Ford steps into the future with first electric Mustang
Since the first model rolled off the production line in 1964 the Ford Mustang has been synonymous with speed and power, with the deep growling thud of the V8 engine instantly recognizable anywhere.
This is what has made the American muscle car so popular. The raw power displayed by the vehicle is hard to match anywhere.
However, as many in the automotive industry have already realized, the future of automotive is changing and looks to be largely electric.
To prepare for this, and to prove they will be a key manufacturer well into the future, Ford have announced that their next electric vehicle will be a Mustang. Specifically, the Mustang Mach-E, the first ever all-electric Mustang.
The release of an all-electric version of the popular muscle car is a bold move by Ford considering the demographic of the traditional Mustang owner. However, the company believes that leveraging the Mustang name and applying it to one of its first all-electric vehicles will result in strong support.
Available in rear and all-wheel drive, the Mach-E will come in five versions, from the standard edition up to the performance GT.
With car sale trends indicating that the SUV has fast become the body type of choice among consumers, Ford have recognised this and adjusted accordingly, with the traditional Mustang design replaced by a five-seat passenger, SUV build.
However, Ford believes the new look vehicle will still hold the recognisably Mustang look.
“The Mach-E is instantly recognisable as a Mustang, thanks to signature elements such as its long, powerful hood, rear haunch design, aggressive headlights and trademark tri-bar tail lamps,” said a spokesperson from Ford.
Despite its new look, the Mach-E largely retains the speed and power of a Mustang.
Depending on which option you choose, the Mach-E boasts a maximum 459 horsepower output with 830Nm of torque, capable of recording 0-96km/h in as low as 3.5 seconds. The vehicles range starts at 340km for the standard-range 75.7kWh battery all-wheel-drive option, up to 480km for the extended-range 98.8kWh battery rear-wheel-drive model.
All versions of the vehicles besides the base model will have a 150kW onboard DC fast charging capacity, with a charge rate of approximately 50km per charging hour from a 240V outlet.
Ford are confident that the electric Mustang will perform favourably to other electric SUVs hitting the market including the Tesla Model 3, Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron quattro and Porsche Macan EV. With 50/50 weight distribution and low centre of gravity, Ford claims the Mach-E can post a quicker 0-96km/h time then the Porsche Macan Turbo.
One new feature for the Mach-E is the introduction of three driving modes; Whisper, Engage and Unbridled. Each mode gives the driver a unique driving experience by altering the tightness of the steering and throttle and changing the interior sound, lighting and animation displays.
While Whisper mode provides a relaxing environment for driving, with a less aggressive throttle and relaxed steering, the Engage mode is reportedly where the vehicles begins to feel like a Mustang. Tighter steering and a more aggressive throttle give drivers a sportier feel. Unbridled mode takes it a step further, with a throatier EV sound kicking in once the vehicle hits 50km/h.
The Mustang Mach-E is due for release starting late 2020 for the first edition and Premium model, while the remaining versions will follow in 2021.
Unfortunately, Ford has no plans to release the vehicle to the Australian market at this stage.
Pricing starts at USD$43,895 (AU$65,000) for the basic ‘Select’ model, with the high-performance GT expected to set you back US$60,500 (AU$89,000).
The decision by Ford to shake-up the Mustang lineage by not only replacing the V8 engine with a battery powered motor but changing the shape of the vehicle as well is certainly a bold move. However, in the age of bold innovation driving the automotive industry forward, perhaps it is necessary. Only time will tell.
Original source: Car and Driver | 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E will please EV fans, perplex Mustang loyalists
19 Nov 2019