WHEN you think of a Mustang, you imagine a loud, rampaging muscle car tearing down a long, straight American highway somewhere out west.
But Ford’s new all-electric Mustang Mach-E is totally silent, admittedly still rampaging, and was most recently driven by me around the wild west…Midlands.
It certainly looks a bit like a Mustang, and it’s got the iconic horse logo so the normies can spot it.
But you won’t hear it coming – it’s an ultra-quiet motoring machine from the future.
Thankfully, Ford has seemingly mastered time travel so you can buy one today. From a fairly thrifty ~£40,000, no less.
For your cash, you get monstrous acceleration, loads of space (because it’s an SUV), and gadgets galore.
For a start, the central screen is huge. Truly enormous.
It’s magnified somewhat by the fact that the dash is very minimalist.
You can use this glorious 15.5-inch behemoth of a screen to control almost every aspect of the car, including driving functions, audio systems, and mapping.
The UI is easy enough to navigate, although I found groping for the touchscreen temperature controls slightly distracting.
Easily solved by muscle memory for owners, mind.
Thankfully there’s a big physical dial at the bottom of the screen for controlling volume. Don’t fix what’s not broken.
The car also supports Apple CarPlay, the best thing to happen to car infotainment since FM radio.
It activates instantly and gives you access to Apple or Google Maps, your own personal music library, apps, messages, contacts and calls – all with a slick Apple finish.
And it’s a real delight on the mammoth touchscreen.
There’s also a second 10.2-inch instrument screen behind the wheel, which gives you details on speed, range and battery percentage.
The Mustang Mach-E has one of the most effective driver assist systems I’ve ever used.
The cruise control is adaptive, so it’ll do the speed you set – or reduce to whatever the car in front is doing.
You can also tweak the “tailing” distance, so you can stay far back on a rainy day, or keep a bit closer if you’re in a convoy.
And there’s a full sensory kit that offers proper lane assist too.
So even if you take your hands off the wheel, it will steer itself, keeping between the lanes.
You can feel the nudge of this system working as you hold the wheel.
Of course, if the car thinks you’re not paying attention with full control of the wheel, it’ll warn you.
It worked exceptionally well. It was as close as I’ve found to Tesla’s autonomous modes – though still not quite as sophisticated.
You’ve also got the usual parking assist features, including brilliant reversing cameras and a top-down view that makes sliding into any spot very easy.
Needless to say, the car is electric. In some ways, it’s like a ghost of Mustang’s combustive past, racing silently through the afterlife.
And like a ghost, it’s truly terrifying – at least when the pedal hits the floor and the electric motor pushes it to light speed.
The all-wheel drive model has an impressive peak power of 351PS.
In the infotainment system is the option to choose the ‘Untamed’ drive mode, which is a real treat.
The Premium AWD model I drove manages zero to 60mph in just 4.8 seconds “untamed”. That’s blisteringly fast for an SUV.
If you’re a proper speed freak, you can fork out for GT Performance Edition, which will do it in 3.5 seconds.
There’s also a cult-like joy of being in the EV crowd.
I stopped at the truly luxurious Moto services at Rugby (it’s well worth a visit), and pulled up alongside the usual fleet of Teslas, as well as a smattering of Audi E-Trons, Nissan Leafs (Leaves?), and a very fierce Porsche Taycan.
We all sat on nearby benches, smugly soaking up the sun and enjoying our lunches. Much kale and hummus was likely consumed.
Anyway, the rapid charger took the Mach-E from 50% to 85% in comfortably under half an hour.
It fast-charges to 80%, and then slows right down for the last 20% to extend the battery’s lifespan.
And sitting there in the glorious July sunshine, it all felt very utopian.
One of the lesser-talked-about joys is that you charge where you park. So there’s no popping into the services, coming back out, driving over to the petrol station, getting out, filling up, getting back in again. It’s just very easy.
Charging at home was easy, too. A lengthy cable nipped through the window and into the mains with minimal fuss. It’s slow, sure – but a good 14-hour charge overnight will give you plenty of juice.
The range is very impressive. A full charge was reading out at just north of 300 miles.
And I found the mileage to be pretty much dead-on. Something rarely said about petrol MPGs.
I thought I’d be driving around in constant fear of needing a charge, but you get so much mileage and re-juicing is so easy that it’s no fuss at all.
Oh, and because it’s electric (and therefore engine-free), you get a boot and a front trunk. A frunk. Amazing.
The Mustang Mach-E’s public perception is a tale of two halves.
It’s a real head-turner: everyone checks it out because it looks huge, very sporty, and is still a rare sight on roads.
But when you speak to people, they all say the same thing: “It looks great, but they shouldn’t have put a Mustang badge on it.”
I thought this too. But that was before I sat in it.
One of the things Mustang owners love about their Mustangs is that they go fast when you put your foot down.
Blimey, does the Mach-E go. It shoots off like a rocket, and certainly fast enough to scare your petrolhead mates.
In fact, I suspect many Mustang fanatics would find themselves delighted after spending a few minutes in the Mach-E.
It makes a joke of many high-end cars from a stop, and it’s cheaper than a fuel-only Mustang to run by a long way.
It’s like someone took the raw concept of a Mustang, handed it over to Silicon Valley whiz-kids, and said “remake this for 2021”.
The car is brimming with tech, lives up to its predecessor in terms of speed, and will probably save the planet too.
In fact, it’s arguably even lower emissions than the wild horses after which the Mustang is named. They fart, after all.
All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing, but may have since changed. Always do your own research before making any purchase. We tested the Mustang Mach-E 5-door (Extended Range) AWD, which costs around £58,000.
- Ford Mustang Mach-E from £41,330 – buy here
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