2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition First Drive: Yes, It’s a Mustang
Lest you think we don’t read your letters, we get it: you think a Ford Mustang should to be a two-door, rear-wheel-drive, V-8-powered pony car. But let’s face the facts, shall we? The Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV is really here and really a Mustang; it’s even written on the label. But that’s not to say there hasn’t been room for improvement; for example, Ford launched the Mustang Mach-E last year without a more powerful GT variant initially. It’s like rolling out a next-gen Mustang without a V-8 to boot. It took them a while, but the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition is finally here, so naturally we strapped our test gear on to find out if the wait was worth it.
Mustang Mach-E GT and Mach-E: what’s the difference? What is the Performance Edition?
Like the decades of gasoline-powered Mustangs that preceded it, the Mustang Mach-E GT follows the same tried and tested formula: making a sportier, better-handling and more powerful pony. car SUV. The standard Mustang Mach-E GT has two oversized permanent magnet electric motors, one at each axle, good for a combined 480 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, backed by the Mach’s largest 93 kWh battery. -E, oversized brake rotors, retuned suspension and 20-inch wheels wrapped in all-weather performance. The Mach-E GT Performance Edition goes one step further. While horsepower is unchanged, torque jumps to 634 lb-ft, and it also gets MagneRide shocks, sticky summer rubber and upgraded Brembo brakes on the front wheels. Range drops just 10 miles from the standard Mustang Mach-E GT, from 270 miles to 260.
Does the Mustang Mach-E GT feel like a Mustang on the road? How fast is it?
Straight-line speed is traditionally where a Mustang GT delivers the most thrills, and the Mach-E GT Performance Edition is no exception. While it’s not as violent off the line as some other high-performance electric SUVs, the Ford throws hard, and with no more conventional transmission to manage, its twin motors are almost always in the meat of their powerband. Interestingly, the Mach-E’s power starts to drop off quickly as you approach triple-digit speeds, which no doubt affected its performance.
With our test gear strapped to the passenger seat and the GPS receiver glued to the roof, the Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition’s best 0-60mph run took 3.6 seconds, just a tenth of a second off the last. 2021 Tesla Y Performance model we tested, but seven-tenths faster than the V-8-powered 2021 Mustang Mach 1. Oddly, our best launches weren’t made using the Mach-E’s sport mode (brazenly named “Unbridled”), but the default “Engaged” ride mode. We found Engage to be quicker for our 0-60 and quarter-mile runs, the latter seeing the Mach-E GT swoop down the drag strip in 12.6 seconds at 100.6 mph. This matches the quarter-mile time of the latest Mustang Mach 1 (albeit 12.5 mph slower), but is significantly behind a Y Performance model, which runs the quarter in 12.0 seconds. at 114.7 mph.
“Very hard acceleration at low revs, but when going over 80 mph there was a very noticeable drop in power, also indicated on the dash power bar,” said road test analyst Alan Lau.
The Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition’s braking and handling didn’t disappoint either. It hides its nearly 5,000 pounds well with quick and precise steering, and its firm but not strenuous ride dampens body roll. Things get particularly fun in unbridled mode with traction and stability control disabled; this EV SUV allows for a surprising (very fun) amount of oversteer. Its braking power is also particularly good. “Best of any EV I’ve tested,” Road Tests Editor Chris Walton said of the Mach-E GT’s brakes. “They are very effective and very well tuned for track braking: easy to predict, control and release.”
Walton’s impressions hold up when breaking down the Mustang EV’s 60-0 mph and figure-eight test numbers. On the former, the Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition stops in just 105 feet, which is 9 feet longer than a Mach 1 but 8 shorter than a more comparable Y Performance model. On the figure eight, it clocked a 24.9-second lap at 0.78g average in Unbridled Extend mode, a sports performance mode designed to keep the battery and motors in their optimum temperature range for hot days. autocross and track. Although the mode worked as advertised, the Mach-E usually had to be parked for at least 15 minutes before it could be engaged. The Mach-E GT’s lap is just a tenth of a second and 0.01g less than a Y Performance model, but unsurprisingly it lags a little behind a Mustang Mach 1, which completed the course in 23.7 seconds at 0.82 g.
A nerdy note on charging the Mustang Mach-E GT
While the Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition doesn’t disappoint on the road, we’re a bit puzzled by its Level 3 DC battery charging speed. It’s nominally rated for a 150kW peak rate (to put that in perspective, Teslas max out at a peak of 250kW, while the 2022 Kia EV6 — a direct competitor — will allow a peak of 350kW). In real-world testing, the Mustang Mach-E’s load curve was extremely conservative.
Using an Electrify America 350kW fast charger, it took us 41 minutes to charge from 15-80% capacity, which is exactly what Ford claims the Mach-E is capable of. (Plugging it into a 350kW charger is a bit like filling a Prius with premium, but we chose this particular charger because we knew it worked well.) So what’s the problem? Our issue is that once you get past that 80% rate – for example, if you want to add a little more range buffer during a road trip – the charge rate drops from the low 90kW range at just 13kW, about the rate at which a Level 2 overnight charger delivers electricity to a vehicle. For a long time, this will lead Mach-E owners to spend more time than necessary on the charger.
There’s no other EV on the market that we can remember that has such a slow charge rate past 80 per cent, so we reached out to Ford for comment. A spokesperson told us that the automaker designed the slow rate past 80 percent in an effort to maximize the Mustang’s battery life, but pledged “to extend [the DC fast charge] curve the “ceiling” to a state of charge above 80% thanks to an over-the-air software update from Ford Power-Up. “No official word on what the new cap will be, but Ford’s general manager of battery electric vehicles said Inside electric vehicles the automaker is currently considering raising the cap on fast charging from 80 to 90 percent. It’s not yet known when Mach-E owners can expect the over-the-air update.
How much does the Mustang Mach-E cost?
Mustang Mach-E GT pricing is competitive for the segment, with prices starting at $61,000. This undercuts the performance of the Model Y ($65,190 this week), even when matching gear levels. The Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition’s value proposition is a little murkier. The package adds $5,000 to the bottom line, and if you opt for the panoramic glass roof, Ford’s advanced BlueCruise driver-assist system and a premium color like the one found on our test car, the sticker inflates to a tested price of $69,800.
So does the Mach-E GT Truly a Mustang?
The Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition doesn’t look or feel like a traditional Mustang, but the performance it delivers lives up to the promises implied by the Mustang GT name. While it’s not perfect, the electrified pony SUV is a promising reworking of what the Mustang is and can be.
This seems good! More details?
|Specifications of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E4x (Performance Edition)|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$69,800|
|VEHICLE UPFIT||Front and rear engine, all-wheel drive, 5-door and 4-door SUVs|
|TYPE OF ENGINE||Permanent magnet electric|
|POWER (SAE NET)||480 hp|
|TORQUE (NET SAE)||634 lb-ft|
|CURB WEIGHT (DIST FWD/REW)||4,980 pounds (50/50%)|
|Length x Width x Height||186.7 x 74.1 x 63.5 inches|
|QUARTER MILE||12.6 sec at 100.6 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||105 feet|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.96g (average)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||24.9 sec @ 0.78 g (average)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECONOMY||88/75/82 mpg-e|
|EPA RANGE, COMB||260 miles|