The name Mustang conjures up images of legendary muscle car Steve McQueen, Bullitt and that unforgettable car chase.
It was a classic and coveted bad boy. Before being made with a steering wheel on the right side, this car was sought after and brought to Ireland and England where it had a large and loyal following.
With a thirsty V8 engine, the last thing you can consider about a Mustang is being eco-friendly.
Of course the rubber comes off when the go pedal is pressed hard. There was a special edition version of Bullitt not too long ago with enhanced strength and has the noblest green paint job ever. It’s as if it’s the last fight of the heavyweights being overtaken by the newer and trendy con artists.
You can still buy a Mustang petrol engine called the Mach 1, but the emphasis has shifted from the E5 & E10, to the electron. It also lost the label of the car turning into an SUV.
Yes, an SUV. Gone is the sleek, low-slung look of the coupe to satisfy our craving for heights. Blasphemy you say? Well bear with me.
The Mach-E was Ford’s first debut into the electric car. A little late to the electric party it was worth the wait. And using that iconic name better fix it or break that legacy.
In the looks department, they followed some of the design cues from previous Mustangs with the familiarity most noticeable on the front and rear with the three-striped lenses.
I’m afraid to say claws if it’s a Peugeot trademark, but you get the picture. From the side it can be anyone’s car but what’s good is the sloping roof from the B pillar to the back which gives a sporty impression that lives up to its name.
Also noticeable is that there are no doorknobs, just a small pull-out handle.
That’s because it unlocks when your lock or phone is nearby or by pressing a button on the B-pillar.
You can even get into the car using the pin code on the touch-sensitive panel, again, on the B-pillar.
Very high tech, unobtrusive and functional.
Once inside, it’s possible to start the car using a code if you ever lose your phone or keys, however small they may be.
The Mustang logo is proudly displayed to let you know the car is something special, but Ford has refused to make it so ugly by keeping it proportioned.
Inside there would be no electric car without a central iPadesque “mine is bigger than yours” display. The way Mustang does this is by using a long screen.
It’s huge. All touches of course but, and I think they’re starting to listen; there are control buttons at the bottom of the screen for good old fashioned control. Very good.
There’s also a compact digital display driver that doesn’t overwhelm your visual senses either.
The interior is beautifully appointed and fits the €76,100 price tag for the 91kWh (98kWh) First Edition Extended Range model I drove.
The car contains Ford’s familiar controls and it’s no wonder they’re excellent, intuitive and well laid out.
The seats are what you’d expect for a sporty car and the steering wheel feels great and gives an excellent front wheel feel.
I picked up the Mustang Mach-E on my annual pilgrimage to the Blacklion in Cavan to visit McNeans Restaurant and was salivating at the expected food and twisty roads in Cavan.
We stopped at the Cavan for a snack and married it to a charging period that seems to be an electric lifestyle.
We were lucky to find an unused charger. Not that charging for casual use will be a problem as I manage 21kw/100kms giving me real world range from a 91kWh 433kms long range battery.
I can live with that. Ford’s figure is 540kms. On the expressway I keep it at a maximum speed of 110km/h to conserve battery while still making progress. Before I put it back I took it out to test its sporty credentials and boy can this thing move.
The most interesting feature is the acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h, where you really need it, when overtaking.
It can be done, for a “petrol” head, 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds of acceleration. Facts and numbers are one thing, but they don’t convey the experience of how fast and controlled the driving experience is.
I love taking this on a secondary path and love the confidence with which he overcomes everything.
It’s a fine SUV, but somehow Ford’s engineers have retained many of the reasons why you’ll always want a Mustang – it’s a glorious thing to drive.
Supply has been a problem for all car companies and Ford has not been spared. They will come but there is a bit of a waiting list.
The waiting list in the case of the Mustang Mach-E is mainly due to desire and buyers wanting something special that the Mustang name brings and thus has shaken up the dynamics of buying electric cars.
The big boys were caught with their pants down when the paradigm shift to electricity began with Tesla.
They are all back in the game now and with their automotive heritage and building knowledge and bringing out their assets.
The Mustang Mach-E is a perfect example of that.