Is there a better example of the American spirit than the Ford Mustang? Embodying our freedom, as well as our need for speed and our occasional penchant for rebellion, the Mustang is an integral part of American culture and has been since its debut in the 1960s. The spotlight continues to shine on the 2022 Mustang Mach-E, the newest and only expansion of the Mustang lineup in six decades. But is the Mach-E worthy of the Mustang name?
To many, using the Mustang name on anything other than a sports car with a V8 under its hood is sacrilegious. The Mustang certainly spoiled us from the moment it debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair to widespread acclaim. That first-generation Mustang was a surprise success for Ford and launched the genre of pony cars that encouraged Americans to pursue and satisfy their need for speed. The Mustang was certainly capable of this, with that first-generation model delivering as much as 375 horsepower, which was unheard of at the time.
The Mustang’s success left the model untouched for decades in terms of expanding its lineup to attract a new generation of buyers. There simply wasn’t the need. So, why did Ford name an all-electric crossover after one of the most iconic vehicles of all time? Was the risk worth it, and does the 2022 Mustang Mach-E measure up to the Mustang legacy in any way? Or, as many assume, is the Mach-E simply capitalizing on the Mustang name?
A Spectrum of Power
The 2022 Mustang Mach-E might not be a sports car, but that doesn’t stifle its need for speed. Ford calls the Mach-E “the future of exhilaration,” and it’s easy to see why when you look at what’s powering the crossover. For the Mustang, this would mean looking under the hood, but if you remember, we’re looking to the future, and that means you won’t find anything more than a frunk on the Mach-E. Instead, the SUV runs on a standard or extended range battery pack that’s located under the floor between the axles, where it’s protected by a waterproof, crash-absorbent case. Each battery is also equipped with a liquid cooling system that optimizes charging times and performance in extreme weather conditions.
Base Power: Plenty Capable from the Starting Line
What does this mean in terms of the Mach-E’s power, and how does it compare to the 2022 Mustang? Ford gives you the choice between a 70 kWh standard range battery or a 91 kWh extended range battery and either RWD or AWD. The RWD Mach-E with the standard range battery delivers 266 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, which increases to 428 lb-ft of torque with AWD. In terms of speed, this means a launch from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds in the RWD model and 5.2 seconds in an AWD model.
Looking at the 2022 Mustang, the sports car comes standard with Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that packs a hefty punch, delivering 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. For a bigger boost in power, Ford offers the 2.3-liter High-Performance Package that calibrates the engine for performance and outfits it with a larger radiator and a larger twin-scroll turbo compressor to deliver 330 horsepower. Even with this boost in power, the Mustang with the 2.3-liter under its hood launches from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, making it only slightly faster than the Mach-E with its standard range battery.
Extended Power: Reaching the GT Realm
The Mach-E’s extended range battery is designed to take you further and faster. The RWD Mach-E with the extended range battery churns out 290 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, while the AWD model delivers 346 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque. When launching from 0 to 60 mph, the RWD Mach-E sees a drastic delay in its launch to 6.1 seconds due to the significant reduction in torque. The AWD model, however, lives up to the Mustang’s need for speed with a launch in just 4.8 seconds.
Along with the Mach-E’s extended range battery, Ford sweetens the package and ushers the crossover into genuine Mustang territory with models like the Mach-E GT. Designed to satisfy any need for speed, the Mach-E GT comes equipped with the 91 kWh extended range battery and delivers 480 horsepower and either 600 lb-ft or 634 lb-ft of torque. This sheer power translates to jaw-dropping acceleration with a launch from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 3.5 seconds.
The Mach-E GT’s electrified power is truly impressive, but how does it measure up to the 2022 Mustang GT? Naysayers who criticized the Mach-E for its lack of a V8 engine might reconsider their position when they look at the numbers. The 2022 Mustang GT delivers the power that’s been associated with the pony car for decades, but the Mach-E manages to up the ante. In terms of numbers, there’s no argument. The Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine churns out 450 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque for a 4.2-second launch from 0 to 60 mph. Not even the Mustang Mach 1, which delivers 20 more horsepower and mimics the GT’s launch time, can match the Mach-E.
Worthy of the Name
Think about the many ways the Mustang embodies the American spirit. Its debut in 1964 was a surprise to the world, not only because it was unexpected, but because it went against the grain of every other sedan on the road. It was rebellious in its pursuit of speed and even more so for encouraging American drivers to join in that pursuit. That freedom speaks volumes to the American spirit, just as the Mustang’s evolution over the last six decades reflects our own evolution as a society and country.
Now, think about the Mustang name and what it means to the Mach-E in America today. America is once again evolving, with automakers promising to deliver dozens of all-electric and hybrid models over the next few years. The Mach-E embodies that evolution and the freedom we have to constantly change and improve, even if it means doing so without a V8 engine under the hood.
Perhaps the Mach-E embodies a sense of rebellion more than anything else. At a time when the industry is laden with all-electric models from every major automaker in the world, the Mach-E dares to be different. Ford could’ve named the model anything, but it took a huge risk by using the Mustang name. Ford’s Executive Chairman, Bill Ford, acknowledged that risk saying, “When they came to me and said they can make an electric Mustang, I was pretty skeptical… You don’t mess with an icon.” But Ford did, and America is better because of it.
The Mach-E rebels against whatever you think the Mustang legacy should be and gives you the freedom to think beyond, to imagine an exhilarating and electrifying future. The Mach-E represents everything the first-generation Mustang offered Americans in the 1960s but in a different package, and if you look closely, that package is truly impressive and worthy of the Mustang name.