The covers are officially off the Mustang Mach-E after it was unveiled last night at an event in Los Angeles. Here’s everything you need to know about Ford’s first electric SUV.
There’s much talk about Ford’s latest model, and even more controversy. It’s not the fact that Ford made an all-electric SUV since I think that most enthusiasts have accepted that electric SUVs will be taking over the world. It’s more the fact that Ford badged the new SUV with the iconic pony, a logo that was historically was reserved for cars that couldn’t have less in common with electric cars. Or maybe, just maybe, that’s just the antiquated notion the Mach-E is here to prove wrong.
Here’s the deal: you’re going to see plenty of articles today where the writers chastise Ford for calling their electric SUV a mustang. And who can blame them? Imagine a 760 horsepower Shelby GT500 pulling up next a whisper-quiet electric SUV at a stoplight, and now imagine that they’re both Mustangs. It’s a slight—nay, an insult—to any car enthusiast. It’s ridiculous, asinine, preposterous—but it’s also just a name. Eventually, all of the anger at Ford will die down and all that’s left to discuss will be the car. So, with that, I end my rant about Ford choosing to slap a pony on the Mach-E, and now we can talk about the car.
Ford knew that the electric underpinnings of the Mach-E would be enough to deter most people from ever thinking of it as a Mustang, so they made sure to make it at least look like a Mustang as much possible. Design cues taken from current gen Mustangs are prominent all over the Mach-E, like the trademark trim-bar taillights, highly sculpted sides, a long and imposing hood, and aggressive headlights. Indeed, the Mach-E designers were never hesitant to borrow from the Mustang. Whatever premonitions you may have had about Ford Mustang-ifying an SUV, you can’t deny that Ford did create a stylish, aggressive model that should spark some excitement in consumers.
However, all that aggressiveness turns into dullness when you step inside the Mach-E. The designers went the Tesla route and opted for sleek and minimalistic dashboard with one giant iPhone in the middle that will control everything from driving modes to air conditioning. Speaking of driving modes, there are three of them, and they are interestingly called “Whisper”, “Engage”, and “Unbridled”, which are some strong contenders for dumbest drive mode names of the year. Not dumb is the way the sound system is incorporated into the car: a Bang and Olufsen speaker extends the entire dashboard resembling a sounder that is seamlessly integrated into the interior. Sure the interior of the Mach-E is modern and refined, but in my opinion it’s a huge letdown in comparison to its exterior.
The Mach-E had to excel in performance if it wanted to be called a Mustang. And it seems that Ford was using a certain German sports car manufacturer as a benchmark when they had this to say:
"Ford also will offer two special performance versions. The GT is targeting 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds, making it faster off the line than a Porsche Macan Turbo. The GT Performance Edition, meanwhile, is targeting a comparable 0-60 mph in the mid-3-second range to a Porsche 911 GTS."
The standard Mach-E and its variations will all produce 332 horsepower with their electric motors, while the GT versions will pump out 459 horses, plenty to rival the SUVs coming out of Stuttgart.
The debate it still out on whether the Mach-E can ever be a true mustang, but right now it seems like old-school purists won’t accept it anytime soon. But that’s the thing: this Mustang isn’t for the purists, it’s for a whole new generation of Mustang fans. Bill Ford, executive chairman at Ford, had this to say:
"“Today, the Ford Motor Company is proud to unveil a car that strikes like forked lightning all over again. The all-new, all-electric Mustang Mach-E. It’s fast. It’s fun. It’s freedom. For a new generation of Mustang owners.”"
Here’s what I interpreted that quote as: the Mach-E is the 21st definition of a Mustang, and it’s not for old schoolers, it’s for those looking ahead. It’s a bold new take from Ford and it’ll be interesting to see how the new Mustang performs in the market.