Ford unveils Mustang Mach E, its first all-electric SUV

Mustang Mach-E revealed: Is this the electric vehicle America’s waited for?

Ford unveils Mustang Mach E, its first all-electric SUV

We took a ride in Ford's all-electric Mustang Mach-E at their reveal event in Los Angeles, California. USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES — Sounding a bit a flying car from “Blade unner” and accelerating an audition for the chase scene in “Bullitt,” the 2021 Mustang Mach-E electric SUV drew a line connecting Ford Motor Co.’s muscle-car history to a high-tech future as I took a first early ride on public streets, days before its public debut at the Los Angeles auto show.

Rolling down El Segundo Boulevard, the Mach-E prototype’s Mustang-style shark nose, tri-bar lights and sporty proportions turned heads as development driver and Mustang racer Kai Goddard wheeled it through late afternoon traffic to an active taxiway at Hawthorne Municipal Airport for slalom and acceleration runs.

The machine I sat in, which was formally introduced to the public Sunday night with much fanfare, was born in a moment of corporate soul-searching.

More: Ford accidentally leaks Mustang Mach-E details prematurely

More: Ford releases name of first all-electric Mustang SUV

Inside the Mach-E: More Sync, fewer buttons

The Mach-E is a small SUV, about the size of the Ford compact Escape, but it offers considerably more passenger space, thanks to an efficient architecture Ford developed to underpin a family of upcoming electric vehicles. The battery fits beneath the floor, pretty much filling the space between the axles.

It’ll have one or two electric motors, depending on whether you want rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Each motor is mounted in the middle of the axle it powers, so there’s no engine under the hood.

Combine that with an under-floor battery replacing the gas tank and no need for a center tunnel to connect the rear wheels and you have a surprisingly roomy passenger compartment for a sleek and sporty looking SUV.

Mustang Mach-E will be available in both Standard Range (75.7 kWh lithium-ion battery) and the Extended Range (98.8 kWh battery) that is targeting en EPA-estimated 300 miles of range in its rear wheel drive configuration. (Photo: Ford Motor Co.)

There’s plenty of headroom in the rear seat, thanks to a designers’ trick of the eye: Painting the roof black creates the impression of a fast-falling, coupe- roofline and rear window without sacrificing rear headroom and luggage space. The flat floor contributes to plentiful rear legroom.

There’s 29 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats and 4.8 more — enough for a standard carryon bag — under the hood. The total is a bit less than an Escape offers.

In the front seat, I had more head and knee room than I ever expected in a Mustang.

The controls include a big tablet-style touch screen for climate, audio, navigation and other features. A dial mounted low in the screen looks ly to control volume and several other functions.

There’s no tuning dial.

Ford promises this latest version of its Sync operating system will be the easiest to use, with better speech recognition, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and easy access to apps on your phone.

The gauge cluster is a thin rectangle in front of the driver with largely digital displays. There are no round gauges, though it’d be easy enough to program the screen to provide them.

Equipped with an extended range battery and rear-wheel drive, Mustang Mach-E has a targeted EPA-estimated 300 miles of range. (Photo: Ford Motor Co.)

Ford plans options including a full-glass roof, animal-free interior and scooped sculpted seats.

Sales should begin in the third or fourth quarter of 2020, as a 2021 model.

The GT performance model will follow in the first half of calendar 2021.

Prices will start just under $44,000, according to information Ford inadvertently leaked the day of my first ride.

Fast, nimble, futuristic

My demo model was a prototype Mach-E Premium, with extended range and AWD.

The electric motors on its front and rear axles combine to produce 332 hp and 417 pound-feet of torque. 

The more powerful Mach-E GTs will have AWD, 459 hp and 612 pound-feet of torque. A base model, rear-drive Mach-E with a single e-motor on its rear axle will have 255 hp.

The ride is smooth and comfortable, cushioning the impact of bumps and railroad tracks.

Despite aggressive Michelin tires for performance runs on a closed course, there’s not much road noise. That’s hard to achieve in electric vehicles, or EVs, because their batteries and motors are much quieter than a conventional engine and transmission.

The Mach-E leaped forward when Kai floored the accelerator — don’t call it a gas pedal; you’re burning electrons not dinosaurs. The Premium AWD hit 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds, about the same as a Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV and a respectable figure for the mid-performance model of any Mustang.

Equipped with an extended range battery and rear-wheel drive, Mustang Mach-E has a targeted EPA-estimated 300 miles of range. (Photo: Ford Motor Co.)

A GT will reach 60 in less than 4 four seconds, quicker than a Porsche Macan Turbo, a similar-sized but far more expensive gasoline-powered luxury SUV. The top model, a GT Performance — the same power as a GT, but presumably more aggressive programming and tires — should reach 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds.

We braked and turned at the end of the taxiway, setting up to run a slalom of traffic cones laid out between small aircraft hangars.

Bill Ford and Idris Elba at unveiling of 2021 #FordMustang Mach-E electric SUV. (Photo: Mark Phelan)

At an aggressive 37-40 mph, the Mach-E had little body roll and easily threaded the space among the cones. The steering appeared to be fast and precise.

Getting the sound right

Mustang owners relish the rumble of a 5.0L V8, so Ford went to great lengths to create appropriate sounds for the Mach-E. Engineers studied performance cars, and visions of the future ranging from the Batmobile to Formula E electric race cars.

They settled on sounds ranging from an unobtrusive hum to a throaty rumble, along with new chimes for startup and alerts. The drivetrain sound is related to what the mechanical components do, not pure fiction, so don’t expect any silly warp-drive effects. For pedestrian safety, the Mach-E produces a futuristic hum.

The Mach-E will have three drive modes, in rising order of performance: Whisper, Engaged and Unbridled. The modes will adjust performance, interior and exterior sound, even ambient lighting.

In addition to my ride down El Segundo, Mach-E prototypes are being tested in Death Valley, Alaska, Germany and other spots around the globe.

Ford plans to build the Mach-E in Cuautitlan, Mexico.

Hands-free driving

The Mach-E will offer hands-free highway driving shortly after sales begin. An over-the-air software update will enable the system, which uses hardware that’s built-in for features available from the start — presumably adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping.

The system will have eyeball-tracking to make sure the driver is awake and paying attention in case of emergency, but it’ll handle routine driving from highway entrance ramp to exit.

The Mach-E’s drive modes include a setting for maximum regenerative braking. That setting will slow the EV to a stop without using the brake pedal. By maximizing the amount of energy recovered during braking, so-called ‘one-pedal driving’ increases an EV’s range between charges.

Using Ford's new all-electric architecture that places batteries inside the underbody of the vehicle, Ford engineers and designers made room for five passengers. (Photo: Ford Motor Co.)

Ford expects a base Mach-E to be able to go 230 miles on a charge. A long-range model, called a Mach-E X, should be able to go 300.

Model names will be self-explanatory: a Mach-E4 X will have all-wheel drive and a long-range battery.

Ford hasn’t revealed detailed pricing, but you can reserve a Mustang Mach-E at

Why Ford made it a Mustang

In 2017, Ford leaders looked at the EV they planned to build — a compact hatchback not un the Focus Ford recently dropped — and yawned.

It oozed “compliance,” the kind of vehicle automakers build to meet regulatory requirements, not inspire passion. The kind of vehicle that is forgotten.

Then somebody asked the right question: “If we’re serious about electric vehicles, why don’t we make one that’s the kind of vehicle we’re good at: Mustangs, SUVs and pickups?”

Inside Mustang Mach-E, a wireless charging pad makes it easier to cut the cord with compatible smartphones. (Photo: Ford Motor Co.)

Few companies understand the importance of branding and heritage better than Ford.

The decision to use the Mustang name and image — icons of Detroit’s greatest era of design and performance, one of the assets Ford used as collateral for loans that helped it escape bankruptcy during the Great Recession — went to the top. When Bill Ford, company chairman and Henry Ford’s great-grandson, greenlighted the plan, people in the organization got chills.

“You don't mess with an icon,” Bill Ford said at the Mach-E's debut at a Los Angeles airport. “It's gotta drive one, feel one, have the soul of a Mustang.”

Ford designers created hundreds of sketches, leading to the long hood, shark nose Coke bottle shape, short overhangs and coupe- profile.

Scrapping bureaucratic conventions, the team built interior prototypes detritus leftover Keurig cups and pieces of cardboard.

The project went from sketches to ordering production tools in just over a year, unprecedented speed for a company that’s been known to tie itself in knots.

Can the Mustang lead to a second automotive revolution?

a brief ride and what I’ve seen of the Mach-E, you’d be a fool to bet against it.

Contact Mark Phelan at 313-222-6731 or Follow him on @mark_phelan. Read more on autos and sign up for our autos newsletter.

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Ford unveils the Mustang Mach-E, an all-electric crossover with muscle car roots – TechCrunch

Ford unveils Mustang Mach E, its first all-electric SUV

Ford unveiled Sunday ahead of the LA Auto Show the Mustang Mach-E, their highly anticipated all-electric crossover and the first vehicle to come Team Edison, the automaker’s dedicated electric vehicle organization.

In short: The Mustang Mach-E is different from any other Ford vehicle without ignoring its roots. It’s undeniably a Mustang, with its short nose and front overhang, headlights and muscular stance. But it also has a design suited for an electric vehicle, as well as an all-new infotainment system and connected vehicle technology, plus a few other interesting and new details.

The moment is an important one for Ford, which has historically backed hybrid technology. It not only represents the biggest change for the Mustang in its 55-year history, it’s the first product to come Ford’s $11 billion commitment to add 16 all-electric vehicles within its global portfolio of 40 electrified vehicles through 2022.

“We knew we had to do something different and something exciting and something only Ford could do,” Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford North America said at a press event prior to the Sunday unveiling.

This is not meant to be a compliance car — the types of vehicles produced only to meet stricter emissions rules in some states such as California, a key market for automakers. Although the project initially started as one.

It’s meant to be a vehicle that people get excited about; it must be fun to drive and have the performance that Mustang die-hards expect. It’s no small task, and one some within the company viewed as a risk.

“I’ve driven it and it’s a rocket ship,” Ford Chairman Bill Ford said during the event Sunday. “This is a Mustang for a new generation, but I also think long-time Mustang fans me will love it as well.”

And while there have been months of teasers and even one big leak, the unveiling Sunday provided fresh details of the vehicle.

Ford will offer five variants of the Mustang Mach-E, including a standard version called Select, a Premium trim, First Edition, California Route 1 and a GT Performance edition that is targeting a 0 to 60 miles per hour acceleration in the mid three-second range and an estimated 342 kW (459 horsepower) and 830 Nm (612 pound-feet) of torque.

Starting at $43,895

The most affordable version of the Mach-E will be the “Select” trim with rear-wheel drive that starts at $43,895 before applying the $7,500 federal credit. However, “Select” won’t be available until early 2021. The Select rear-wheel view trim has a 75.7 kwh battery pack with a target range of 230 miles. For another $2,700, the Select trim is also available in all-wheel drive.

The limited First Edition will start at $59,900 and be available in extended-range all-wheel drive, with red painted brake calipers, metallic pedal covers, contrasting seat stitching and a scuff plate marked “First Edition.” The First Edition, which is targeting 0-60 in the mid five-second range, has a 98.8 kwh battery that can travel 270 miles on a single charge.

The First Edition and the premium trims will be the initial Mustang Mach-E vehicles available in fall 2020. The Premium version will start at $50,600.

The GT performance, which starts at $60,500, will be available in Spring 2021. The GT performance comes with a 98.8 kwh battery pack with targeted EPA estimate of 250 miles.

Ford has opened up a reservations page, where customers can put down a $500 deposit for any of the versions. A configurator that allows customers to design their version is also live.

Driving modes

other electric vehicles on the market, Ford has given the Mach-E three driving modes. Whisper is as one might expect, a quiet ride that has been tuned for a comfortable ride.

 “Engage” is the middle-of-the-road mode meant to provide what one Ford employee described as a “balanced” ride. For those who want the top performance and amped up drive, they can pick “Unbridled.

” Each driving mode is tuned with specific steering controls as well as ambient lighting and sounds.

Drivers who pick Whisper or Engage will get blue lighting in the instrument cluster and other spots within the vehicle, while Unbridled has lighting with a copper hue and a propulsion sound.


The Mach-E is also getting a next-generation version of its Sync infotainment system. The 15.5-inch vertical screen sits in the center and is where much of the important yet non-essential for driving functions are located. Stuff music as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. One feature that stands out is a physical volume knob that sits at the bottom of the vertical screen.

One interesting feature is that drivers of the Mach-E can run Apple CarPlay or Android Auto while also displaying the native maps on the display.

Meanwhile, Ford kept the instrument cluster, where all of the important driving information is housed.


Ford is supplying all variants with a home charger that can plug into 120V or 240V outlets. Ford will also sell a faster home charger. The price has not yet been revealed.

The company is partnering with Amazon Home Services to help with installation.


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