2021 Ford Mustang Mach EThe Future of Exhilaration
- November 17, 2019
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- Posted by George Peterson
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Mach E Takes DNA From Ford Icon – the Mustang Ford enters the electric vehicle race with the Mustang Mach E crossover SUV (XSUV). Being a late follower, Ford decided to use its iconic Mustang as inspiration for an emotional product aimed at the hyper-popular crossover SUV segment.
Ford started this program developing what they term a “compliance electric vehicle”. This means they would produce a vehicle designed to meet the regulations surrounding EVs. To simply make a compliant EV, Ford was embarking on a design devoid of soul. Thankfully, Ford changed course and created an impressive vehicle that people actually will want to buy.
Chevrolet Bolt – Compliance EV Several years ago, attending the launch of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the designer (who was Chinese) lamented that she could not take a bolder approach with the Bolt. She wanted a more aggressive front end to position the Bolt more as a XSUV than as a mere hatchback. While Bolt has acceptable range at 238 miles, it comes across as the dreaded compliance EV. Consequently, Bolt does not sell well.
Unique from Any Other Ford Ford’s bolder approach follows that of Tesla, the Jaguar i-Pace, the Porsche Taycan, Audi e-Tron and Lamborghini Urus. These vehicles are unique from other products in their line-ups. They are, however, much more expensive than the Mustang Mach E.
Preview Location Tweaks Tesla The unveiling of the Mustang Mach E was held in the shadow of Elon Musk’s SpaceX facility in Hawthorne, California. This is where all of Tesla’s products have first been shown. The location of the preview was only one hint that Ford closely studied the Tesla products and techniques.
Mustang DNA in Mach E Styling The Mustang Mach E is an impressive piece of work. The styling apes Mustang fastback styling that has evolved over the past 55 years. An arch of sheetmetal sweeps the roofline from the A-Pillar to the rear of the vehicle. Above the arch, the roof continues rearward. The arch draws your eyes to it and gives the vehicle a sleeker appearance.
Compared with the original profile of Ford’s EV concept, the hood has been lengthened and raised. Mustang has always been “long hood/short deck” and the Mach E style mimics that theme. The result is a more Mustang-like profile and a larger front trunk (frunk) under the hood. The frunk can hold a rollaboard, cooler and even our official media trunk tester Jill Ciminillo. For those of you wanting to use the frunk as its own cooler, there is a drain plug so it can drain and be rinsed out.
Mach E has Mustang-inspired headlights and taillights. And yes, the taillamps are sequential in higher level models.
Interior Very Livable The front seats are comfortable and very accommodating with ample legroom and shoulder room. The front seats are easy to get into and out of. The ingress to the rear seats is hampered by fastback arch, but that is a reasonable price to pay for more distinctive styling. While not super spacious, the Mustang Mach E has just enough room for three large adults to sit in the rear seat. For anyone who has owned a Mustang in the past, this is pure luxury.
Sync 4 Plus In October, Ford announced that its Sync 4 communications and entertainment system would be launched in 2020. The Mustang Mach E has a version of the Sync 4 system with a 15.5-inch center screen. A detailed demonstration of the system was impressive if only because now you can connect your phone over Bluetooth to get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Because the Mustang Mach E is an EV, range is a critical issue. This is especially true of buyers new to the EV universe. There is information on charging station locations. The system determines which are available for charging and which are being used by other EVs at the time. The system calculates range-to-empty continuously and keeps the driver updated on the center screen.
The Mach E Sync 4 system learns from the driver’s actions and evolves over time.
There is a screen in front of the driver that shows critical vehicle information like speed, range, etc. The Mach E is not available with head-up display (HUD), but the designers contend the location of the driver’s screen is practically in the line of sight.
Maximum Range – 300 Miles – Impressive Performance AutoPacific’s research shows that consumers are more likely to consider an EV if it has range of at least 225 miles. Ford’s Mach E team has made the range, drive selection and pricing selection a real challenge. Range can vary from 210-miles to 300-miles. Horsepower can range from 255-horsepower to 459-horsepower. In between there are power outputs of 282HP and 332HP.
In order to achieve the 300-mile range, you have to order a Premium Edition rear wheel drive (RWD) version with an optional extended range package ($5,000). Extended range RWD versions have 282-horwepower. To get an all wheel drive Premium Edition with extended range the price premium is $7,700. Horsepower bumps up to 332-horsepower but range drops to 270-miles.
The shortest range Mustang Mach E is the base Select edition with the standard range battery and all wheel drive. The range for this model is 210 miles. This is under the AutoPacific 225 mile threshhold. AWD adds $2,700 to the price of the Mach E. The Select rear wheel drive version has a 230 mile range. The Select version has 255-horsepower.
The high performance GT Edition with 235 miles so it is a bit above the minimum range needed. The GT is all wheel drive with 459-horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque. The GT performance model (GTP) can achieve 0-60mph acceleration times under 4-seconds. On the Mach E configurator, Ford says range is 250-miles contradicting the 235-miles at the press preview. Also, Peak Power is TBD on the configurator but listed at 459HP at the press preview. There surely will be more adjustments to range and power output as the vehicle gets nearer to production.
We went for a ride in the Mustang Mach E around the event facility and adjacent taxiway for the Hawthorne airport. The pre-production prototypes are quiet and powerful. They are just what you would expect from an EV today. Instant torque and powerful acceleration.
Speaking of quietness, there are three quiet modes for the Mach E: Whisper, Engage and Unbridled. It’s not hard to guess which is which, but even Unbridled is not as raucous as the Mustang GT V8 rumble we are accustomed to.
Order Your Mustang Mach E Online Beginning November 17, 2019, Ford is taking orders for the Mustang Mach E. With a $500 deposit, you can configure your Mach E and submit an order. There are five levels of Mach E ranging from the $43,895 Select to the $60,500 GT model. The level above Select is the Premium edition at $50,600. Then comes the California Route 1 edition at $52,400. There is a First Edition model that will be a limited run. It appears to be a fully loaded example of the Mach E just short of the top of the line GT edition.
Since Ford is late to the game, $7,500 federal tax credits are available on the Mustang Mach E. This comes as Tesla’s credits are winding down after selling over 200,000 EVs under the Tesla brand.
2021 Model Year You have to wait almost a year to get the first Mach E. Deliveries of the First Edition will begin in late 2020 for the 2021 model year Mustang Mach E. Other models will be launched in early 2021. The GT version will follow in Spring, 2021.