Ford Mustang MACH-E GT
Goodbye Mustang, hello Mustang MACH-E
The Mustang MACH-E breaks with more traditions than just providing oversized gasoline engines. The classic Mustang is a coupe or convertible, while the MACH-E is an SUV. Sports Utility Vehicles are built in height, and this allows for easy installation of the batteries in the floor. An SUV also offers a lot of space, which makes the Mustang MACH-E in its basic version a good family car that costs the same as a comparable car with a petrol engine.
Despite the changed shape, the style of the classic Mustang has been retained. For example, the MACH-E has the same flowing roofline, convex bonnet and segmented tail lights. The genes of the original Mustang have therefore not been lost. The subject of this test is the MACH-E GT and that is the fastest and most exciting version. While the everyday versions of the MACH-E have a futuristic closed grille, the GT has a large black grille that gives it an aggressive and more classic ‘Mustang’ look. In addition, the orange paint works wonders for the test car.
Space and equipment
The tall build of the MACH-E puts an end to the coupe and convertible's problems with space. The MACH-E offers plenty of head and legroom in the front and a generous rear seat. The GT comes standard with sports seats which are nice and firm and offer a lot of sideways support. However, the headrest is not adjustable and is not high enough for tall drivers to actually contribute to safety.
The boot is average for a car of this size and logically much larger than that of the classic Mustang. Because an electric motor is much smaller than an internal combustion engine, a second boot can be found under the front lid. Previously this was divided into compartments by order of the American legislator and therefore less usable. Thanks to a small adjustment, this so-called "frunk" can now be used worldwide in its entirety and is large enough for a shopping bag or trolley, for example.
Two "bumps" on the dashboard are a subtle hint to the classic Mustang, but in all other respects the MACH-E moves with the times. The number of buttons and levers is minimal because almost all functions are controlled via a centrally placed touchscreen. Ford opted for an oversized screen that is easy to read and operate even when the car is in motion. As it should be in the year 2021, the Mustang MACH-E has an internet connection to offer current information and to install updates without visiting the dealer.
The standard Mustang MACH-E is a family car with a sporty character. The MACH-E is comfortable and has excellent road handling. Ford has succeeded in masking the high weight caused by the batteries. Still the standard MACH-E is a compromise between sportiness and comfort and between price and performance.
This GT, on the other hand, is all about sportiness. Therefore, the chassis has been lowered, the car has larger rims (20 inches), custom-made tyres and a so-called "MagneRide" chassis. This consists of shock absorbers with metal particles in the oil. Electromagnets on the outside can control these metal particles to influence the character of the suspension. The effect of these adjustments is so great that it seems as if the GT is a completely different car than the standard MACH-E!
The steering, for example, is much more sensitive, making the car seem lighter and sharper. The even lower centre of gravity and the continuously adapting suspension make the MACH-E much more dynamic. This makes the car more inviting to playful behaviour, which is then rewarded with even more dynamics! The brakes have also been tailor-made for the GT. They are not only stronger, but also give more feedback. Therefore, they can be metered more precisely and this also gives a more confidence-inspiring feeling. Therefore, the GT does not only communicate better than the standard MACH-E, but is by far superior to the classic Mustang.
Performance and range
The Mustang MACH-E GT is equipped with two electric motors in combination with an extra-large battery (98 kWh). The latter not only ensures a long range, but can also supply a lot of energy for extra sprinting power. In total, the GT produces 487 PS / 860 Nm and... thrills from the very first moment! Even when the accelerator is pushed gently, it is noticeable that this racehorse wants to trot. Calm driving is certainly possible and then the GT is as quiet and comfortable as any other electric car. Moreover, in real life situations some 450 km can be covered on a full battery. After that, charging can be done so quickly (150 kW), that the average lunch stop takes more time than a session at the fast charger.
But... give in to the temptation offered by the GT and your head is brutally pressed against the headrest. Subsequently, 3.7 seconds later, 100 km/h appears on the digital speedometer. After that, it keeps on adding up so fast, that the numbers are hardly readable! To illustrate how overwhelming the sprinting power is: on bad road surfaces even from 100 km/h all four wheels spin at full throttle! Although such performance is not unique to electric cars, the MACH-E has a unique character. Some electric cars are viciously fast (Tesla) or release their power like an avalanche (Porsche). The MACH-E, on the other hand, has a more explosive character, like a drag racer run on a highly flammable mixture.
The Mustang MACH-E has several driving modes to choose from, such as: comfortable, normal or sporty. However, these modes have creative names such as "whisper mode" on the one hand and "untamed" at the other extreme. If you pay attention, you will find a switch in the menu to give this racehorse an "extra untamed" character. Then more power is sent to the rear wheels for an authentic sports car feeling. In addition, the electronic safety net allows for extra slip for maximum thrills.
Is the Mustang MACH-E GT a worthy replacement for the classic Mustang? As far as Autozine is concerned, the answer to this question is a resounding "yes". Only the SUV-shape requires some getting used to. No matter how well the designers have done their work, a large and tall car never has the same appeal as a slender coupe or sensual convertible. On the other hand: thanks to its shape the Mustang is a family car that is both sporty and useful.
In the GT version the MACH-E convinces as a sports car and as the new generation of the Mustang. Thanks to adjustments to the chassis the handling is excellent. The high weight of the batteries is not an objection, but rather ensures stability. The performance isn't just better than that of the Mustang V8, it also comes with the necessary thrills so that this electric car isn't sterile or characterless. The lack of engine noise is experienced as an advantage: the MACH-E is like a boxer who wins every fight with one hand on the back. Delivering crushing performance without any roaring or snarling just adds to its superiority.
If 500 hp, a 0 to 100 sprint in 3.7 seconds, 75% lower running costs or state-of-the-art equipment don't convince, the price will. Some petrol cars with the same performance cost at least twice as much! And that makes the MACH-E GT, just like the classic Mustang, a sports car that can actually be saved up for. So goodbye Mustang and hello Mustang MACH-E!
- Can also be used as a practical, everyday vehicle
- Cheaper to buy and operate than a petrol engine sports car
- Awkward and dangerous location of charging socket
- Battery cannot be preheated for fast charging at low temperatures