The Ford Mustang has a historic lineage that has spanned over several decades, produced literally dozens of variations, and managed to sell an impressive 10 million units during its production run. But with a future of rapidly tightening fuel regulations and increased electrification, it was clear that even this iconic moniker needed to make a dramatic move to help it stay relevant in an increasingly digital world. On that front, Ford has rolled the figurative dice in a big way, and has unleashed the Mustang Mach-E EV crossover onto the motoring world.
Despite an accidental leak that nearly ruined Ford’s plans for the Mach-E being the surprise of 2020, the Blue Oval still managed to keep a few surprises hidden away until its big debut in Los Angeles. But before we get into that, let’s take a moment to focus on what we know about this special model. For example, the Mach-E will arrive with two distinct lithium-ion battery pack choices. The standard range version uses a 75.7 kilowatt hour 288 cell battery pack which sends power to a large rear mounted electric motor. Meanwhile, the extended range pack uses a beefier 98.8 kilowatt-hour battery pack that comes equipped with 376 cells. Unlike the standard pack, this one sends its power to both the rear mounted electric motor, as well as a second front axle mounted motor. All of this juice gives the Mach-E a maximum driving range of 300 miles per charge when equipped to certain trim levels that are equipped with the extended range battery pack and a rear-wheel drive layout. The unusual range estimates for the two drive layouts may seem a bit confusing at first glance, but Ford reps claim that the rear-wheel drive layout is more efficient than all-wheel drive due to its lighter weight, which helps it reduce the amount of electrons wasted on moving it down the road versus its porkier all-wheel drive siblings.
All-wheel drive models equipped with the same battery pack will see their range drop to 270 miles per charge which is still very respectable for its segment. As for the standard pack, all-wheel drive models equipped with it can cover 210 miles per charge, while rear wheel drive models can achieve 230 miles. Of course, the lone black sheep here is the performance oriented Mach-E GT Performance which does not require owners to compromise in range as much as we initially thought it would. While the GT does come equipped with the extended range battery pack and all-wheel drive, its range per charge only drops to 250 miles with this figure varying depending on how spiritedly the EV is driven as well as how it is equipped.
The Mustang Mach-E will eventually come in five different flavors once it is fully unleashed to dealers, but customers looking to pre-order one for themselves will initially only have two variants to choose from the Premium, and the decidedly rarer First Edition. The First Edition comes with the extended range battery pack and all-wheel drive as standard equipment, but it stands out by offering several unique visual cues including red brake calipers, metallic pedal covers, and even unique badging. Buyers looking to get their hands on the value focused select variant will have to wait until 2021 when the Select model will join the ranks. The range topping GT will also make its appearance in 2021, but it will appear later in the year than the fore-mentioned Select. When looking at some of the range figures on display here, they are very competitive for its segment, with even competitors like the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi E-tron, and the Kona EV not nearly offering as much range. The only closest rival is the Tesla Model Y which offers an identical 300 miles of range per charge, but the Mach-E will have a head start in terms of getting its production needs in gear, and it is currently unknown when Tesla will be able to produce enough numbers of the Model Y to make it a viable long term threat to the Mach-E
But the one thing that buyers will notice is just how much performance will be packed into the Mach-E. The most powerful model will ultimately be the GT Performance Edition, and buyers willing to endure the long wait for it will be rewarded with 459 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque which is enough to help that variant make the sprint to 60 mph in a scant 3.5 seconds. On the more immediate side of things, the two available models at launch will not skimp on muscle either, with both models producing 332 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque. The California 1 (another model that will appear in 2021) and Premium models equipped with rear-wheel drive will produce 282 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque. As for the Select, the lowliest member of the Mach-E family still manages to make a case for itself, with that model producing 255 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque. Adding all-wheel drive to equation bumps the torque figure to 429 lb-ft, but the tradeoff is that the Select is the only model that will not be available with the extended range battery pack option when it too arrives in 2021.
As mentioned in our prior Mach-E coverage, the exterior styling is very sleek, and the angled LED headlights as well as the trademark tri-bar taillights help the EV have a distinct connection to the iconic muscle car that helped inspire its creation. Going beyond the obvious crossover cues, there are a few key areas where the Mach-E stands out as a unique breed of Mustang. For instance, in a surprise twist, there are no formal door handles, with the Mach-E instead using special pillar mounted buttons that pop the doors open with a pull handle on the front doors helping to accomplish the rest of the task. The rear doors don’t get and exterior door handle, though we suspect that this could have been possibly done to help enhance the four door coupe profile that the Mach-E brings to the table. The wheels do not directly carryover from the Mustang coupe, and are all unique to the Mach-E, with 18, 19, and 20-inch designs being available for buyers to choose from.
The interior of the Mach-E is all new too, and it certainly has embraced a number of pages from the Tesla playbook when it comes to its basic layout. The cabin also uses animal free materials in its construction, including an all new “Sensico” synthetic leather material for the seats and the dashboard, as well as Premium Black Onyx or Space Gray cloth accents on the dashboard and the speakers. The dashboard itself has a shape that pays homage to the first generation Mustang. The dash is also home to a massive 15.5 inch touchscreen, and while we initially thought that the center mounted knob was a controller of some kind, it actually serves as the volume control dial, with the rest of the screen adopting a pure touch layout. The large screen is standard throughout the Mach-E family along with the 10.2 inch digital instrument cluster, and an all new steering wheel with prominent pony emblem. Ford’s newest iteration of SYNC joins the technology fueled blitz, and the Mach-E even comes with the firm’s Co-Pilot 360 2.0 software for improved safety and convivence.
The Mach-E also offers commendable cargo space, with the EV offering a respectable 29 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. Fold them down, and this figure increases to 59.6 cubic feet of space. Since there is no formal engine here, the EV also offers a frunk that brings an additional 4.8 cubic feet of space, and is equipped with a washable mat and built in drain system. Ford claims that it is good for tailgate parties, but we will reserve judgement until we have the chance to formally try it out in this role. Cabin space in the Mach-E is also a potent selling point, with the EV wielding 40.5 inches of headroom which is the best in its segment for an offering that comes with a roof mounted glass panel, while the 41.7 inches of front legroom is also best in class.
The Mach-E will go on sale in 2020 where it will initially appear in Premium and First Edition trims. Select, California 1, and GT Performance models will appear in 2021 which will help round out the Mach-E family in a reasonably quick fashion. Pricing for the Mach-E will also cover a wide swath of ground with figures going form $40,000 all the way up to the mid $60,000 range depending on how it is equipped. Ford will release more extensive pricing information in the near future, but buyers looking to pre-order one for themselves can put a $500 refundable reservation deposit on Ford’s consumer website right now