Out of all the trending auto news out there, the arrival of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E might be the most significant, at least to Mustang enthusiasts. This is the ushering-in of a new type of vehicle, with a familiar and renowned badge attached to it. However, it’s also a look towards the future. Electric vehicles have been around for decades now, but only recently have they seen significant introductions into the world of sports and performance cars, with vehicles like the Porsche Taycan and the new Tesla Roadster.
Why the sudden jump into sporty electric vehicles? Well, it actually hasn’t been so sudden. Vehicles like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight paved the way for hybrid electric vehicles back in the late 1990s, and today all types of electric vehicles have become commonplace. Sometimes, the general public needs years to be sold on something, and now it seems like the ideas that have been floating around in the minds of engineers worldwide can finally come to fruition. Basically, we’re used to the normal electric vehicles, and now we want to see the big guns.
But Why the Mustang?
True Mustang enthusiasts probably cringed at the news of an electric Mustang. How can it be electric and a Mustang at the same time? There’s just something off about it. What about the noise a Mustang makes? How can it feel like a Mustang when electric vehicles are renowned for being unsettlingly quiet? Those are probably just a few of the questions that went through an enthusiast’s mind as they tried to wrap their head around such a foreign idea—an electric Mustang.
All good questions, too. And we’ll get to them. But back to, why make this a Mustang? I think it’s fairly simple. Ford needs to compete, especially on the electric front. Tesla is pulling out all the stops and making huge advances, while seemingly blowing away the competition. Other manufacturers are making big innovations as well. Ford isn’t known for its fully-electric vehicles, although there have been some around, but clearly, it’s something that needs to change if they want to be relevant in this area of the market. Thus, the idea of making an electric Mustang came to be.
The Mustang has arguably been one of Ford’s most popular vehicles since its inception back in the 1960s. It’s a classic vehicle that basically created what we call the “pony car” type of automobile and has been immensely sought after by car enthusiasts all over the world. It’s a common sight on roads and streets throughout the United States and is generally looked at as truly “American” by, you guessed it, most Americans. So, to add the Mustang badge onto an electric vehicle is truly a profound statement by Ford. It’s the type of statement they’ve been needing to make.
If anything, Ford needed to get away from the “boring” stereotype that has accompanied electric vehicles for years (something that the Toyota Prius is trying to get away from). Well, what’s more exciting than a sports car like a Mustang? When it comes to Fords, there’s not much better. They may as well just make an electric F-150 as well (they are). Ford has done quite a bit right with a few vehicles over the years, so it makes sense to stick with what they know. Now they just have to get it right.
What Can We Expect?
It’s an electric vehicle, so you can expect there to be little to no noise, which is very bizarre for a Mustang. Fortunately, the good people at Ford thought of a solution. It wouldn’t quite be the same experience driving a Mustang if you didn’t have a nice rumble from the engine. That’s why they’ve included simulated engine noise that you can hear through the vehicle’s speakers. So when you’re accelerating, you’ll be hearing engine noise as well. Although it just won’t be a real engine of any kind because it’s a mix of noises that have been edited together to give an overall experience. Sure, there will be some real elements in there, but it’s still going to be fake overall.
Now, is that good or bad? I think it depends on how you look at it. People love the roar of an engine, so the fact that Ford included any kind of noise at all is a good thing for most people. However, the Mustang badge alone isn’t what’s going to be drawing people in. People are actually very interested in the great specs of this particular electric vehicle, which we’ll get to further on. These types of prospective buyers may not be as interested in the galloping pony staying true to its heritage and, rather, they’re on-board with everything that comes with electric vehicles — silent engines and all.
Fortunately, the Mach-E actually has three different driving experiences, for you to choose at your leisure. They are Whisper, Engaged, and Unbridled. You can guess which one will sound the loudest, as well as be the one a Mustang fan would choose. But, I’m sure there will be plenty of people going in the opposite direction, opting for a more tranquil ride…in a Mustang.
Engine noise aside, are the performance factors good enough for this car to be called a Mustang? Side note, though, this “car” is actually a crossover. Yeah, let’s move on. So, engine noise and crossover surprise aside, how does the vehicle perform?
For a true Mustang experience, you’ll need to go for the GT trim, which is one of four available trims (Select, Premium, and California Rt.1 Edition are the others). The GT starts at $60,500, has Electric Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive, seating for five, and a targeted range of 250 miles on the Extended Range Battery. Perhaps most importantly, however, the targeted 0-60 time is under 4 seconds, also with the Extended Range Battery. Now, we’re talking. A sub-4 0-60 time on an electric Mustang is something to write home about. It could end up being the best 0-60 time for a Mustang ever, at least up to this point in time. That’s some wild, galloping pony, Mustang soul.
Can It Compete?
You better believe it. It may have lost some things along the way, like engine noise and the fact that it’s no longer a sports car, rather a sports crossover. But it will compete. It’s still a Mustang. People will get over some of the clear differences apparent in this new vehicle, but the fact is that it’s not replacing the Mustang you know and love. It’s actually just another member of the family. Which, I don’t see as a bad thing. Mustang diehards can stick with what they love, but the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is definitely going to be drawing in a lot of new fans either way.
I, for one, am excited to see what the Mach-E has in store for us. I think it’s going to be a big hit because of new technology and innovative thinking. The new generations of car-buyers aren’t all looking for your parents’ and grandparents’ classic cars. Or, at least, they’re looking for updated versions of them. The Mach-E fits the bill perfectly. It’s going to be a great addition to the Ford family.