Mess with an icon at your own risk.
Taking a legendary car and recreating it for the changing needs, fashions, technology and environmental demands of the 21st century is no easy challenge, not least when you completely change the one characteristic it was most famous for.
And that’s exactly what Ford bosses did with the new Mustang called Mach-E. They used the archetypal American muscle car name for the brand’s first purpose-built electric SUV.
This means the Mach-E cannot disappoint on the road or it will face the wrath of the blue-oval badge fanatics. We spent a week with the silent galloping horse to see if it was worthy of the fabled brand.
Not the Mustang you used to know: does the Mustang Mach-E live up to its fabled name, even with a quiet electric powertrain?
While this isn’t an easy task, other automakers have successfully mastered the relaunches of their iconic cars.
BMW did it successfully with the reborn Mini and Italy’s Fiat did it with the perky 500. Both now also have all-electric versions.
But can Ford make it with its all-American raw meat muscle car – the Mustang – whose legendary status was anchored by actor Steve McQueen, who himself is the epitome of effortless cool and who drives the original gasoline through the streets of San Francisco the cult film Bullitt from 1968? It even inspired a song: Mustang Sally.
We drove Ford’s new fully electric battery powered Mustang Mach-E on UK roads and before first deliveries to see if it lived up to its household name.
The Mustang’s legendary status was anchored by actor Steve McQueen, who himself epitomized effortless coolness and drove the original thoroughbred through the streets of San Francisco in the cult movie Bullitt from 1968
The inclusion of Steve McQueen burning rubber is not only synonymous with the Ford Mustang, but remains an icon today
The new all-electric Mustang Mach-E was designed in Motown at Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, Detroit and built in Mexico
The Mustang Mach-E is radical in many ways. It was reborn as an all-electric, battery-powered, zero-emissions crossover vehicle for sports providers.
The new all-electric Mustang Mach-E was designed in Motown – Ford’s Dearborn headquarters in Detroit – and built in Mexico and optimized for European roads, including the UK.
Designed specifically for markets like ours, it’s fun, quirky, very well thought out with some clever “wow” factors, and drives exceptionally well on its own.
But out with the V6 and the rumbling V8 petrol engines of this “pony car”, whose mascot is a galloping stallion.
In their place are electric motors with optional synthesized sounds – which may agree, but I liked them a lot – that give a sign to the deep rumble of old-school gasoline engines and their politically incorrect but intoxicating exhaust fumes.
And let’s be clear, this is the mighty automaker Ford, whose nose is neatly poked out of the joint and who’s hitting back hard at the new electric upstart kid on the block, Tesla.
Take care of Tesla! The Mustang Mach-E has the U.S. electric car maker firmly in its sights, with the Model X SUV the obvious target to beat
Fear of range shouldn’t be a problem. Ford promises 335 miles in my Extended Range 4×4 – enough to get you from London to Newcastle with a few miles to go
What hits you first when you snuggle into the smart and comfortable cabin is the dominant 15.5-inch touchscreen in the middle – like a large computer tablet
The car I drove is the five-door Ford Mustang Mach-E extended-range four-wheel drive hatchback, which costs £ 57,030 – slightly less than the early, fully featured, limited-edition First Edition model for £ 58,080, which is now sold out .
The Mustang Mach-E range itself starts at £ 40,350 for the basic entry-level rear-wheel drive version with less powerful standard range performance.
Will it fit in my garage?
Drove a car: Ford Mustang Mach-E AWD Extended Range
Price as driven: £ 57,030 * Mustang E-Mach range: priced from £ 40,350 *
Prices start from: £ 40,350 (including £ 3,000 car allowance)
Style: Sporty SUV crossover Length: 4,713 mm Width: 1,881 mm Height: 1,624 mm
Bikes: 19 inches
CO2 emissions: zero
Power: 351 PS dual motor all-wheel drive (from two electric motors)
Electric battery power: 98.7 kWh lithium-ion batteries (of which 88 kWh can be used)
Offer: 335 miles (compared to 379 miles for the rear-wheel drive version and 273 miles for the standard range).
0 to 62 mph: 5.8 seconds
Top speed: 111mph
Max DC charger: 150 kW
Loading time: Up to 80 percent fee: 45 minutes mileage from 10 minutes fee: 66 miles
Rear compartment: 402 liters With the rear Sears folded: 1,420 liters. Front trunk or “Frunk”: 81 liters
Trailer load: 750 kg
Large upright 15.5 ” color touchscreen panoramic roof Ford SYNC system of the next generation with attached navigation system and voice control Advanced Park Assist Intelligent adaptive cruise control B&O 10 speaker sound system
Maintenance interval: two years, 18,000 miles warranty three years / 60,000
Warranty on high voltage parts: 8 years / 100,000 miles
Residual value: 52.7% over the entire range for 36 months / 30,000 miles (CAP)
In the pipeline later in 2021: Ford Mustang I-Mach GT with 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds,
* NOTE: The Government Plug-In Car Grant of £ 3,000 only applies to models costing less than £ 50,000
At the start there are five different combinations of power and drive. So you need to do your homework and be aware that the government’s £ 3,000 electric car plug-in grant only applies to people who cost less than £ 50,000.
It’s always a good sign when passers-by stop to stare. And they did. It has great curb pull, a pumped, bulging bonnet and rear lights that reflect the original.
The first joy was getting closer to the car and noticing that there is no conventional door handle.
To open the door you have to press a small illuminated round button in the column. You can then grab a little lip handle under the window.
You are also likely to get temporarily confused by a series of illuminated touch-sensitive numbers on the door pillar. However, this allows you to set a security code like you would for your bank account. Smart.
What hits you first when you snuggle into the smart and comfortable cabin is the dominant 15.5-inch touchscreen in the middle – like a large computer tablet. But there are plenty of buttons for traditionalists – our personal favorites are the large central circular volume controls that allow you to rotate rather than scroll through menus and touchscreens. Simple joys.
We lit the electric Mustang with 351 horsepower and galloped off on 19-inch wheels (18-inch on cheaper models).
It feels tight and muscular with both hands on the steering wheel.
There are three playfully named driving modes to choose from: economical and gentle whispering, the standard setting Active, which offers a balanced mix of sportiness and comfort, and the sportiest Untamed, which is clearly an answer to Tesla’s Ludicrous mode.
Everyone tenses the tendons gradually by adjusting the reactions of the throttle control and the interior lighting.
But to get the full fizz you have to press Untamed and yell “yee-hah”. Although the ride is more refined than a jerky Bronco, it is enough to get you to play ZZ Top over your smartphone connection.
Steering and handling are very precise and the reactions are quick. The acceleration from rest to 100 km / h in 5.8 seconds brings you back into your supporting sports seat, up to a top speed of 30 km / h. A sportier GT version, which is planned for later in the year, can do it in just 3.7 seconds.
This electric Mustang is certainly not a gap in the saddle. It’s really going to shift. But you can also set it for single-pedal driving, in which the car brakes when you take your foot off the accelerator. This allows you to refine your driving without ever pressing the brake pedal. I’m a huge fan.
The four-wheel drive with two motors comes from two electric motors that run on 98.7 kWh lithium-ion batteries (88 kWh of which can be used).
Fear of range shouldn’t be a problem. Ford promises 335 miles in my Extended Range 4×4 – enough to get you from London to Newcastle with a few miles to go.
To open the door you have to press a small illuminated round button in the column. You can then grab a little lip handle under the window
An added bonus if you don’t have a conventional engine is the 81 liter trunk – or “frunk” – which can also be emptied just in case you separate your wetsuit or rain-soaked coat from the rest of your clobber in the back want
A 150kW DC charger delivers up to 80 percent charge in 45 minutes, and a quick 10 minute boost gets you an additional 66 miles (just enough to give you the total of 400 miles it takes to get to Edinburgh to get).
This is comparable to the 379 mile range for the cheaper but less powerful rear-wheel drive version and 273 miles for the Standard Range.
In terms of practicality, there is plenty of space in the rear for three people, and the generous trunk of 402 liters extends to 1,420 liters with the rear seats lowered.
An added bonus if you don’t have a conventional engine is the 81 liter trunk – or “frunk” – which can also be emptied just in case you separate your wetsuit or rain-soaked coats from the rest of your clobber in the back want .
And if you have a trailer, there is a towing capacity of 750 kg
Other features include the next-generation Ford SYNC infotainment system with connected navigation and voice control, a panoramic glass roof, an advanced parking assistant, intelligent adaptive cruise control and a B&O 10 speaker sound system.
At the start there are five different combinations of power and drive. So you need to do your homework and be aware that the government’s £ 3,000 electric car plug-in grant only applies to people who cost less than £ 50,000
Auto & Driving Judgment
It’s best to think of this new generation Mustang as a whole new car in itself – designed to rival Elon Musk’s Tesla, which injects for the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y SUVs.
It comes with a three year / 60,000 mile warranty, with the high voltage parts warranty extended to eight years / 100,000 miles. The maintenance interval is two years or 18,000 miles.
Experts from auto market appraisers CAP say the Mustang Mach-E should hold its value for 36 months / 30,000 miles with a residual value of 52.7 percent over the entire range.
The name Mustang itself is derived from wild, free roaming horses descended from early Spanish conquerors and symbolizes the pioneering spirit of the American West. The Mach relates to the measure of the speed of sound and the E to its electrical power.
The Mustang Mach-E drives well, looks great and is practical enough for any family model. But you have to decide if it deserves the iconic muscle car name
And there is something to note here.
Founded in 1903 by Henry Ford, which dominated the 20th century by bringing line-built Model T vehicles to the masses, the company currently trades for less than $ 10 per share and is valued at £ 38 billion.
Crazy newcomer Tesla, founded by sole proprietor Elon Musk a century later in 2003 and rocking 21st century engine manufacturing with its electric cars like the Model 3, is now worth more than $ 800 billion – more than 20 times the value of Ford.
The world is changing. And fast.
We would have liked the new Mustang Mach-E to be more immersed in its functions, but understandable Covid restrictions limited its availability.
But when the new 21st century electric Mustang hits showrooms, would we drive one again? Wild horses couldn’t pull us away.
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