What makes a Ford Mustang a Mustang? The Blue Oval clearly doesn’t think it’s the roaring V8 engine, low-slung coupe body or accessible price tag, as none are present in the Mach-E. Instead, you have idea of what a global, premium electric vehicle should be – a styled SUV with impressive if not ground-breaking performance, space for all the family and the second-longest all-electric range on the market.
Ford hasn’t handed us the keys just yet, but this week it allowed us an extensive prod and poke around a near-production model, as well as a short passenger ride across Central London.
How short was your ride in the Stang Mach-E?
Short enough that it’s nearly impossible to draw any conclusions on how the Mach-E rides or handles outside of the sub-30mph confines of Marble Arch and its surrounding roads.
The experience began in an underground car park where Ford had coned off a small area for a scant few seconds of full throttle. There isn’t an EV on the market that doesn’t deliver a satisfying surge of acceleration from a standstill, and the Mach-E joins that crowd.
It’s certainly quick, with 0-60mph dealt with in less than five seconds, but it doesn’t feel as though it’ll rearrange your face in the same way a Tesla would. Power outputs range 258bhp to 290bhp for single-motor variants, and 290bhp or 337bhp for dual-motor all-wheel drive cars. A GT-badged car will arrive later with 465bhp, claiming a sub-four-second 0-60mph sprint.
The Mach-E has three driving modes. They’re named Whisper, Engage, and (try not to cringe) Unbridled. Comfort, Normal, and Sport, come back – all is forgiven. You’ll also find a simple toggle for regenerative braking, called One-Pedal Mode. It’s a shame this won’t be more controllable.
What’s the Ford Mustang Mach-E like inside?
Our test ride is in a very pre-production model, with a big ‘STOP’ button atop the dashboard, a totally frozen infotainment system and mismatching stitching. Luckily, there’s a static car set up a short walk away so we can have a proper look around.
As with most electric cars, the skateboard-style battery compartment under the floor means it’s more of a step up than you might expect. But once ensconced in the cabin, the floor’s totally flat, and there’s ample space in all four seats.
The dashboard is, of course, dominated by that huge portrait infotainment screen. It’s 15.5 inches on the diagonal and controls the vast majority of the car’s functions – though, unlike the Tesla Model 3, driving data is presented on a secondary display behind the steering wheel.
The central screen is slick to operate but it’s disappointing to see how many menus and sub-menus you need to wade through in order to control basic driving functions. A couple of dedicated functions for these would be simpler, and more in keeping with the ‘Mustang’ part of ‘Mustang Mach-E.
There are buttons dotted around the cabin, too, which is slightly disappointing as they appear to be lifted directly from the common or garden Focus. The rest, though, feels impressively high-quality – and the full-width speaker bar on the dashboard is a really interesting touch. One whose power we appreciate when the door chimes come on at full volume.