2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Preview
- Electric Mustang-badged SUV
- Rear-wheel or all-wheel drive
- Designed as Tesla Model X/Y competitor
- Priced from under $44,000, before incentives
- On sale at the end of 2020, reservations open now
You might think that an electric Mustang SUV is blasphemous. But from a business perspective, in order for Ford to compete directly with Tesla, launching the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E makes total sense. Iconic name + classic design cues + everyone’s favorite type of vehicle = best chance for success.
Love it or hate it, the new Mustang Mach-E arrives toward the end of 2020. The first ones off the Mexico assembly line will have mid-level Premium or limited-production First Edition trim (First Edition is sold out). Early in 2021, the base Select and the long-range California Rt. 1 Edition versions will go on sale, followed by a performance-oriented Mustang Mach-E GT in summer of 2021.
Prices start at almost $44,000 for Select trim, not including the $7,500 federal income tax credit and any state or local incentives. The GT will be priced from $60,500.
From a styling perspective, it’s fair to call the Mustang Mach-E an acquired taste. Prancing ponies decorate the front and rear, and the headlights, simulated grille, hood, haunches, and triple-bar sequential taillights all provide a visual connection to a traditional Mustang.
This, however, is an entirely different kind of car.
A 5-door hatchback with a rakishly tapered tail and gray lower body cladding, the Mustang Mach-E is an SUV, according to Ford. But with 5.7 inches of ride height (5.3 in. with GT trim), off-roading isn’t in this EV’s repertoire.
Notice that the Mach-E has no exterior door handles. That’s because it uses Phone as a Key technology that detects your smartphone as you approach the vehicle, unlocks the doors, presents an electronic latch, and activates power. The seats, mirrors, instrumentation, and infotainment system automatically adjust to the preferences associated with your phone.
Comparing best to the 2021 Tesla Model Y, the Mustang Mach-E mimics that vehicle’s interior layout, offering 5-passenger seating and electronic instrumentation in a minimalistic setting. Ford’s Active-X simulated leather is the only upholstery choice, aside from the simulated suede in the GT Performance Package.
Though Ford says it uses a classic dual-cowl dashboard design, the dominant feature is the 15.5-inch next-generation Sync infotainment screen, mounted portrait-style in the middle of the dashboard similar to a Tesla. Directly forward of the driver, a 10.2-inch instrumentation display is mounted horizontally in conventional fashion.
Behind the rear seat, the Mach-E supplies 29 cu.-ft of cargo space. Fold the seat down and this electric Mustang can carry 59.6 cu.-ft. of cargo. Up front, under the hood, the Mach-E has a 4.8 cu.-ft cargo space complete with a drain plug, meaning it can be used as an ice chest.
Upgrade from Select to Premium trim, and the Mustang Mach-E adds 19-inch alloy wheels, power folding side mirrors, a hands-free rear liftgate, and a panoramic fixed-glass roof with ultraviolet ray protection. Inside, the car gains a power adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, ambient lighting, and a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system. Ford’s semi-autonomous Active Park Assist 2.0 is also part of Premium trim, along with a 360-degree surround-view camera.
The California Rt. 1 Edition is also based on Select trim, exclusively equipped with a long-range battery, rear-wheel drive, and aerodynamic wheel designs in order to deliver a maximum 300 miles of range. It also includes a power driver’s seat, a panoramic glass roof, a surround-view camera, and Active Park Assist 2.0.
GT trim builds on the Premium version’s equipment, installing standard 20-inch wheels, red-painted front brake calipers, all-wheel drive, and a more powerful electric drive system. Options include performance seats with simulated suede inserts.
Ford offers the Mustang Mach-E in several configurations. You choose between a standard 75.7-kWh or an optional extended-range 98.8-kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. You select between rear-wheel and all-wheel drive. And depending on the trim level, battery, and equipment, the car generates between 255 horsepower and 459 hp.
From a performance standpoint, depending on the choices above, a Mustang Mach-E accelerates to 60 mph in as little as 3.5 seconds and in as long as 6.5 seconds. Total driving range is variable, too, amounting to anywhere between 230 miles and 300 miles depending on configuration. Drivers can adjust the Mach-E’s driving characteristics using the Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled modes, which modify the vehicle’s sound, steering, instrumentation, and ambient lighting.
When it’s time to charge the car, Ford expects most people to perform the task at home. With a 240-volt electrical outlet similar to what modern appliances require, the Mach-E amasses 22 miles for every hour of charging. Buy the available Ford Connected Charging Station, and the Mach-E’s recharging time increases to 32 miles per hour.
When you’re away from home, the standard FordPass connected services technology can direct you one of 12,000 charging stations in the FordPass Charging Network. Once you arrive, choose a 150-kW DC Fast Charger and the Mach-E will soak up 47 miles of range in 10 minutes, or go from 10% battery capacity to 80% in less than 40 minutes.
If you’re driving a Mach-E Select, though, your car is not compatible with 150-kW chargers. You’ll need to stick with 115-kW charging stations or less.
Standard safety equipment includes two collections of Ford Co-Pilot360 technology.
The first bundle is called Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0. It installs forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, and lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist. A reversing camera, reversing sensors, and reverse braking assist are also a part of this package, along with LED headlights with automatic high-beam operation. A post-collision braking system is also standard on the new Mustang Mach-E.
The second bundle is called Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0. It equips the Mach-E with adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, evasive-steering assist, lane-centering assist, and speed-sign recognition.
As if the Mustang Mach-E weren’t revolutionary enough, the car also debuts an all-new, next-generation Sync infotainment system.
Rendered here with a 15.5-inch, portrait-style touchscreen display, it boasts smartphone-style operation, adaptive dashboard card interfaces, cloud-connected navigation with natural voice recognition and charging station locator service, and FordPass Connect services.
Featuring machine learning, the system adapts to your routines and preferences over time. Over-the-air software updates also give Ford the ability to add new features and new performance capabilities to the Mach-E, just like a Tesla.
Additional technology highlights include wireless smartphone charging and a 360-degree surround-view camera. The available Active Park Assist 2.0 system takes control of all vehicle functions to park the Mach-E in parallel and perpendicular parking spaces while the driver remains behind the wheel and ready to take control should it be necessary.
Ford Motor Company is the source of the information in this article. It was accurate as of February 22, 2020, but may have changed since that date.