2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Select - Review by David Colman +VIDEO
The car Tesla owners are trading up to!
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
Do you remember the epochal first generation Shelby Cobra? It was powered by a High Performance Ford 289 cubic inch V8 making 271hp. That two seater, based on the AC Ace platform, turned an eye-popping 0-60mph time of 5.8 seconds back in 1963. Then came its Shelby stable mate, the GT350 Mustang of 1965, which cranked out an equally startling 0-60mph time of 5.5 seconds.
Well, sports car enthusiasts, welcome to 2021, the year Ford's electric powered Mustang Mach-E jumps from zero to sixty in an even more satisfying time of 5.2 seconds. 428 lb.-ft. of torque does wonders for instant grunt. You will note the Mach-E's sprint eclipses the acceleration times of the two most legendary sports cars Ford has ever made. Even more amazing, the Mach-E is no stripped-down two-seat conveyance, but a fully conceived sports utility package that jumps off the starting line like a 289 Cobra, then eats up curves like the original Mustang GT350. Ford calls this brave new world "Exhilaration Electrified."
All this swell performance can be yours for just $42,895. And since the Mustang Mach-E qualifies for the maximum $7,500 Federal Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit, the effective out-the-door price reduces to just $35,395. If, however, you want to increase range from 250 to 350 miles, you will need to order the $5,000 optional "88KWH USABLE EXT BATTERY" . A lot of enthusiasts have been slow to accept Ford's use of the name Mustang for the Mach-E. After all, since 1964, the company has been building a continuous succession of Mustang 2+2 coupes powered by a wide variety of gasoline and hybrid drive trains. While Ford has no plans to discontinue that fabled line, the new addition to the family definitely earns its right to the name based on my recent drive in a Mach-E. Unlike so many of the pretentiously futuristic E-cars I have driven over the past few years (Chevy Spark, Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius, Jaguar I-Pace, and most recently, VW ID.4), Ford has thankfully refused to make the Mach-E daringly different in looks, operation or feel just for the sake of being different.
When you climb into the well padded driver's seat of this handsome vehicle, you immediately note Ford has taken strict measures with the layout of the interior to make the control interface familiar to driver's of conventionally powered vehicles. This effort is much appreciated, especially in view of the infuriating visual and operational complexity electric car manufacturers feel compelled to impose on their unwitting customers. For example, the Mach-E has a lovely, knurled shift dial located on the top of the center console, right where you would expect to find it. Likewise, the exterior mirror adjustments are handled by an array of switches located on the driver's armrest, easy to locate and easy to use.
In action, the Mach-E responds to the accelerator pedal with the kind of response and alacrity you would expect of a sports car. Throttle actuation is progressive, not overly nervous. Brake feel is commendably free of the disconcertingly wooly feel that plagues so many electric powered and hybrid vehicles. If you choose to opt for full regenerative braking, the choice is available via a dialogue box on the Mustang's enormous central video screen. A helpful auxiliary video screen, horizontally located directly behind the steering wheel, imparts critical information like battery charge life remaining, road speed, and traffic sign information. Frontal and side visibility is excellent, and acceptably good to the rear, even with the back seats and headrests fully erect. If you choose to make your reverse moves while using the display screen camera, you can adjust the size of the image from large to extra large.
The most outstanding achievement of this new Ford is that it will transport you into the future of electric transportation without requiring you to adapt to a new ethos of weirdness. In other words, you can jump from a gas powered vehicle into the seat of a Mach-E and accept the future of driving without the need to earn a PhD first. As Car and Driver put it, "If an automaker wanted to convert people from EV skeptics to EV evangelists, it's hard to imagine a better vehicle for the job than the Ford Mustang Mach-E."
As you might expect, Bay Area Ford Dealers are thrilled to add this ecologically groovy goldmine to their inventory. Unfortunately, microchip, battery and steel shortages have resulted in delivery delays. Compared to last year, Ford deliveries have dropped by 325,000 units in 2021. Standing next to the only Mustang Mach-E on the lot, Walnut Creek Ford General Manager Camron Savarani says "A lot of them are basically pre-selling. Customers are putting deposits on them before they even get here." Meanwhile, over in Novato, longtime Marin County Ford salesman Glenn Ross had this telling observation about Ford's new product: "At one point we had 5 used Teslas sitting here that we took in trade on Mach E's. The owners swapped cars after finding out that Ford, unlike Tesla, knows how to make a really comfortable driver's seat."
2021 FORD MUSTANG MACH-E
MOTOR: Permanent magnet Synchronous AC
ENERGY CONSUMPTION: EPA COMBINED/90MPGe
PRICE AS TESTED: $42,895
HYPES: Looks Good, Drives Well, Sensibly Conceived
GRIPES: Availability Fluctuates
STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10