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Mustang Mach-E, future or sacrilege? Ford’s electric pony amazed us

For years, the Tesla Model 3 has been considered the main choice for those who wanted to switch to electric mobility, without sacrificing fundamental requirements: quality, technology, space onboard, and travel tranquility. All the proposals of the competition always seemed to be a step backward on one of these aspects, or even on multiple.

For this reason, when Ford announced in November 2019 that it would soon have an all-electric car, ready to compete in that market segment, the reaction was a mixture of curiosity and hope. Sensations also mixed with a bit of disbelief when it was revealed that the first electric car of the Blue Oval would be a Mustang. Not considering the fans of the pony car, of which we are not part, the doubt of many was whether it would really be possible to maintain an identity strongly linked to the large-displacement gasoline engine, switching to electrons and magnets.

Since the first reviews the Mustang Mach-E has collected many positive opinions, some criticism but, above all, many orders from customers, so we too wanted to test the car for a long time, to grasp its strengths and weaknesses, and to understand if the operation set up by Ford is really the beginning of something new, but linked to tradition. We then got behind the wheel of the car, used as the first car for two weeks, in every type of context, so as to obtain conclusions that are not only daughters of an impromptu test, but as close as possible to real use. Everything is described in our video, but you can also read it in the rest of the article below.

The Mustang Mach-E that we were able to drive is the all-wheel-drive version, with two motors, one per axle, for a total power of 258 kW, all supported by the larger battery of the two available, the 99 kWh one. Of these about a dozen are a safety buffer not really usable, to ensure greater longevity to the accumulator. There are no major technical differences between the various available equipment, especially with regard to the interiors, which always have two displays. One is small and dedicated to the instrumentation behind the steering wheel, while the main one is a bit the hallmark of Ford’s new electric cars, with 15 inches of diagonal and vertical orientation. It is obviously a touch screen, which replaces practically all physical controls, with the exception of the strange knob at the bottom.

The car is classified as an SUV, or crossover if you like, although Ford’s designers have done everything to get a sleek and sporty line, which does not clash too much with the Mustang logo. In fact, the references to the style of the old ponies are there, but at the same time, the differences are evident and inevitable. The car is higher from the ground and has a rear that looks truncated, due to the strange union between the SUV and the typical Mustang headlights. In general, however, the appearance is pleasant and elegant, as has not been seen for some time in Ford cars.

But at the wheel of a car like this, which winks at the single but also appeals to families, can you really have fun like with a Mustang? Probably the electric propulsion has made the task easy for the designers, thanks to the well-known power available immediately at zero rpm, which makes the car snappy and with a burning acceleration, perhaps more than a classic Mustang, although obviously you have to give up the sound of the V8. But you have fun, and how, especially when you are in a winding road where you can push more on changes of direction and accelerations at the exit of the curve, the real strength of the electric cars. Here, however, some defects also emerge, in part perhaps due to the haste in the development of the project. The car has an important weight, over 2,000 kg, and the battery cannot fully balance the center of gravity, despite being positioned on the bottom of the floor and is in turn very heavy. If you exaggerate the car tends to widen in curves, and you feel a slight loss of grip. Tires with 225 mm tread do not make things easier, perhaps chosen not to impact too much on consumption, but which pay something in terms of grip. Extremely positive vote instead for the braking system, very ready and effective in all situations, and which offers good sensitivity to the pedal but which does not betray as soon as you sink a little more. It’s probably some of the best we’ve ever tried. The suspension is a fair compromise between comfort and performance, and a slight roll is therefore understandable in some situations. Nothing compromising.

But at the wheel of a car like this, which winks at the single but also appeals to families, can you really have fun like with a Mustang? Probably the electric propulsion has made the task easy for the designers, thanks to the well-known power available immediately at zero rpm, which makes the car snappy and with a burning acceleration, perhaps more than a classic Mustang, although obviously you have to give up the sound of the V8. But you have fun, and how, especially when you are in a winding road where you can push more on changes of direction and accelerations at the exit of the curve, the real strength of the electric cars. Here, however, some defects also emerge, in part perhaps due to the haste in the development of the project. The car has an important weight, over 2,000 kg, and the battery cannot fully balance the center of gravity, despite being positioned on the bottom of the floor and is in turn very heavy. If you exaggerate the car tends to widen in curves, and you feel a slight loss of grip. Tires with 225 mm tread do not make things easier, perhaps chosen not to impact too much on consumption, but which pay something in terms of grip. Extremely positive vote instead for the braking system, very ready and effective in all situations, and which offers good sensitivity to the pedal but which does not betray as soon as you sink a little more. It’s probably some of the best we’ve ever tried. The suspension is a fair compromise between comfort and performance, and a slight roll is therefore understandable in some situations. Nothing compromising.

Then there is obviously all the part of technology related to electric motorization and assisted driving. Let’s start from the latter, level 2 as expected, with excellent cruise control and precise and soft lane keeping. The car always holds the center of the roadway, and it doesn’t have that “bounce” effect we’ve come across at times. The Mach-E gets “angry” after a few seconds if we leave the steering wheel and forces us to bring our hands back into position with sound and visual alerts. The small display also indicates if we are too close to those who precede us, but it sins in indicating what it sees and where it will turn. In fact, you have to trust the system, without being able to see in advance if it has seen us right. We have never encountered any mistakes, but not knowing what the car will do does not help the process of trust in new technologies.

Then there is obviously all the part of technology related to electric motorization and assisted driving. Let’s start from the latter, level 2 as expected, with excellent cruise control and precise and soft lane keeping. The car always holds the center of the roadway, and it doesn’t have that “bounce” effect we’ve come across at times. The Mach-E gets “angry” after a few seconds if we leave the steering wheel and forces us to bring our hands back into position with sound and visual alerts. The small display also indicates if we are too close to those who precede us, but it sins in indicating what it sees and where it will turn. In fact, you have to trust the system, without being able to see in advance if it has seen us right. We have never encountered any mistakes, but not knowing what the car will do does not help the process of trust in new technologies.

At the beginning of our article, we talked about space on board and travel tranquility, and from our test, we got more than good data. As mentioned, the Mustang Mach-E was our family car for two whole weeks, and thanks to this long-lasting test we drove it in the city, in the suburban area, often on the highway, in the mountains, and in the hills, leaving it outdoors at night. A test therefore certainly not facilitated, and identical to real use. After almost 1,000 km traveled, the onboard system has returned a consumption of 21 kWh per 100 km, or if we want to reduce it to a minimum, 210 Wh / km. Certainly, not a value that represents an efficiency record, but that is quite valid considering how many high-speed sections have been traveled. But the comfort and tranquility factor of travel is fundamental for many customers, so we decided to make a second video, focusing on the capacity of the load compartments, and on the possible autonomy at certain speeds:

 

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