Well, it looks like Ford is about to join the club of all-electric car manufacturers. A few months ago in November 2019, Ford announced that it would release a five-door electric crossover SUV. This SUV would go on sale sometime in late 2020, released as a 2021 model.
Here's where it gets interesting (or 'weird' depending on how you look at it). Ford is planning to badge this electric SUV as a Mustang. That's right! This electric SUV is going to be the newest member of the Mustang family which is usually known for its iconic American pony cars.
This new vehicle is called the Mustang Mach-E, a name inspired by the Mach 1 variant from the first-generation Mustang manufactured from 1964-1973.
Critics are quick to say that this new car is a deviation from everything the Mustang name is known for. Before we make a judgement on that, let's first take a closer look at what this car has to offer.
How the Mach-E Looks
In my opinion, this car has some fantastic aesthetic and interior features.
One of the first things that you'll notice (or that will catch you by surprise) is that the doors on this car have no door handles at all. And no, handles aren't going to pop out when you unlock it, they just do not exist on this car at all.
Instead, you get in and out of this car by pressing buttons on the door that'll pop them open. Your smartphone will act as your car key, but if your phone's dead or you don't have it on you, there's still another way to get in and drive: keypads. Keypads built into the B-pillar will give you access to the car, and another one inside will start the vehicle and allow you to drive.
Once you're inside the car, you'll find a wide dashboard with a 15.5-inch touchscreen. Using Ford's SYNC 4 operating system, most of the car's systems will be controlled through that touchscreen and its rotary dial.
Smart fact about the SYNC 4: it's updated remotely, so keeping it up-to-date is seamless. All of this is also complemented by a built-in soundbar on the dashboard for excellent sound quality.
Aside from that, the fact that it's an all-electric vehicle (hint: no big engine!) affords you lots of cargo space. You’ll be able to fit stuff in a regular cargo space in the back and also a waterproof trunk under the hood.
How the Mach-E Performs
Looking good is one thing, but let's look closer at its performance. Firstly, this car comes in five different trim levels: Select, California Route 1, Premium, First Edition and GT Performance.
Transmission-wise, they're either a rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive cars. If you're too shy to ask, I'll tell you: all-electric cars don't need a clutch or gears, so there's no multi-speed gearbox in them.
At the lowest trim, the power output of the Mustang Mach-E is 190 kW. As you work up the trim levels, you'll find versions of this car with power outputs of 210 kW, 248 kW, with the highest among them at 342 kW for the GT performance version.
Now, remember, this is an electric vehicle. Two ways to differentiate between electric cars are the battery types they carry and the ranges that they can cover on a fully-charged battery. At a minimum, versions of this car with Standard Range batteries can travel at least 338 kilometres. Versions carrying Extended Range batteries can go as far as 483 kilometres.
To put this into context, if you're driving at 80 km/h, you'll be driving for at least 6 hours straight to cover 483 kilometres!
And to demonstrate how fast they could go, Ford claims that they'll go from 0-97 km/h in less than seven seconds!
Is It Truly A Mustang, Though?
The Mustang Mach-E hasn't come out yet, but it's already controversial to some car enthusiasts. Critics are questioning whether or not the Mach-E deserves the Mustang badge, to begin with.
If you're not much of a 'car guy' like me, you might be wondering what the big deal is. A good question to ask in this case is, "What is a Mustang typically known for?"
Well, first and foremost, the Mustang is known to be an affordable sports car. The Mustang was the first-ever 'pony car', and it paved the way for others like the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger. These pony cars had one thing in common: their style always made them seem to be powerful vehicles regardless of what engine was under the hood.
Where the Mach-E goes against it is the fact that it's both an electric car and an SUV at the same time; two things that some people feel don't go well with a Mustang badge.
Of course, there's more than one way to see this. While those critics' opinions are valid, one could also argue that this is just a new evolution in the Mustang lineup.
Many car badges in the past have ceased to exist just because they no longer fit with the times. Others continue to evolve through each generation to stay relevant to newer generations of drivers. Perhaps when it comes to the Mach-E, what we're witnessing is Ford's attempt at carrying an iconic name like that of Mustang into the environmentally-conscious and high-tech future.
Will it be successful? Will new car buyers respond well to the latest and most modern member of the Mustang family? Or will the difference be too much for car buyers to accept?
Only time will tell.
Will the Mustang Mach-E Be Available in Australia?
Last but not least, we come to the million-dollar question – will the Mustang Mach-E ever come to Australian shores? For the time being, there seem to be conflicting reports all over. Some sources are saying that it isn't on its way to Australia, but others are saying that it's coming, though no one seems to know how much it’ll cost. There are talks, however, that the Ford Mustang Mach-E is going to be worth around $44,000 in the United States.
With all this in mind, what do you think? Does the Mach-E deserve to carry the Mustang badge?
By Ray Hasbollah