By: Jag Dhatt
A few years ago, I was probably one of those on the nay side of electric cars. Unless you got a top tier Tesla, performance and the “feel and sound” of muscle cars were game breakers. I, for one, always modified my own cars with performance exhaust, cold air intakes, and even performance chips. It just made my vehicles that much better. And when the price of fuel was still affordable, the urge to leap towards an electric vehicle just wasn’t on my radar.
Move forward to 2022 and my opinions of being an electric vehicle owner started to change. Sure, I’ll admit that when the price of gasoline hit $2.29 in Vancouver, it swayed me to start looking; and looking I did, to the point of buying a PHEV. Today, every auto manufacturer is offering electric variants, from plug-in electric to full electric. And last week, I had the chance to test one of the best-looking electric vehicles, the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT AWD.
Let’s get one thing out of the way – in my opinion, this isn’t a Mustang. For me, and others I spoke to, the Mustang name belongs to a gas-powered muscle car. Ford should have just called this the Mach-E to avoid confusion. Yes, the Mach-E is definitely inspired by the Mustang, but to me, it just ain’t a Mustang. That said, let’s move on.
The Mach-E is a strikingly handsome vehicle from almost every angle. The Cyber Orange colour accentuates the lines and curves of this EV so well. The front portion of the Mach-E is very similar to the Mustang, hence the inspiration for the design. With the GT edition, you get upgraded, 20” multi-spoke wheels and GT badging, matched will a gloss black grille and black accents, such as the rear window spoiler.
I’ve seen many Mach-E’s on the road these days, but it’s so easy to spot the GT version vs the lower trims. Yes, the GT does cost a pretty penny, but it is worth it based on looks alone.
When we compare the Mach-E GT to one of its closest competitors, the Tesla Model Y Performance, there really isn’t a comparison. While the Tesla Model Y has a bland, plain interior, the Mach-E’s interior is rich, complete with all of what you’d expect, and more than just a center screen for all controls. In fact, anyone who has seen this Ford’s interior will agree. The performance seats, steering wheel, feel of materials and overall look is quite striking.
The GT’s sport, bolstered seats provide great support; they are quite sporty but not so as to hinder comfort as well. One aspect of the front seats that can be annoying is the placement of the medal opening on the upper part of the seat. If you are a little short, your head may hit this metal part and it’s not comfortable.
The Mach-E’s infotainment system is where there’s a similarity to the Tesla models. Smack in the middle of the dash sits a massive 15.5” vertical touchscreen that has controls for pretty much everything in the car. This system is powered by Ford’s new SYNC 4A software. It works pretty well but does lag more than usual; I wished it was as fast as the car itself. Also to note is that, more than once, Apple CarPlay wouldn’t connect. I’m sure that a software update will fix these glitches.
Some EV makers have tried their best to add as much cargo/storage space as possible. Some have been successful and some not so much. The Mach-E has a surprising amount of passenger and cargo space. Five adults can sit comfortably in the vehicle, with each having ample amount of leg, shoulder and head room. As for cargo, the trunk has 64.4 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up. In addition, there is a fairly good sized “frunk” up front as well.
The Mustang Mach-E, even the base engine, is quite quick. With the standard battery, you’ll get to 100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds. Now the GT Performance Edition, well, we’re entering another dimension here. Are you ready for this…
The GT Performance Edition will go from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds. It has 480 horsepower and a whopping 634 lb-ft of torque, with power going to an eAWD system. There are three drive modes: Whisper, Engage and Unbridled, all providing completely different experiences. In Whisper mode, the ride is soft, quiet and what you’d expect from a tame vehicle. Active is comparable to having a minor amount of enthusiasm. And Unbridled, well let’s just say it knocks your socks off. This mode sharpens the steering, stiffens the suspension and provides a simulated sound, mimicking, albeit softly, an engine.
There’s something unique about driving an EV, almost odd initially. But once you get used to it, it’s quite enjoyable. It’s quiet, there’s instant power, and of course, you get that sense of joy driving by the gas pumps.
Like any gas-powered performance vehicle, a performance EV also has a massive edge over its non-performance variant. And this is the case with the Mach-E GT Performance.
The GT Performance is fun to drive. With the battery pack located below the floor, the lower center of gravity provides a balanced ride, no matter what driving mode. Add an excellent MagneRide damping system, and you can throw this car around any corner and still be completely in control. Steering of the Mach-E GT is spot on. Even though some don’t like electric steering, the Mach-E GT’s is above average, allowing for good road feel, especially in the Unbridled mode.
Brembo brakes provide great stopping power when you need it. In addition, the Mach-E has One-Pedal driving. In essence, by turning on this feature, not only is regenerative braking applied, but you can actually drive the car using just the accelerator. It does take some getting used to, but after a few hours, it’s pretty much all I used.
Ford claims that with full charge, the Mach-E GT Performance should get 418 km with the 88-kWh battery. I drove the vehicle during the fall months, so wasn’t really using a lot of heat. Regardless, I was only able to get about 350 km of range. It’s still not bad, but I do wish that manufacturers give more accurate real-life numbers versus those under super ideal conditions.
If you want more range, some of the other variants of the Mach-E, such as the California Route 1 with the extended-range battery, offer up to 502 km, which is plenty enough.
Whether people are willing to make the move towards electric vehicles sooner or later, these vehicles are gaining momentum at a very fast rate. I, for one, bought a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) a few months ago and I’m more than happy with the switch. With the Mustang Mach-E GT Performance, it’s nice to see brands making performance models that appeal to those who want that option. Sure, an EV is reducing the reliance on gasoline and are better for the environment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have real fun with them. And the Mach-E GT proves that you can have the best of both worlds.
The 2022 Mustang Mach-E starts at a reasonable $51, 495 for the (base) Select RWD model. Moving up to the GT Performance will set you back $85, 995; but we’re not done. Add in some of the options like the Cyber Orange paint, glass roof, and Co-Pilot 360 and a few others, as in my test car, and you’re up to $93, 680. This is on par with the Tesla Model 3/Y Performance; but in my humble opinion, the Mach-E GT is my preference.