Ford Mustang Mach-E: finally, the electric car that does it all

REQUIRED. If you’re of a certain age, the Mustang name will conjure up memories of the growling V-8 engine, rear-wheel drive, low-key driving position, and the hood that looks to stretch out to the horizon.

At Blighty, the Mustang is the definitive American muscle car. In fact, for many years it was America’s only muscle car (partly because General Motors didn’t bother importing the Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac GTO into the UK).

You can still buy a traditional Mustang. It has a 5.0-liter V8 engine that can turn the wheels in fourth position when you’re driving in a straight line and has the menacing coupe look that has made the Mustang generation so popular.

But now you can buy a Mustang again.

Just a little… different.

It doesn’t have a V-8 engine – in fact, it doesn’t have an engine at all – and, although it drives the rear wheels, it also sends power to the front wheels as well.

What bullshit is this?

The Mustang Mach-E shares the same name as its illustrious cousin and a few styling cues (like the taillights and hood) but in almost everything else it couldn’t be more different.

It’s not even a coupe; it’s an SUV

This isn’t bad news if you’re a performance car fan because in its top spec GT guise the Mach-E can still make 480bhp and, in true electric car mode, all that power is available pretty much instantly. Smash your right foot and the car goes. It weighs over two tons but reaches 62mph in a very impressive 3.7 seconds.

Even the entry level model has 265bhp, the standard model has the same horsepower but more torque and the long-range version trades performance for distance.

You can choose one of three modes. On, the default setting, is a reasonable mix of performance and range; The eco-focused Whisper mode prioritizes energy saving and the hilariously-named Untamed mode goes all out. Untamed’s setup is blazing fast, but the less V8 engine noise gets channeled into the cab through the speakers, the better.

Inside, the Mach-E offers a comfortable and usable interior. As a trend these days, most of the heating and infotainment switchgear has been dumped onto a large tablet-style touchscreen that looks as if it’s just stuck to the dashboard. It’s quite slick and the screen responds immediately to finger presses. Call me old fashioned but I still prefer to have a few knobs and knobs to play around with.

The main digital instrument cluster is clear, but no effort has been put into making any panel other than pure function, and the stem feels a bit cheap in a car for almost £60,000.

However, in the real world, Mach-E was a victory.

It has a realistic-to-empty range of over 300 miles and is the first EV I’ve tested that can handle long trips without the range anxiety that comes with it.

There’s a large 402-liter boot and a smaller one on the front that’s conveniently sized for a shopping bag and charging cable. The rear seats are split 60/40.

Three adults can fit in the back and since it’s an SUV, there’s ample headroom to put on a hat. The accommodations up front are very spacious, and the Mustang stays comfortable even on the furthest trips.

If you’re the driver of a company car, the in-kind benefit costs will put a smile on your face and if you bill them at home overnight, the Mustang will cost you a penny to run.

So should you get it? In fact, if you’re looking for an EV that mixes budget with performance, the Mustang pretty much demands to have it on your shopping list. Just don’t mention the V-8 soundtrack.

Price: from £40,350 Engine: battery-elec motor Maximum power: 480 bhp Maximum torque: 860 Nm Top speed: 112 mph 0-62MPH: 3.7 seconds

Northern Echo:

SUMMARY: More than just a one-trick pony, the Mustang is a great family car that lives up to its illustrious heritage. Powered by a battery that supplies current to several electric motors.

Want to know more? Click on the Ford Mustang Mach-E website here

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