16 February 2024

Ford Mustang Mach-E review: It's the fastest Ford ever sold, but is that enough?

| James Coleman
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Ford Mustang Mach-E

A purebred Mustang or a one-trick pony? Photo: James Coleman.

“It’s a V8, isn’t it?”

The groundskeeper at Thoroughbred Park is asking the obvious question. I’ve pulled up alongside the horse-racing track in Lyneham in my borrowed Ford Mustang for a photoshoot, and he’s warned me I might have to move before the horses thunder past “in case they get scared”.

Yeah, that’s not going to be a problem with this Ford Mustang. This is the Mach-E model, which has been on sale in the US for some years now but is fresh to Australia. And yes, it’s an electric SUV.

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You’ve doubtless heard all the commentary, by which I mean seething hatred. The trademark horse logo and rear lights are here, but that’s it. It seems like an imposter. A complete misreading of the room. Even a slight against Steve McQueen.

Probably to soften the blow, Ford has dialled the EV’s intrinsic ‘one trick’ up to 11 and made this their fastest production car in history. In top-of-the-range GT guise, 0-100 km/h takes 3.7 seconds. Or just enough time to make a noise like you’ve been punched in the spleen.

To further bring this home, they’ve then tacked the ‘Mach’ name onto it, meaning – according to the dictionary – “to be macho … commonly used as a term to describe the actions of males who have very high testosterone levels and feel an obligation to demonstrate their manliness”.

No, wait – that’s the Urban Dictionary. Mach is a unit of measurement for the speed of sound, so ‘Mach 1’ is 1225 km/h. Either way, you get what Ford’s going for …

There are three Mach-E models on sale – the Select from $72,990, the Premium from $86,990, and this, the GT, from $104,990. The Select and Premium make do with one electric motor over the rear axle, but the Premium gets the bigger battery of the GT for a range of 600 km. However, because it must also satisfy the needs of another electric motor over the front axle, its range is lower at 490 km.

Yes, we’re talking about range on a Mustang. So over to the digital speedometer with its “ground speed” label, which caused my inner three-year-old to leap with joy. Until I hit my first bump and literally leaped.

There is clever suspension with magnetic fluid inside that’s “able to adjust 1000 times a second … to respond in real-time to changing road conditions”, but the ride, especially on the GT’s 20-inch alloys, is quite jiggly. Also good for a Mustang.

Not that you’re in the air for long. There is a lot of mass here – 2300 kg of it, to be precise.

Hunkered down in the racy seats, you gad about eagerly enough in ‘Whisper’ mode, but tap the ‘Untamed’ button on the iMax screen, and dig your spurs into it, and you’re in hyperspace. The steering is direct, and the enormous Brembo brakes are bitey. It’s no match for the aural theatre of a V8, but the ‘propulsion sound’ is cool too. You just don’t get to enjoy it for very long because … oh, we’re already at Mach 1.

There are some issues. Some of the plastics have mould lines, and the dial for the gears feels like it’s off a child’s toy oven. And the screen asked me to “please refer to the owner’s manual” to turn off the lane-keeping assistance.

But all in all, I found myself mentally comparing it to the Ferrari Purosangue, which the Italians go to great lengths to say is emphatically not an SUV but “the first car of the Prancing Horse having four doors and seats, a mix of performance, comfort and driving pleasure”.

The Mach-E comes across as a Mustang that happens to be a bit higher off the ground. And an EV. Oxymoron maybe. Sacrilege also maybe. But there’s no denying it’s tremendous fun.

Just be prepared to do a lot of explaining to the likes of Thoroughbred Park grounds people.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

They can’t be called ugly, either. Photo: James Coleman.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

  • $104,990 plus on-road costs
  • Dual electric motors, 358 kW / 860 Nm
  • 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds
  • 490 km estimated range
  • 4-star ANCAP safety rating.

This car was provided for testing by Gerald Slaven Ford, Belconnen. Region has no commercial arrangement with Gerald Slaven Motors.

Original Article published by James Coleman on Riotact.

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