A well thought out all-round electric crossover, comfortable and capable, with good range and some driver appeal
Not a Mustang as you know it in any way, shape or form, some cheap trim, low speed ride
What is it?
When all’s said and done, this is Ford’s first fully-fledged electric car and that makes it Very Important Indeed. Yes, it’s pricey for a Ford, and no, you won’t find a Ford badge on it anywhere – we’ll come on to discuss what that means further on – but for now let’s dig into it a bit.
Firstly, some facts. Built on an all-new platform, it’s available with either a 76 or 99kWh battery, and with either a single motor (rear-wheel drive), or twin motor (all-wheel drive) layout. Claimed range is up to 370 miles making it one of the longest-haul electric cars around, but again, we’ll talk about that further on. The entry-level car weighs just under two tonnes and has 254bhp, the most potent available at the moment has 332bhp. In due course there will be a GT version with upwards of 480bhp, targeting 0-62mph in 3.5secs. Expect that late in 2021, with a price tag of around £75,000.
The most affordable model is the plain Mach-E: 254bhp and £40,350. One step up is the rear-drive 281bhp Extended Range at £49,980. That’s the one that can go furthest between charges. The extra power is needed to ensure it’s not slower than the 120kg lighter base model. Then we have the two dual motor cars, the smaller battery £46,650 version with 254bhp, the flagship with 332bhp at £57,030. All of which means having 4WD adds about six grand to the price, but the bigger battery adds nearer ten. All versions are limited to 111mph, the slowest hits 62mph in 6.1secs, the fastest, 5.1secs. Which makes it as quick as a 5.0-litre Mustang coupe.
Inside they all seat five, have a hatchback boot and a 100-litre ‘frunk’ in the nose. But the bigger story is up front where you’ll find a Tesla-aping 15.5-inch portrait touchscreen and many claims about connectivity, phone mirroring, apps and self-driving.
But is it a Mustang? It certainly hints hard at it with the thrusting bonnet and light signatures. But this is badge engineering – it doesn’t feel or drive like a V8 Mustang in any way. We understand the reasoning and positioning – it’s a cool brand and helps Ford justify the money it needs to charge to turn a profit.
But it also puts Ford in a dangerous position for the future. The firm says it will have 17 electrified vehicles along by the end of next year, but actually they’re mostly mild hybrids, plus a few plug-ins. The next full BEV doesn’t arrive until 2022, and it’s a Transit. As yet we have no sight of what Ford is planning to take on either the Vauxhall Corsa e and Peugeot e-208, or the VW ID.3. But more than that, when it does announce those cars how are they going to tie in to the Mach-E and benefit from its market positioning as Ford’s halo electric car? Ford has potentially made a rod for its own back. And come to think of it, in the UK at least the perception of Mustang is of a relatively low tech muscle car...
That’s all further down the line. What you need to know now is that Ford’s pure electric SUV is here, it’s available to order in the UK now, with right-hand drive deliveries starting in Spring 2021. It rivals cars such as the Polestar 2, here-soon Tesla Model Y and could kidnap sales from the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron. How does it shape up?
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
The most important Ford since the Mondeo? The Model T? Probably somewhere between the two in terms of what it means to the brand and its future. As crucial as the original Mustang, then – another car that kick-started the blue oval and launched it into a new and exciting future.
Leaving any trace of Ford badging off the Mach-E is probably a short-term gain, but as mentioned at the start, could prove a long term loss. But that’s not what we’re here to discuss. Make up your own mind about the look of the car and what it says about you, but be in no doubt that underneath this is a fundamentally very well executed machine. It treads the fine line between lifestyle and family versatility as deftly as either the Polestar 2 or Jaguar I-Pace, and like them has a bit about it dynamically. Put simply, for an electric car it’s engaging to drive.
Just don’t be misled by the badge. This is not a Mustang and to think of it as one is misleading. It’s an electric crossover. And it’s a good one.