the contrary, I’m a huge advocate of battery power. EV’s will and are playing the most significant part in the future of motoring. But I can’t help but feel that some things should remain sacred. It undoubtedly makes financial sense from Ford’s perspective, the Mustang name is attractive and desirable, it’ll draw in customers and instantly gives their electric division some serious street credit. But can you picture Steve McQueen racing one through the streets of San Fran? And where do you think it would sit on Memphis Raines list of cars to boost? Probably not very high.
But enough about that, what is done is done and so putting the badge aside, is the Mustang Mach E any good?
It’s a good-looking machine. Ford have squeezed in plenty of the distinctive styling features from its proper Mustang sibling. It gets the rear lights, swollen rear arches and sculpted bonnet that you’d expect and for the most part I think it works quite well with the Mach E’s naturally bulkier, SUV body shape. However, rarely do 19” wheels look so lost on a car, purely in terms of aesthetics the larger 20” rims of the GT spec should do it more justice. The Blue oval has been dropped and replaced with the iconic pony badge. Door handles too are a thing of the past, because they have been replaced by a small button that pops the door when you touch it. This is paired with the B-Pillar keypad access, which is basically a pin code for your car!
The Mustang Mach-E is offered with a choice of single-motor rear-wheel drive or a dual-motor all-wheel drive version. The AWD extended range model which I test drove, delivers over 350 bhp and 580Nm of torque. It’s certainly no slouch but the GT version promises to be the most ‘Mustangy’ Mach E of the pack with almost 500bhp and a 3.7 second 0-100kmph ability.
The RWD powertrain comes with the greater range (up to 610km WLTP) but the 540 km of quoted range of the AWD should be more than enough for most people, even if it returns approximately 60km less in reality. Every Mustang Mach E offers Whisper, Active and Untamed drive modes that match driving dynamics and sensory experiences to the driver’s mood. On the road the Mach E is a pleasure to drive. Okay, so the charm and wild oversteering characteristics of the old V8 may be gone but Fords claim that their shock absorbers, springs, anti-roll bars and steering were developed especially for Europe’s typically narrower, more twisty roads seems to have done the trick.
Inside the Mustangs cabin, you’ll find an interior that’s up there with the best of them. It’s a near perfect blend of sophistication and technology all laid out in a manner that is both convenient and comfortable. Centrally positioned in the cabin is a portrait orientated 15.5inch vertical touchscreen. Its considerable size makes it easy to scroll through menus and select the function you desire. Powered by Ford’s next-generation Sync 4 infotainment software, the system becomes even more intuitive over time because it learns from driver behaviours to make time-saving recommendations. The Intelligent Range accurately calculates the remaining driving range using cloud-connectivity. In addition, Ford’s latest assisted driving, parking and accident-avoidance technologies that were instrumental in this model gaining a perfect 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
Recharging is fast and simple. Ford is offering Mustang Mach-E customers an optional Ford Connected Wallbox to make charging from home faster, smarter, and more convenient. Available in a 7.4kW version for Irish consumers, the wall-mounted charger can top up the Mustang’s battery from 10 per cent to 80 per cent in as little as eight hours. In terms of DC fast-charging the Mustang is capable of charging at speeds of up to 150kW, the Mach-E can add an average of 119km driving range within approximately 10 minutes of charging.
With the Mustang Mach-E, Ford have gone above and beyond to deliver an experience which they believe is deserving of the Mustang badge. And customers won’t feel short changed because it’s far from just an all-electric Kuga. All-in-all it’s a really good car, one which is jammed packed with the latest technology and whilst I can’t see posters of it adorning the walls of too many 10-year-olds bedrooms, there won’t be many buyers disappointed by their choice.
Mustang Mach-E range in Ireland is priced from €53,100 including SEAI grant.