Motoring: A New Ford Mustang For A New Age

By Declan Glynn

by Gazette Reporter
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Named after a World War II fighter plane, the original Ford Mustang created a whole new class of automobile when it was launched in the US in 1964. The Mustang went on to become one of the most desirable sports cars ever made, and it became a fully-fledged ‘muscle car’ in the process too. The first European-spec Ford Mustang only arrived in Ford dealerships across Europe in 2015 (over half a century after the original) – giving buyers their very first chance to drive the new muscle car in right-hand drive format. Engine options consisted of 2.3-litre or 5.0-litre petrol units, so it certainly wasn’t the car of choice for savvy buyers looking for low running costs or low emissions.

Fully-Electric SUV.

The iconic Mustang nameplate now adorns a brand-new fully-electric SUV that brings with it all of the benefits of driving electric, but with some sports car driving thrills in the mix. The Mach-E’s all-new platform has been developed by Ford Team Edison to take full advantage of the performance-enhancing weight distribution and torque delivery of an all-electric powertrain. The lithium-ion battery is located centrally between the axles, and beneath the floor, for a low centre of gravity that supports sporty Mustang dynamics.

The high-performance batteries are secured inside a waterproof case, which is surrounded by crash absorption protection. An advanced active liquid heating and cooling system regulates battery temperatures for optimised performance in extreme weather, improved charging times, and sustained high-speed driving. Ford has included three driving modes for the Mach-E: Active is the default setting, followed by the eco-focused Whisper mode, and Untamed which prioritises performance. Each mode modifies the throttle and steering responses, along with changes to the ambient lighting within the cabin. Impressively, the Untamed setting also adds a computer generated V8 engine sound, which adds a new dynamic to the overall driving experience.

Drivetrain & Battery Options.

The Mustang Mach-E is split into rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) models, each of which offers Standard or Extended Range set-ups with usable battery capacities of 70kWh and 91kWh respectively. Power outputs range from 265bhp for the Standard Range RWD car (in ‘Select’ trim), through to 290bhp for the Extended Range model (in ‘Premium’ trim), and the AWD Extended Range version with 346bhp (also ‘Premium’ trim). The top-of-the-range Mustang Mach-E ‘GT’ offers 480bhp and a thumping 860Nm of torque. The Mach-E is a tall, muscular and strikingly-designed five-seat SUV, and the clever use of roof colours and window shaping gives the impression of a coupé-like profile. With a boot capacity of 402-litres behind the split-folding rear seats, and another 100-litres of space available in the ‘frunk’ (front boot), the Mach-E has practicality on its side too. For times when the need arises, the rear seatbacks can be dropped to reveal up to 1,420-litres of usable space.

Review Car Details.

My review car was a Mustang Mach-E RWD Extended Range model which looked stunning in its Space White paintwork. In place of traditional door handles, the Mach-E has (at the front) plastic hooks that protrude from the B-pillar. To open the car you have to press a touch-sensitive button above the hook, while rear-seat passengers have to press a flush-fitting button on the C-pillar to gain access.

The futuristic touches continue inside the car’sspacious cabin too. A massive 15.5” touchscreen dominates the middle of the dash and is very user friendly. The most frequently-used, and most useful information is easily accessible on the touchscreen, and there are well-placed shortcuts for important functions too. An array of digital instruments in front of the driver provide key information such as speed, range, and battery charge without unnecessary layers of configuration and options. Unique settings for shock absorbers, springs, anti-roll bars, steering and powertrain have been tailored for European roads, enabling the five-seat SUV to tackle motorways and twisty back roads with ease. The One Pedal Drive function in the Mach-E returns more kinetic energy to the battery for greater efficiency, and this is just one of the advanced technologies employed to deliver the most comfortable and confidence-inspiring Ford ownership experience yet.

The one-pedal driving experience is so intuitive you will almost never touch the brake pedal, but this is a selectable feature, so choosing the one-pedal mode is purely optional. On the road, the Mach-E is refined and stable and, compared with some rivals, it offers a more lively interaction with the driver. Producing 290bhp and 430Nm of torque, a 0-100km/h sprint can be completed in just 5.1-seconds from a rolling start, and a single charge can accommodate a range of up to 600kms on a WLTP combined driving cycle. Recharging the Mach-E is a fast and simple task. For ultimate convenience, the SUV can be charged from 0-80% in as little as 8 hours from a 7.4kWh domestic wallbox charger, with a similar charge achievable in as little as 38 minutes from a fast charge public charge point. Making its debut in the Mach-E is Ford’s SYNC 4A infotainment system for a highly personalised in-car experience. Machine learning helps better understand drivers habits over time, learning from each drivers’ routines to make the right navigation and communication suggestions at the right time, enabling drivers to concentrate of the road ahead.

Verdict & Pricing.

Overall, the new Mustang Mach-E is an outstanding EV to drive, and is packed with cutting-edge technology, while its head-turning style – along with its iconic Mustang branding – provides occupants with a true sense of occasion on every journey. Pricing starts at €67,666 for the Mustang Mach-E ‘Select’ RWD Standard Range (326-440km).

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