The Mach-E might not be the sports car of your dreams, but its attention to detail and practicality make it one of the most exciting EVs for the SUV dominant market in North America.
Unlike other notable EVs like the PoleStar 2 and the Porsche Taycan that have looked to break speed records and offer a luxury experience, Ford has decided to focus its first fully-fledged EV at the mass market. This strategy is similar to what Volkswagen is doing in Europe with its ID.3 hatchback and Tesla with the Model Y.
This means the car is a bit more expensive than a traditional gas vehicle but offers a ton of high-end features to add value to its price.
Four years ago, Ford had a dream to build an electric car to convince consumers that electrification is the future. Two years after that, it formed Team Edison, a startup within the company that was able to move fast and innovate without the usual baggage that comes along with being a legacy automaker like Ford.
This startup culture was something the Edison team members couldn’t stress enough. This isn’t your parent’s Ford. This is a new version of the company tasked with moving the brand forward and giving it a much-needed jolt of electricity.
While Ford says it needed to leverage the existing iconic branding of the Mustang to make the Mach-E stand out, this car isn’t the tough, sporty muscle car you’ve come to expect.
Yes, it shares a similar shark nose, tri-bar rear, forward headlamps and a squat yet sporty stance, but overall, the Mach-E is just a sporty SUV. The Mustang branding might be useful for grabbing people’s attention, but it does ask for a critical comparison to the iconic muscle car.
For an SUV, the Mach-E looks great, and I can see its design being a huge selling feature for a lot of people. In-person, it also has excellent height and a nice stance.
For the new Mustang, Ford pushed the wheels apart to give it a sportier look and did extensive body sculpting to give the car flowing lines and strong curves. It even tweaked the car’s icon to better represent that this is an SUV.
The EV Mustang’s extended range option has a maximum 475km range, which puts it in line with other top EVs on the market. That said, the standard range can only go roughly 325km in optimal conditions.
- Select trim — RWD — 355km — 2021 release
- Select trim — AWD — 325km — 2021 release
- Premium trim — RWD standard range — 355km — Late 2020
- Premium trim — AWD standard range — 325km — Late 2020
- Premium trim — RWD extended range — 475km — Late 2020
- Premium trim — AWD extended range – 425km — Late 2020
- First Edition — AWD extended range — 425km — late 2020/limited stock
- California Route 1 — RWD extended range — 475km — early 2021
- GT Performance Edition — AWD GT extended range — 375km – Spring 2021
To top these up, drivers can utilize a variety of charging options.
- 120 volts — 5km of range per hour
- 240 volts — 35km of ranger per hour
- 48 amps — 50km of range per hour
You can also use fast chargers to charge the Mach-E even faster, but depending on what charger you’re using, it will take varying amounts of time. Ford says the fastest refill should add about 75km of range per 10 minutes.
Notably, the 48amp home charger has to be custom bought from your Ford dealer and installed by an electrician. You can finance this when you buy the vehicle.
The company says its also working on technology that allows you to notify the car that you’re going to drive it soon via Ford’s mobile companion app. The Mach-E then heats its battery so it’s ready when you enter it. Ford is also working on using this battery heating tech to help it achieve faster charge times.
Ford knows that people are worried that EVs aren’t perfect for winter conditions, but the company says that cold temperatures don’t affect the battery that much since it’s rated to work during minus 40 degrees. However, if you’re using the cabin heater, that does eat up a decent amount of your battery’s charge.
The inside of the Mach-E is one area where the car stands out significantly. It has tons of cargo space, an expansive glass roof, a wireless charger and a giant 15.5-inch touchscreen with a physical dial attached to it.
It also doesn’t use any real leather making the interior 100 percent animal-free. For CarPlay and Android Auto, you don’t need wires since the car has a wireless charger and supports the wireless form of both of these in-car operating options. If your passengers need to charge their devices, there are two USB-C ports and two USB-A alternatives.
Ford has partnered with Bang and Olufsen for the interior speakers. Along the front grill, there’s a fabric-wrapped section that stretches from one side to the other. There are ten speakers packed into this and then other fabric-wrapped speakers on each door. I didn’t get to hear these, but the amount of them gave me high hopes for the car’s sound output.
Like other electric vehicles, the Mach-E has a frunk. Ford lined it’s frunk with plastic and put a drain in it so it’s easily cleanable or you could use it as a cooler. There are even two cup holders for tailgating.
The touchscreen is in the centre of the two seats and sits in portrait mode. It’s also running the new version of Ford Sync 4 so it looks modern to match the rest of the car. One of the coolest additions is a dial in the middle of the bottom third of the screen that gives users access to a physical volume control. Ford said this was super important to people when it focus tested the Mach-E display.
The car automatically connects to the driver’s phone. This lets it know who is driving and adjusts the infotainment experience accordingly. It uses machine learning and recommends places you frequently travel, your favourite music and quick access to your most called contacts.
When I asked Ford what would happen if two people who had previously connected to the car’s Bluetooth got in at the same time, they told me that the crossover is smart enough to know who’s in the driver’s seat.
Ford also mentioned that this car will get more and more updates throughout its lifecycle
How it feels to drive it
Unfortunately, the automaker only let press ride in the new car instead of drive it. However, the experience was still exciting and more fun than I’d expected.
The car’s instant torque made taking off from a stoplight super fun, and when our driver took the other media and I through a slalom, it felt solid and maintained its balance impressively. There was even a point where we took off from a light so quickly I couldn’t help but giggle with joy.
The car comes pre-loaded with three driving modes: ‘Whisper,’ ‘Engaged’ and ‘Unbridled.’
Whisper is the mode that Ford described as calm comforting and has a non-aggressive pedal response.
Unbridled is the high-end driving mode that features sportier steering and very aggressive pedal response when pushing it in and out. It also has a cool throaty sci-fi noise attached to it to bring back some of the fun of the driving experience.
Engaged sits between the two other modes. It also features a less intense version of the driving sound.
The automaker said it used examples from vehicles in Blade Runner, the Batmobile and Formula E to help come up with the noise for the car. It was so subtle that I wish I could turn it up for when I feel like having fun with the car.
The car also has regenerative braking and both two-pedal and single-pedal driving modes.
Driving is one aspect where the Mach-E regains some of the Mustang charm and fun. The GT performance model has 459HP and can do 0-60 in roughly three seconds.
Ford has a lot riding on the Mach-E
The Mach-E is coming out late in 2020. This is Ford’s biggest EV launch yet and there’s a lot of pressure for the Mach-E to do well as it ushers in the automaker’s new wave of electric vehicles like an upcoming F150 truck.
In my brief time looking at and learning about the Mach-E, I was impressed with Ford’s commitment and excitement to enter the electric space. The automaker didn’t just retrofit an older car as it did with the Focus. This time it’s clear the company is committed to building a high-end EV from the ground up.
The rough costs for the Mach-E in Canada are as follows:
- Select – $50,495
- Premium – $59,495
- First Edition – $71,995
- California Route – $64,495
- GT Performance Edition – $82,995