Ford Mustang Mach-E unveiled as electric muscle-SUV
Two vehicle monikers at Ford have heavy cache: Mustang and Mach. Often put together throughout the past half-century, the names always denoted fast ponies. Ford has again put the names together, this time on an all-electric offering called the 2020 Mustang Mach-E.
Teased last month, the vehicle will add something new to the Mustang lineup: a four-door SUV that rides purely on electrons. The Mach-E is slated as a 2020 model and will enter showrooms late that year. The new electric vehicle has muscle to match its iconic names, and enough range to make it useful. It’s also rear-wheel drive by default, an unusual trait for an EV.
Upon its unveil, it was clear that the new Mach-E was designed with two ideals: living up to the Mustang name and matching visual cues with the performance promised therein. The Mach-E has a clear sport activity vehicle (SAV) design as its motif, akin to that found in the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe models and the BMW X4.
Ford plans to offer the Mustang Mach-E in several variants, including a standard (75.7 kWh) and extended-range (98.8 kWh) option, and with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The standard AWD model will have 332 horsepower (247.5 kW) and will be quicker, Ford claims, than the Porsche Macan series. Performance variants of the Mach-E will include a GT model aimed at sub-4-second 0-60 mph (97 km/h) times and a GT Performance Edition with a mid-3 0-60 (459 hp / 342 kW). Ford compares all of these to Porsche models like the Macan Turbo and the 911 GTS, making it clear who it plans to target with the Mustang Mach-E.
Featured in the Mach-E are options such as the all-new Brembo Flexira aluminum brake calipers and Ford’s MagneRide suspension damping system. Drive modes include Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled (similar to “Comfort, Sport, and Track” in the Mustang coupe). Ford has utilized its interior sound damping and enhancement expertise in the Mach-E, adding "sounds tuned for an authentic all-electric experience."
Inside the new Mustang EV is a large tablet-sized infotainment interface that showcases Ford’s new-generation SYNC system. SYNC’s 15.5-inch screen utilizes machine-learning technology for improved user experience over time, over-the-air updates, and tablet-like control with gestures.
If any of that sounds familiar, it’s because something much like it has been featured in one of Ford’s competitors located not all that far from the Los Angeles-area unveiling site for the Mach-E.
The Mustang Mach-E features both a coupe-style hatchback cargo space and a frunk under its hood. The former has 29 cubic feet of space (rear seats up) and 59.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded (821 and 1,688 liters). The frunk has 4.8 cubic feet (136 liters) of space in a drainable tub that can house more than just luggage. Ford says it can be used as an ice box for ice and drinks when headed to the game or the beach.
The vehicle will also use Ford’s Phone As a Key technology, allowing a connected smartphone to act as a set of keys for the car. This is backed up by an on-screen code that can be entered should the phone’s battery die mid-trip.
Charging times for the new Mustang EV will range from 22 to 32 miles (35 to 51 km) per charging hour (240-volts) with the on-board charging unit or Ford-recommended home charging unit. The home unit is a team-up with Amazon Home in order to make installation easier. Ford states that the total range per charge is an EPA-estimated 210 miles (338 km) for the standard model with AWD, 230 (370 km) for the RWD, and 210 to 300 (482 km) for the Premium model with standard vs extended range, respectively.
The Mustang-E also accesses the FordPass Charging Network with more than 12,500 stations (over 35,000 plugs) in the US, including DC fast chargers. With a 150-kW charging rate available, the Mach-E can receive up to 47 miles (76 km) of range in 10 minutes, or go from 10-percent to 80-percent charge in 38 minutes. Should the need arise, the automaker has trained 2,100 Ford dealerships and 3,500 technicians nationally to support EVs like the Mustang Mach-E.
The Mustang Mach-E is open for reservation online. Deposits sit at US$500 and can be made on a special limited First Edition model featuring extended range and AWD and special badging and trim cues. The GT models will be available in early 2021. Ford has not announced pricing, but promises that will come closer to the vehicle’s launch date in 2020.