Push the dashboard-mounted button that starts the Mach-E and the car emits a quiet but intense and throbbing musical motif that – and this simply has to be deliberate – sounds remarkably similar to the first bar or two of Harold Faltermeyer’s intro for the Top Gun theme. Look through the Mustang- logoed steering wheel and you’ll also notice it says ‘Ground Speed’ on the slim digital screen that stands in the place of a traditional instrument binnacle.
No, the Mach-E does not try quite as hard to tap into a certain cultural zeitgeist as the V8-engined Mustang, but superficial trappings are there to be noticed. These might irritate you; to us, it’s all harmless fun.
Word has it that this cockpit was originally going to borrow heavily from the Focus, but when Ford realised just how important its first ever ground-up electric car was going to be, that changed. Now, only some of the switchgear is obviously taken from the parts bin, although, as a whole, the place still falls some way short of the standards set by the Polestar 2 for materials variety and perceived quality.
True, there are fewer hard plastics in here than you’ll find in the Volkswagen ID 4, and the stitched ‘leather’ seats and woven dashboard trim elevate the Mach-E above standard Ford fare (as well they might, given the asking price), but the cockpit was never going to be the main event with this car, and that’s how it feels. Fit and finish isn’t uniformly excellent, and visually the place is fairly drab.