The Real Reason Ford called its new EV the Mustang Mach-E
Ford has finally revealed its first full-fledged horse in the electric vehicle race, the Mustang Mach-E.
It joins Audi, Volkswagen, Jaguar, and Chevy in making its first long-range EV a crossover/SUV—which makes the use of the Mustang name controversial for automotive purists.
One only needs to check the comment section of any article or video about the Mustang Mach-E to read people decrying the choice of name. For more than 50 years, Mustang has been the nameplate for a two-door gas-guzzling American performance car icon.
While the primary Mustang isn’t going anywhere, its brand has been applied to the modern-day body style most used for hauling families and getting groceries.
Ford, for their part, says the name is largely symbolic in nature.
Ever since the original Mustang took the world by storm in 1964, it quickly came to represent the best of the American spirit: Freedom, progress, fast performance and a touch of rebellion. Now, Mustang is ready to reimagine these ideas for a powerful electric future.” – Ford Mustang Mach-E Press Release
Ford chose to build an SUV for the same reason almost every other automaker has done so for their first all-electric offering: they’re what sell.
In sticking the Mustang nameplate on this car, Ford is giving this electric car its best chance at success. Mustang has serious name recognition and hype behind it—people will pay attention when it shows up.
The controversy will spur the creation of more articles like this one along with videos and online arguments—all giving a signal boost to the car’s existence.
Most importantly, the use of the Mustang brand defines the niche Ford is carving out for the Mach-E. Just as a BMW M or Mercedes AMG brings performance to mind, Ford knows Mustang does the same.
With the name, modern Mustang-inspired styling, and website copy about “exhilarating performance,” Ford is positioning the Mustang Mach-E to be the pick for people who want the best-performing electric crossover available. The Driver’s Choice.
Ford is planning on giving the Mustang Mach-E the power to back it up, though these numbers aren’t official just yet.
While the standard and extended range cars are reasonably quick with their five-to-six second 0–60 mph time, the Mustang Mach-E GT is where the real power lies. Its AWD electric motors put out 459 hp and 612 lb.-ft of torque and will hit 60 mph in the mid-threes.
At an MSRP of $60,500, the Mach-E GT is on par with the Model Y Performance, and that’s before the full $7,500 tax credit Ford is still eligible for. Its estimated range of 250 miles is just a little short of Tesla’s crossover at 280 miles.
The entry-level Select trim starts at $43,895 and only gets access to the Standard Range battery, though the buyer can choose to upgrade to AWD for $2,700. The higher Premium trim comes with additional niceties like heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a panoramic glass roof, a power lift tailgate, and a more powerful 150 kW DC Fast charge rate. It starts at $50,500 with the Standard Range RWD powertrain and can be optioned with any of the battery/drive configurations for the listed price above.
Adding value to the package is that all Mustang Mach-Es get Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0—the Detroit automaker’s complicated brand name for its suite of driver assistance features—as standard equipment.
It comes with everything you’d expect—rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot warning, automatic emergency braking, auto high-beams—but it also comes with adaptive cruise control and lane centering. That sounds like Ford’s version of basic Autopilot.
Also worth noting is the car’s size. It can be hard to get a grasp of the size of a four-door SUV based on press photos alone, but its dimensions of 186 inches long, 74 inches wide, and 64 inches high puts it at almost exactly the same size as the Porsche Macan and only slightly larger than the Jaguar I-Pace.
The Mach-E is actually an inch or two smaller than the Mustang coupe both lengthwise and widthwise, though the roofline and seating position are obviously much taller. Coincidentally, its 5.7-inch ride height is exactly the same as its sports car stablemate.
With a big Lithium-ion battery under the floor, the Mustang Mach-E should have a relatively low center of gravity, which could give the car an edge when it comes to handling. Whether or not Ford will deliver positive handling characteristics or a floaty, uninspired ride is yet to be seen.
It also remains to be seen if the American car-buying public will recognize the spirit of the Mustang in the Mach-E, or if the resemblance is only skin deep.