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2019 Los Angeles Auto Show – First Look: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

All-Electric Crossover Delivers Mustang Sportiness, Hopefully

Nov 19, 2019
The "Mustang-inspired" electric crossover that Ford has been touting for years now has arrived, and inspiration doesn't seem to be the right word. Instead, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E seems to be a direct descendant, not the result of inspiration, of the company's storied pony car.
Photo 2/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Exterior Front Quarter 01

Stallion-Inspired Styling

Photo 3/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Exterior Rear Quarter Snow

Arriving in showrooms late next year, the Mustang Mach-E takes a relatively familiar shape, with a chamfered front grille element and slim, peering headlights. It's possible the Mach-E's styling was inspired in part by the fastback and Sportsroof Mustangs of the 1960s and 1970s, but its sloping roofline is more likely a reaction to the popularity of "coupe SUVs" like the BMW X6 and forthcoming Infiniti QX55. However, there's no denying some Mustang DNA in the styling, including swelling rear haunches, a relatively long front hood, three-element vertical taillights, and the wild-horse logo centered between the headlamps.

Photo 4/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Exterior Side Profile 01

However, viewed in profile, the Mustang Mach-E looks far less sporty than its heritage name would suggest. The roofline is far too tall and the rear overhang far too short, giving it a turtle-shell appearance and suggesting a front-wheel-drive platform. It looks less like a sporty SUV than BMW's oddly shaped 6 Series Gran Turismo, not exactly the comparison you want from something bearing such an important Ford nameplate.

Photo 5/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Interior Front Cabin

Inside, Ford designers have created a nicely modern place to spend time, with a twin-cowl dashboard that recalls just about every previous Mustang save the Fox-body and the Mustang II. The double humps here provide a backdrop for a slick, available B&O speaker system, arranged like a soundbar. There's also an unusual gauge display, which rests in a flat, freestanding screen jutting out from above the steering column. A double-barrel gauge display would have been more Mustang-appropriate. However, Ford's design is much more intuitive in the Mustang Mach-E than Tesla's is in the Model 3, which lacks a driver-centric gauge display at all.

Photo 9/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Interior

Speaking of the Model 3, it's hard not to draw comparisons between the two in terms of interior design. Both feature a sparse dashboard fascia and horizontal HVAC outlets, and both get centrally located, floating infotainment touchscreens. The Mustang Mach-E looks more Ford-ish thanks to the twin-cowl design and intuitive secondary controls, but we bet Ford engineers would be hard-pressed to claim they didn't take some inspiration from Tesla's cheapest vehicle.

Photo 10/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Exterior Front Cargo Trunk

The Mach-E's electric platform, which bundles batteries and motors together in the bottom of the chassis like a skateboard, opens up plenty of passenger and cargo room. Ford claims 29 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, opening up to 59.6 cubes with them folded. What's more, under the "hood" lies a water-resistant, drainable front cargo bin that measures 4.8 cubic feet, large enough for a soft carryon duffel bag. Since it's drainable, it could also be filled with ice and turned into a mobile cooler for long road trips and Saturday afternoon family soccer tournaments.

Electrified Performance

Photo 11/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Gt Exterior Front End

Being a Mustang, Ford had better make darn sure the Mach-E performs, and their claimed specifications are promising. The crossover will be available in five different powertrain specifications: standard-range and extended-range, both available in rear- or all-wheel drive, as well as a high-power, extended-range all-wheel-drive version specific to the Mustang Mach-E GT model.

Photo 12/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Gt Exterior Rear Quarter

Ford says the standard-range battery will be good for a total range of 230 miles with rear-wheel drive or 210 miles with front-wheel drive, thanks to a 75.7-kWh battery. The 98.8-kWh extended-range battery will be able to go 300 miles between charges with rear drive or 270 miles with all-wheel drive. The Mustang GT uses the same extended-range battery, with a range of 235 miles owing to a higher power output.

How much higher? Ford is targeting a total of 459 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque from the GT, while the extended-range battery found in lesser models will produce 282 hp and 306 lb-ft with rear-wheel drive or 332 hp and 417 lb-ft with all-wheel drive. The base battery makes do with 255hp and either 306 lb-ft (RWD) or 417 lb-ft (AWD).
Photo 13/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Exterior Front Clip

Both the base and extended-range batteries are good for a 0-60 sprint in the mid-five to low-six-second range, according to Ford. The Mach-E GT, however, should properly hustle, with the mile-a-minute mark passing in less than four seconds, matching Ford's claim for even the top-dog Mustang variant, the supercharged 2020 Shelby GT500. Tesla claims faster acceleration from its Model 3 Performance, although that similarly priced vehicle is nonetheless quite a bit smaller than the Mustang Mach-E.

Living in the Future

Photo 14/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Exterior Charging

Ford promises adjusting to the Mustang Mach-E will be easy. The company will partner with Amazon Home to help owners find qualified electricians to install in-garage Ford Connected Charging stations using 240V power. These at-home chargers can provide an estimated 32 miles of range per hour of charging. Meanwhile, the included mobile charger can add 22 miles of range per hour, also using 240V power.

And with access to the FordPass Charging Network, owners can find various charging stations along their route, including DC fast chargers that can restore about 47 miles of range in 10 minutes, or 80 percent of the standard-capacity battery's range in about 40 minutes. That's not quite as convenient as stopping at the local service station for a quick splash-and-go, but it should ease Mustang customers into EV motoring, particularly if all they're doing is commuting to and from work.

Dollars and Sense

Photo 15/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Exterior Side Profile 02

According to Ford's consumer website, the Mustang Mach-E will have an estimated starting price of $43,895 for the base Select trim level, rising to $50,600 for the Premium. The EV will also be available in a California Rt. 1 Edition, which is uniquely equipped for maximum range with aerodynamic wheel inserts and the larger battery, confined to rear-wheel drive only and costing about $52,400. At the top of the range will be the Mustang Mach-E GT, which will start at $60,500. There will also be a limited-availability First Edition, which will cost just under $60,000 when it arrives in customers' hands at the end of 2020.

Those prices roughly match other long-range electric vehicles, slotting in above the Chevrolet Bolt, Kia Niro, and Hyundai Kona but offering more interior room (at the expense of EV range). The base Mustang Mach-E also costs a bit more than the Tesla Model 3, but again, it's a larger, more spacious vehicle. We presume the forthcoming Model Y crossover will be the Mach-E's most natural competitor.
Photo 16/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Exterior Front Quarter 02
Photo 17/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Exterior Rear Quarter 02

The First Edition and Premium trims will be the first to go on sale, with deliveries estimated to begin in late 2020. The Select and California Rt. 1 will follow early in 2021, with the GT arriving later that spring.

Mustang Mach-E: Heresy or Heritage?

Photo 18/51   |   2021 Ford Mustang Mach E Family Photo

Whether the Mach-E is deserving of the storied Mustang name is still up for debate. In terms of performance, it's a decent Mustang facsimile, offering impressive acceleration, available all-wheel-drive traction, and what we presume will be decent handling thanks to a low center of gravity. But can a Mustang really take the shape of a crossover, and an EV at that? We're not so sure. Nevertheless, Ford will probably sell a ton of them, and that's because it will probably be a decent all-around machine, its name notwithstanding.

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