Ford gives us an all-electric SUV with flavourings of its Mustang muscle car mixed in. But is the resultant Mustang Mach-E the automotive equivalent of delicious fusion food, or simply two opposing dishes that should never have shared plate space together?
It’s a mid-sized crossover-SUV with a vaguely coupe-ish roofline, with bits and pieces of the iconic (and we don’t use that word lightly) Ford Mustang on display. This is the Mustang Mach-E, the vehicle Ford is pinning all its hopes on. With the headlight units and the front lamp clusters, it’s clear to see the look of the car Ford is referencing on the Mach-E, while – like its petrol-powered Mustang relation – the new zero-emissions electric vehicle doesn’t actually have a Ford logo anywhere on it.
A physically quite large car, at 4.7 metres long, 1.9 metres wide and 1.6 metres tall, the Mustang Mach-E comes with a number of different powertrain and battery arrangements. There’s a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive (RWD) variant and also one with two electric motors (one on each axle) for all-wheel drive (AWD), while both of these cars can come with a Standard Range (SR) 75.7kWh lithium-ion battery pack (68kWh usable capacity) or an Extended Range (ER) 98.7kWh unit (88kWh usable). Power across the range therefore spans from 269-351hp, according to driven wheels and battery size, with 0-100km/h times of between 5.8 and 7.0 seconds; furthermore, all models are limited to 180km/h. Beyond this, the driving range is between 400-610km, again depending on the model specified.
Irish prices have not been confirmed as yet but we tested an AWD SR model, which offers the shortest official driving range on a single charge (400km) yet has one of the fastest 0-100km/h times of 6.3 seconds. As an AWD model, it gets bigger 19-inch alloys, an enhanced body kit and a more generous kit list, but as all Mustang Mach-Es are well-equipped as standard this isn’t a surprise. What is inarguably the best bit of this striking new EV is its interior. The quality of the fixtures and fittings used is excellent, while there’s loads of room in the cabin for five adults due to a long wheelbase. However, the main draw here is a massive and superb freestanding infotainment display on the dashboard, as well as a super-crisp digital instrument cluster behind the wheel. Both of these work brilliantly well and are suitably futuristic, as befits an EV like this.
How is it to drive?
With 580Nm on tap instantly, the Mustang Mach-E AWD SR belies its 2.1-tonne bulk to provide more than adequate performance. It’s not as crazy-fast as some EVs already on the market, but that makes it more pleasant and natural-feeling to travel in – unless you opt for the car’s One-Pedal Driving mode, in which the regenerative braking is extremely strident indeed.
Otherwise, it is as refined and simple to operate as any good, self-respecting EV ought to be. You simply click the Mustang Mach-E into D and off you go, using well-calibrated steering, nicely judged brakes and a smoothly mapped throttle pedal to drive the Ford SUV oh-so-smoothly in all circumstances. It might be named after a wild horse, yet the driving experience can be as tame as anything in the Mach-E.
It’s fun in the corners, too, with a playful chassis and smartly controlled lean through the bends. It doesn’t feel particularly like the V8-powered Mustang coupe, though, but then a vehicle with no combustion engine was always going to struggle to match the charisma of Ford’s muscle machine. There is one other complaint about the way it drives, as well, which is that the low-speed ride of the Mach-E can occasionally feel a bit too uncomfortable, and the suspension gets a touch noisy. Other than that, though, it’s a polished and accomplished electric SUV.
When is it coming to Ireland?
It’s on the Ford Ireland website now but prices aren’t yet confirmed, so order books are still waiting to be opened. We heard a rumour that the starting price would be ‘less than €50,000’, although that might have changed with the new VRT rules. What we do know is that, beyond the main four drivetrain choices, there will be a luxury-spec First Edition model with lots of standard toys added in and the option of an exclusive body colour called Grabber Blue. This First Edition will be based on the AWD ER underpinnings of the Mustang Mach-E.
Any juicy technology?
Well, it’s that massive touchscreen, isn’t it? At first glance, the sheer number of features and sub-menus it has on it looks daunting, but it turns out it has an intuitive and easy-to-master structure. It also presents all of its mapping and graphics and data quite beautifully, with clean fonts and nice use of colour, and it even manages to make functional items like the climate controls a cinch to use while on the move. Its best attribute is a screen that says, ‘Where did my energy go?’, explaining to the driver how the electric resources have been spread out across the categories Climate Use, Route, Accessories and Exterior Temperature.
Carzone.ie rating: 4/5
Aside from the obvious desirability factor that using the Mustang name and a few styling themes can bring, the Mach-E from Ford doesn’t feel much like its famous namesake. But apart from its unusual styling and firm city-speed ride, it’s an excellent electric SUV that points the way to a bright future for its parent manufacturer. More zero-emissions products like this one in the coming months and years from Ford will only build upon the solid platform the Mustang Mach-E has already laid down.