At the first ever Detroit auto show, Henry Ford said that the Model T is a car that would strike like forked lightning. The American company now claims the same as it unveils the Mustang Mach-E – their first entry into the electric vehicle world.
First things first, the Mustang essence is clearly present in the styling of the Mach-E, such as the tri-bar headlights, taillights design, as well as the muscular character lines on the bodywork.
However, Ford says that the Mustang spirit doesn’t just stop there, as the Mach-E promises “exhilarating drive experiences that offer unique driving dynamics and sounds”.
The Mustang Mach-E will initially be offered with two battery pack sizes and three power output levels, and in all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive configurations. Starting at the low end, the Mach-E select comes with a 75.7 kWh Standard Range battery, and an EPA-estimated 370 km range for the RWD model, while the AWD variant gets a shorter 338 km range.
The shorter range of the AWD variant does get compensated in terms of performance, with a zero to hundred time in the region of “mid-five seconds“, compared to the “low-six seconds” of the RWD – a fair trade if you ask us. Both are rated at 255 hp, but the AWD does get a bump in torque to 565 Nm compared to the 415 Nm on the RWD model.
Moving up the line, A larger 98.8 kWh battery brings the driving range up to 482 km and 435 km for the RWD and AWD variants respectively. The larger battery also results in a performance boost, with the extended range RWD Mach-E producing 282 hp and 415 Nm, while the AWD variant gets 332 hp and 565 Nm of twist.
Ford will also be offering two performance models of the Mach-E further down the line; the GT variant is targeting a century sprint time in under four seconds, while the GT Performance Edition is targeting a mid-three-second range. Both performance Mach-E will have a targeted output of 459 hp and 830 Nm of torque.
The spec sheet of the Mach-E is littered with asterisks though, so do expect these numbers to change before the official launch of the electric SUV.
Apart from the pure performance figures, Ford says that the Mach-E will handle itself around bends too. Specifically for the AWD models, the Mach-E 4 all-wheel drive system can apply torque independently to the front and rear axles to provide improved acceleration and handling ability over its rear-wheel drive brothers.
The GT models will also be equipped with a MagnaRide adaptive damping system that allows the performance SUV to “hug the road while delivering an exciting, comfortable ride”. Other performance options include Brembo’s Flexira aluminium brake calipers.
Three driving modes are available on the Mustang Mach-E – Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled, which we guess means normal, sporty and all-out acceleration in regular-speak. Ford says that each driving modes provides a “distinct sensory experience” by altering the steering response, ambient lighting, sounds, and dynamic cluster animations.
On the inside, a large 15.5-inch floating infotainment display dominates the entire dashboard. Just like most new vehicles, the Mach-E is light on buttons. Fortunately, the next-generation SYNC system is able to adapt to the user’s preferences and make personalised suggestions to simplify operation.
With the batteries lined on the floor, the Mustang Mach-E also offers a wealth of headroom, legroom and cargo space on the electric SUV. The rear boot area offers 821 litres of space, expandable to 1688 litres with the rear seats down. The electric drivetrain also means the front area is cleared out for a 136 litre “frunk” (or froot).
Safety wise, all models will be equipped with Ford’s latest CoPilot 360 Assist advanced safety suite, which the American brand aims to evolve through software updates to allow hands-free highway driving in the future.