Did you ever imagine a world where the Ford Mustang would include an electric option? Welcome to 2021 – a time when Ford fans anxiously await the debut of the all-new Mustang Mach-E at their local Ford dealer. Yes, the “E” stands for electric and marks a significant shift as Ford expands the Mustang lineup for the first time in over 55 years. So, why now, why electric, and what’s the hold up since Ford promised the Mach-E’s debut for the fall of 2020?
Uniting Past and Present
Designed on a shoestring budget and meant to target a younger demographic of drivers, the Mustang made its debut at the World’s Fair in 1964. Ford anticipated selling 100,000 Mustangs in the first year but widely miscalculated the Mustang’s popularity. Dealers around the country sold over 22,000 models on the first day. This marked the beginning of the pony car trend as the Mustang came to symbolize the heart of the American spirit – a unique mix of freedom and rebellion blended with the need for speed and continuous progress to the future.
With the widespread success of the Mustang, Ford never had any reason to expand the Mustang lineup. Why mess with a good thing, right? However, that all changed in late 2019 when Ford announced that, for the first time in over five decades, a new pony car fit for the 21st century was in the works. Enter the Mustang Mach-E, an electric SUV that would carry the Mustang spirit to a new generation of drivers.
When you wait 55 years to debut a new model, you have no choice but to go big or go home. Ford opted to go big with the Mach-E lineup, beginning with a limited First Edition model priced at $58,300. These models offer exclusive features like red-painted brake calipers, metallic pedal covers, a First Edition scuff plate, contrasting seat stitching, and extended-range all-wheel-drive that pushes the First Edition to 230 miles.
With the First Edition promising to reach 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, reservations for the model filled quickly with drivers who didn’t mind dropping $500 to get on the list. For drivers who missed the small window, the Mach-E lineup doesn’t end with the First Edition. The Mach-E GT, which is priced at $60,500, is also set to impress with its MagneRide damping system and adaptive suspension that hugs the GT to the road as it reaches 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and offers a 250-mile range on a fully charged battery.
Drivers also have several other options like the Select, which is the Mach-E’s base model that’s priced at $42,895, offers a 230-mile range, and includes the Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 suite of driver-assist technology. The California Route 1, which is priced at $49,800, offers the most range in the Mach-E family at 305 miles and comes standard with rear-wheel drive that makes it ideal for cruising down the highway. The Premium wraps up the Mach-E fleet and starts at $47,000, giving drivers the ultimate luxury from its plush interior and panoramic glass roof to its advanced technology.
Ford outfits every trim in the Mach-E fleet with cutting-edge technology, from the most efficient batteries under the hood to the command center and touchscreen display featuring Ford’s SYNC entertainment system. Ford also gives drivers the ability to customize their experience behind the wheel by selecting from three drive modes: Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled. The modes customize the Mach-E’s responsiveness and steering in addition to adding ambient lighting and authentic sounds for a fully immersive driving experience.
Hold Your Horses
Since Ford’s announcement of the Mustang Mach-E in late 2019, there’s been a lot of hype around the all-new electric SUV. Drivers who shelled out $500 to reserve their First Edition anxiously waited for the Mach-E’s official release in late 2020 only to be extremely disappointed when that day never came. So, what happened?
Ford sent everyone with a Mach-E reservation an official letter announcing that production of their Mach-E was complete. However, another letter from Ford followed and informed owners that their Mach-E was delayed for further testing. This left many to wonder what would cause Ford to temporarily pull the plug so quickly. According to Ford’s Mach-E spokesperson, the Mach-E models are undergoing additional quality checks before shipment to ensure drivers get only the best and most capable electric SUV that reflects the Ford brand.
While many drivers appreciate Ford’s response, the message is cryptic and sent the rumor mill into overdrive. Many industry experts suggest that the Mach-E is delayed due to software issues with Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 suite of driver-assist technology, which is standard on the First Edition, Premium, and California Route 1 trims. Coincidentally, Ford has the same issue with the 2021 Ford F-150. Is the Co-Pilot360 suite really to blame?
Big Tech, Big Problems
What is it about big tech that leads to big problems? Ford answered that question in their October 2020 press release when the automaker confirmed that the 2021 Mach-E and the 2021 F-150 will be the first models equipped with the Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 suite and the Active Driver Assist technology. This tech package includes a front-facing camera and radar sensors that sense when the driver’s hands are on or off the wheel and alert the driver as needed.
Ford takes the technology to an entirely new level with over-the-air updates that are designed to improve the driver’s experience by offering wireless updates of the Mach-E’s software. This means that drivers will no longer have to visit the dealership to have their software manually updated by a service technician. Instead, the vehicle will automatically update while driving down the road or sitting in the garage. This innovation is huge for Ford and will help remedy the delay with the Mach-E’s software.
Anyone who reserved a Mach-E equipped with the Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package will have the hardware preinstalled and, once the software is complete, will receive it via an over-the-air update. For anyone who waits until the software is complete, the hardware and software can be purchased together. Ford anticipates the software to be ready by the second half of 2021.
Worth the Wait
Considering the Mustang Mach-E marks the first time in nearly six decades that Ford expanded the Mustang lineup, the Mach-E is certainly worth the wait, even if there are a few technology hiccups to work through first. With Ford at the helm, there’s no question that the American automaker will ensure everything is perfect on the electric SUV. After all, there’s a lot riding on the Mach-E, not to mention Ford’s stellar reputation for producing some of the most reliable and iconic vehicles in the automotive industry.
Until Ford puts the final touches on the 2021 Mach-E, there’s plenty to anticipate and enjoy with the model already named the 2021 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year. So, when it arrives, which model will you choose, or have you already reserved your Mach-E? From the advanced technology, impressive range, and powerful capability to the available federal tax credits, there’s plenty that makes the all-new 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E worth the wait.