Ford rolls out the Mach-E, a different kind of Mustang.
One of the most storied and recognizable vehicles in American autodom is the Ford Mustang. This iconic model is instantly familiar, even to the casual observer. But this year, the traditional model has been supplemented by an all-electric crossover with a coupe-like look. The Ford Mustang Mach-E is its name, a new model that is turning convention on its head.
Ford offers the 2021 Mustang Mach-E in four trims: Select ($42,895), California Route 1 ($50,400), Premium ($47,600), and GT ($59,900). Add $1,100 for the destination charge. Our test First Edition version ($61,000) sold out immediately and is no longer available. This EV comes with standard rear- or available all-wheel drive and has room for five.
Mach-E Model Highlights
It doesn’t take much to see the Mustang design cues displayed on the Mach-E. The EV lacks the coupe’s grille, but the shape of the front fascia is similar. A muscular hood, beefy wheels, and a coupe-like roofline are other similarities of note.
Where are the handles for the doors? There aren’t any. Instead, Ford carefully conceals push buttons to unlock each one. From the rear, the lighting elements are the same, but they do not move sequentially as they do on the coupe. That said, the EV’s sequential front accent lights offer a unique touch on this EV’s handsome canvas.
Front and rear cargo compartments give the Mach-E plenty of space to hold things. That front trunk, also known as a frunk, is partitioned and ideal for holding groceries. The rear compartment measures 60 cubic feet with the second-row seat folded flat.
The Mach-E’s interior features comfortable front seats and a spacious rear bench seat. Two adults can sit behind two adults with a third squeezing in, if necessary. We admire the design, fit and finish, and openness of this EV, especially with the available panoramic roof. But the 15.5-inch display panel in the center stack is phenomenal with its easy-to-read and decipher tablet-like layout. You’ll control nearly everything here, from audio to in-cabin climate, access apps, and find report readouts.
The most curious aspect of the Mach-E is its full-electric powertrain. Unlike a hybrid system with a supplemental gas engine, the electric Ford relies exclusively on a battery-powered electric system for propulsion. It supplies a completely different way of thinking for owners – instead of searching for service stations for gasoline, you’ll download an app to find local charge stations.
Although structurally different from the Mustang coupe, the Mach-E also comes with rear-wheel drive. However, unlike the coupe, all-wheel drive is available. Also, the electric Mustang comes with two battery choices and four power outputs. The range-topping GT makes 480 horsepower and 634 pound-feet of torque for a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. Power routes to the wheels via a single-speed transmission.
Before we move on to cover our drive experience, the big questions for many are how does the Mach-E receive electricity and how long does it take to fill the battery? Well, you could connect this EV to your home 110-volt outlet and wait 24 hours for a full charge. Better yet, contact your local electric company to install a Level 2 220-volt outlet in your home. When connecting this way, the Mach-E is typically fully replenished in eight or nine hours. You’ll also pay about $1,000 for the convenience.
FordPass and Charging
But the best option is to find one of the charging stations on the FordPass app. Here, you’ll uncover some choices, including the Electrify America stations popping up across the country with what’s known as DC fast-charging stations. Instead of waiting hours for a charge, these stations bring the battery to 80-percent capacity in under 30 minutes. That means if you’re on a long trip, you can drive at least 250 miles on a full “tank” of “fuel.” Stop for a meal break, connect your vehicle, then hit the road again with hundreds of miles of battery life left.
Only the GT and our First Edition test model come with all-wheel drive. This means one motor turns the rear wheels and the second motor the front wheels. Step on the accelerator and the power is instantaneous. Few gas-powered models can keep up with this silent people mover. Oh, and if you miss the sound, head to the control panel and activate the manufactured piped-in rumble that mimics the coupe. On second thought, don’t bother.
We found the electric Mustang offers weighted steering and firm handling, delivering a good connection to the road. It doesn’t hang the curves as well as the coupe (given its higher profile), but its low center of gravity keeps it planted nonetheless. One of the best features is the immediate torque delivered when driving at highway speeds. Here, you’ll pass other vehicles without hesitation, but be forewarned: you can easily push well above the speed limit, making your vehicle an easy target for blue-light revenue generation.
Are you ready for electric? If not, you are in the majority. But if you are ready, the Mustang Mach-E offers a compelling choice from a mainstream manufacturer. Keep in mind that there are federal incentives available, including a $7,500 tax credit. Ford also offers buyers two years of complimentary access to its FordPass Charging Network, a fee-free way to keep your EV charged.
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Exterior photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. Interior photos courtesy of the Ford Motor Company. All rights reserved.