Ford Mustang Mach – E a new era for Rural Revival?
In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet says unto Romeo; “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” Romeo and Juliet (Act, Scene ii). This refers to the fact that despite that fact that her family the Capulet’s are antagonistic to his family the Montague’s, she loves him for being him, not his name. Having now seen Ford’s newly launched all electric Mustang Mach-E, I think many will feel the same over its name.
It’s undoubtedly a good looking car, but as Ford openly states that this has the styling of an SUV/Coupe, does it deserve the Mustang name?
I had my first opportunity to view and sit in the Mustang Mach-E in London recently, hopefully a drive won’t be far off. Having learnt about Ford’s electric strategy and its endeavours to bring easy charging to the mass market it was time for the ‘reveal’. On stage a ‘rapid red’ version was shown and rotated to get the all round view. And yes, overall there is a family resemblance, albeit the the Mach-E looks shorter and higher. It’s also a four door coupe with the interior space of an SUV, something not previously associated with the brand. On these occasions it’s that first impression that matters and there was something that to me didn’t gel. The wheels looked too small for the arches. On closer inspection this proved to be an illusion caused by the black wheel arch extensions. On another model, in ‘iconic silver’, the wheel arches were body coloured and looked much better.
The four door coupe body style means that it’s capable four seater, more so than its petrol predecessor. The front view to my mind isn’t its best feature. The plain rather slab like front panel doesn’t give it a friendly face. Some have likened it to a frog lip, not sure I’d go that far. No doubt someone will soon produce a decal to give the front the appearance of a grille. From the rear quarters and around the back it’s a much better design and the Mustang DNA is much more evident. The tail lights really making the link to the originals.
A press button on the drivers door gives access to the interior. Slipping inside, the interior follows the current styling trend with a large centrally positioned tablet screen and a large digital panel in front of the driver. Unlike some makes the basic controls are on conventional stalks, which is much preferred and easier to rapidly access than having it all on the tablet. The dash interior furnishings are of a quality higher than expected with a mixture of soft and rigid surfaces. Good to see that even the hard composites have a good look and feel, maybe not up to prestige marques but an upgrade on those normally associated with Ford. The leather covered seats are comfortable and move about electrically, 8 way adjustment being standard. The panoramic roof, another stand fit, helped to lighten the cabin’s overall very dark trim. This was a pre-production vehicle and LHD, but had many of the features that will come on the UK cars when deliveries start later in the year. The next generation Ford SYNC® communication and entertainment system is installed, but I was unable to test this in the short time available.
To get it down the road there’s a choice of two or four wheel drive platforms and a further choice of either a standard 75.7kWh or performance 98.9kWh battery packs. Performance figures depend on the driving mode selected (Whisper, Engage or Unbridled – don’t ask) but will be in the 7 to 8 second range for 0-60mph (0-100km/h). A sportier version The Mustang Mach-E GT is scheduled to be offered later. This will offer a sub 5 seconds 0-60 time with a predicted 465PS (342kW) and around 830Nm of torque.
Underneath there’s a traditional MacPherson strut set up at the front and an independent multilink arrangement at the back. Coupled with modern multi acronym electronic controls it’ll probably handle safely unless extremely provoked.
Range won’t be an issue, with up to 370 miles on a charge and the fact that every town and village in the UK has electricity, there’ll always be somewhere to plug it in. Not something that’s true if you run out of carbon based liquid fuel in remote or even some urban areas. Maybe if village shops offered recharging and the local tea room offered refreshment with home made cakes whilst you wait, then a rural revival might just happen. There’s also 125,000 FordPass Charging Network locations in 21 countries across Europe to get additional electrons. With the increasing deployment of charging places this is going to get more civilised.
For the UK final prices and specifications are yet to be confirmed, but expect circa £40K as starting point.
So will this car lead to new love affair between man and machine, not sure. Or will it end in tragedy? A key factor will be how it drives and the emotions that raises. You’ll need to keep an eye on Ford’s updates as the year progresses. I should get a chance to drive one later in the year, if so I’ll certainly report my findings.
Now if there’s a soft top version …..