2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
by John Davis
Using both Mustang and Mach names to launch their high performance all-electric SUV, Ford certainly stirred up controversy. What’s never been in debate, however, is how impressive the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E utility turned out. Now of course, the Mustang Mach-E is not Ford’s first EV, but it is their first real effort to take the technology mainstream. While also bringing all-wheel-drive and an SUV body-shape into the Mustang family.
In addition to rear or all-wheel-drive choices, battery options include the standard 66-kWh battery with a 230-mile range, 211-miles with all-wheel drive, and the extended range 88-kWh battery for 300-miles on a full charge; 270-miles with AWD. Batteries are liquid-cooled and placed beneath the floor between front and rear axles.
Current outputs vary from the standard battery’s 266-horsepower, to the all-wheel-drive extended range’s 346-horsepower. When the GT arrives this summer, it will boost that a bunch to 480-horsepower. We spent our initial drive time in a premium-trimmed model with the extended range battery and all-wheel-drive, with 428 lb-ft. of torque to go along with its 346-horsepower.
No gas engine up front means space for other things, with a substantial divider to keep them in place. Traditional aft storage can be accessed with just a wiggle of the foot; revealing a good 29.7 cubic-ft. of space; expanding to 59.7 with rear seatbacks folded.
Getting into the 5-passenger interior requires just a push of a button; where you’ll find a modern and airy cabin as the entire roof is mostly a glass panel. The center console’s rotary gear shift dial puts things in motion, and lends a familiar Ford feel to the process.
As with most cars these days, particularly EVs, virtually everything revolves around a huge central tablet-style touch panel that is highly configurable. Though this one has a few tricks up its sleeve; our favorite of which is a big volume knob for the radio.
That big screen is also where you’ll find Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled drive modes; as well as easy to use navigation, though the white on black mapping may take some getting used to.
EV powertrains and proportions allow for maximization of interior space; and Ford takes full advantage of it with adult-size room in the rear seat and then some.
Gimmicky or not, those drive modes play a big part in determining your Mach-E experience. Engage is the “normal” setting if you will, with soft blue ambient lighting, mild powertrain noises, and good balance of performance. Whisper turns off the simulated sounds, and softens overall car response. Unbridled is of course your “sport” mode, with throttle response, steering feel, and sounds all dialed up to max.
Unleashing it on the road didn’t really leave us with that raucous V8 Mustang feel that we may have craved, feeling more like a V6 or the Mustang Coupe’s Ecoboost I-4; which entirely makes sense, as this is not the GT. Still, instantaneous response, and “glued to the road” grip; gives the Mach-E similar competency to just about any 6-figure sports car you can think of.
On the exterior, we found the Mustang’s trademark design cues translate quite well to the SUV form. Long hood, exaggerated rear haunches, and of course tri-bar tail lamps. Around front there is an outline of the Mustang grille shape, and headlights are also similar.
The Combined Government Fuel Economy MPGe Rating for the all-wheel-drive extended range battery 90, and our initial test loops proved the EPA sanctioned 270-mile range totally realistic.
For our complete road test of the Ford Mustang Mach-E be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #4024 that begins airing February 19, 2021. For a listing of the public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to motorweek.org and click the “About the Show” tab at the top. MotorWeek is also seen Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons on the MotorTrend cable channel. The show can also be streamed on PBS Living through Amazon’s Prime Video.
When the original Ford Mustang arrived some 55-years ago, it was a winner and exactly what America needed. That clearly looks to also be the case with the very impressive 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.