WHEN is a Mustang not a Mustang? When it’s Mach-E, of course.
A what? A Mach-E, Ford’s first full-electric vehicle offering which carries not the Ford Badge but the pony front and rear in a move that will horrify Mustang traditionalists before they even get to the style of the car.
The Ford Mustang…the big, beefy American muscle car with plenty of drift and piles of excitement, is the inspiration for this new crossover-type electric model.
But while the diehards might hold up their hands in horror, others are going to be mightily impressed by this piece of engineering which comes with all sorts of little quirks but, significantly, a range between 273 miles and 379 miles depending on which of four versions you buy with rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and extended ranges.
Ford are late to the electric party, but instead of slipping in and standing by the doors, they have grasped the nettle and come up with a car that shrieks chutzpah and then to underline the point, they have named it a Mustang and to make sure you get the message they have stuck two big ponies on it.
The first goes on the what would typically be the grille so you can’t miss it – and here’s one of the first interesting features of this new car – lift the bonnet and underneath is 81-litres of added storage space, with a special escape handle in case of desperation if you shove one of the kids under there and forget about them.
The only remnant of what might in the day have housed an internal combustion engine is the tank housing the water for the windscreen wipers.
The roofline is sculpted back into an integrated rear spoiler and the hatchback is finished on either side with the triple light sequence from the – I hesitate to say it – real Mustang.
In the mirror when you drive, the car’s rear haunches do remind you of the one to which it pays homage.
The sides are smooth with press buttons to open the front and rear and a unique mechanism that will not allow kids to get their fingers trapped. In addition, the driver’s door has a unique element to it. Should you lose your keys, you can access a code and input it into the side of the door to allow you into the car to drive it off.
Inside the materials are vegan leather – no animal has been harmed in making this car apart from the two Mustangs nailed on the grille and hatch.
The massive 15.5ins iPad-style central touchscreen allows access to the car’s safety features, driver’s assistance aids, and entertainment systems. In addition, it comes with DAB, Bluetooth, sat-nav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless charging and two USB ports.
There are three driving modes – Whisper, Active and Untamed (hmm) – and because this is an electric vehicle, there is the capability of one-pedal driving using only the gas to accelerate and brake.
This is enhanced by using the L mode on the rotary dial instead of the gearstick, strengthening the regeneration feature.
The instrument binnacle is clear and digital behind the steering wheel and like the original, has the words Ground Speed under the speedometer.
The Mach-E creates surprisingly little road noise – an essential point in electric cars when their silent running can reveal shortcomings in the noise and vibration department.
It is nothing like its namesake to drive, but it is very responsive, incredibly smooth and agile and nippy. In addition, it is well balanced, and if you like engine noise, you can artificially pump that through.
When Ford come to the table and do a job – they really do it properly.
Maggie Barry is an Award winning journalist, she regularly travels in Europe and beyond to test drive cars. A former lecturer in journalism and motoring editor of Media Scotland she has written for and contributed to the Daily Record and Sunday Mail among others. She is on the panel judging the Scottish Car of the Year and Women’s World Car of the Year. She lives near Glasgow with her husband and several cars.
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