We ride shotgun in Ford's debut electric car to find out if it does more than share a name with the most famous pony car in the world
Andrew Frankel Autocar
18 November 2019

It is fair to say that there was considerable debate as to whether to call Ford’s first full EV a Mustang.

Actually, I understand there was something closer to a massive punch up over the issue, figuratively if not literally speaking. And you can see why: here is a high and heavy five door electric SUV. And they choose this as the first Mustang to depart from the two door sports coupe script in the 55 year history of the original pony car.

UPDATE: The Ford Mustang Mach-E has been revealed - full story here

The calculation is clear: while the ‘proper’ Mustang continues in the production it is Ford’s estimate that the number of additional EV early adopters who will be seduced by the name will be greater than the number of die-hard traditionalists who’ll spit their coffee over their cornflakes while reading this and vow never to buy another Ford again.

So what can I tell you after a very short ride in its passenger seat? In the way of such things, nothing like as much as I would wish. But some things are clear, nevertheless. The car feels like a real departure for Ford, and not just because it lacks an internal combustion engine. It has a sense of genuine quality and clearly quite enormous efforts have been made creating a state of the art interior, especially so far as the massive and rather Tesla-like central infotainment screen is concerned. It works really well.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

The car is exceptionally spacious too: four six footers could easily go on holiday together, there’s a decent boot and a quite brilliant ‘frunk’ (front trunk) lined in hard plastic with drain holes. The idea is you can fill it with ice and beer, transport anything from raw fish to hot curry without the smell reaching the cabin and, of course, dump the kids’ filthy games gear and then just hose it out afterwards.

There’s a standard and long range battery, rear or four wheel drive and choice of 254 or 332bhp power outputs, and that’s before the 465bhp ‘GT’ version comes along some time after sales begin in around a year’s time. Prices will range from somewhere around £40,000 to £65,000 for a fully loaded ‘First Edition’. The GT will cost over £70k. With the big battery its WLTP range is up to an impressive 370 miles.

There are three drive modes, ‘whisper, the default ‘engage’ and ‘unbridled’ (because this is a pony car, geddit?). In the last of these a rather unconvincing cod-V8 rumble is played through the speakers though, to be fair, you can turn it off.

From the passenger seat, the First Edition model I travelled in felt quick enough to make me wonder whether I’d even want the GT. Ford says it’s mid 5secs to 60mph which feels about right. The GT is mid threes. It seemed composed through a slalom course for a two tonne SUV – thank the ultra-low centre of gravity for that and on entirely untaxing Los Angeles boulevards, rode plausibly well.

But none of that even starts to answer the fundamental question. There’s nothing I saw or experienced to suggest Ford has built anything other than a very capable and likeable electric SUV, but nor was there also anything to suggest it is in any way a credible addition to the Mustang stable – pun entirely intended. I’m not saying it’s not, only that to even begin to make that judgement will require not a short ride but a long drive. And for that I’m afraid is going to be many months from now. 

Ford Mustang Mach-E First Edition specification

Where Los Angeles, USA Price £65,000 (estimated) On sale October 2020 Engine Twin electric motors Power 332bhp Torque 351lb ft Gearbox single-speed automatic Kerb weight 2100kg (approximate) Top speed TBC 0-62mph 5.5sec Battery 75kWh (99kWh with extended range) Range 370 miles (WLTP) CO2 0g/km Rivals Jaguar I-Pace, Audi E-tron

READ MORE

Electric Ford Mustang Mach-E is Model Y rival

Exclusive: the future of Ford, according to its bosses

Join the debate

Comments
12

18 November 2019

I don't care what's it's called or what it looks like, as long as the lineup of affordable EVs gets bigger and takes ICE cars off the roads it cant be anything other than a good thing.

I attended a seminar in London last week about pollution and its effects on the world climate and was shocked at how quickly our climate as a whole was changing and how within our lifetimes it will have fundamental effects for the worse in how we live our lives.

I have known this for a long time but it was scientists saying how quickly the crisis was coming that was deeply disturbing. Just a decade or so away will be the point of no return. Whether that short timeline is true or not it's obvious we are now going in that direction.

So bring on more EVs in any shape or form or name.

 

18 November 2019
lambo58 wrote:

I have known this for a long time but it was scientists saying how quickly the crisis was coming that was deeply disturbing. Just a decade or so away will be the point of no return. Whether that short timeline is true or not it's obvious we are now going in that direction.

So bring on more EVs in any shape or form or name.

 

Wow, you're so far ahead of the curve. Taking inspiration from your hero, rocketman.

18 November 2019

I agree, even though I drive an EV myself I have taken my eye off the ball.

It's just that the timeline from respected scientists who have no axe to grind have made the problem even more frightening.

Be nice if this mag would take up the cause more but all they seem engaged in is shouting the odds about the latest giant horsepower figures from gas guzzlers 

Rediculous

18 November 2019

Looks  like  a good new addition to the all electric car choice ,not sure all these over wrought comments are really necassary lets stick to subject in hand 

18 November 2019

Yes, the car, that's the subject matter here, the topic we're meant to be posting about, first, the price, £65K for an EV SUV/ Saloon isn't that dear compared to others, the trunk/ boot thing, I'd be surprised if people used it this way.........

18 November 2019

What do you care?

18 November 2019
Peter Cavellini wrote:

Yes, the car, that's the subject matter here, the topic we're meant to be posting about, first, the price, £65K for an EV SUV/ Saloon isn't that dear compared to others, the trunk/ boot thing, I'd be surprised if people used it this way.........

Err yes Peter, the car. Well... it seems it'll offer good value and make life very difficult for that weed toting Springbok and his rickety over priced junkets, but it'll never be a patch on the mighty Jaguar I Pace. Good luck to them I say, although I'm still not too sure the Mustang branding will work, but then, Ford never did and never will understand brand management

18 November 2019

Can anyone please explain why this (like the Jag I-Pace) is being called an SUV?

Sporty? Not really, it's a "high and heavy (2 tonne) 5-door car", as Andrew says.

Utility? With a 400l boot? Not vewry utility.

Vehicle? Fair enough, it is a vehicle.

 

18 November 2019
Jeremy wrote:

Can anyone please explain why this (like the Jag I-Pace) is being called an SUV?

Sporty? Not really, it's a "high and heavy (2 tonne) 5-door car", as Andrew says.

Utility? With a 400l boot? Not vewry utility.

Vehicle? Fair enough, it is a vehicle.

 

Because no one wants largish 5 door hatchbacks anymore, so call them something else.

Would it get as much attention had they called it the 'new' Fusion or Mondeo?

18 November 2019

why have they called this car Mustang?  The Mustang was traditionally a 2 door sports car with a V8 engine.  This is a 5 door hatchback and, frankly, looks like a Jag F Pace.  Would it have been so difficult to come up with a new name?

and that ipad on the central console?  Wow.  I thought it was just Tesla that made truly hideous interiors, but it seems Ford have decided to join them.  Certainly won’t be on my shopping list when we eventually decide to look for a new car.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week