More Power Raises Performance For The All-electric SUV
Clean Fleet Report has previously reviewed the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, and our opinion is Ford has a winner with this all-electric SUV. To make things even more interesting, Ford has just released the 2021 Mustang Mach-E GT and GT Performance models that deliver more performance with increased speed and handling.
The GT and GT Performance will join the five Mustang Mach-E trim levels of Select, Premium, First Edition and California Route 1. The First Edition is sold out, but the GT and GT Performance hitting dealers in the fall 2021.
Power, Smooth Silent Power
There are three driver-selectable drive modes of Whisper (Eco), Engage (Medium) or Unbridled (Sport) with each giving a different driving experience. While rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive (AWD) an option on the base Mach-E, the GT and GT Performance are AWD all-the-time. So, what will you get on the GT and GT Performance? How about two electric motors, one each for the front and rear wheels, with the front motor upgraded for increased performance. The GT Performance gets one more tool for spirited driving, the driver-selectable Unbridled Extend, which is designed for track use, which we tested on an autocross course.
The performance numbers are impressive. The Mach-E GT and GT performance have the same 480 horsepower (hp), with the GT getting 600 pound-feet of torque (lb.-ft.) and the GT Performance 634 lb.-ft. of torque. The 0 – 60 times of 3.8 seconds for the GT, and 3.5 seconds for the GT Performance, are plenty fast for a SUV and will satisfy all driving needs.
The Mach-E has one-pedal driving, where lifting off the accelerator pedal slows and eventually brings it to a stop. Ford’s system has no steering wheel-mounted paddles to apply motor braking, and since the driver cannot adjust the amount of braking, the computer gets to do the work. With the same amount of applied braking, regardless of which drive mode you are in, the one pedal driving learning curve was quick and, except for the fastest of corners driving through the California mountains of Marin County on a recent Ford media drive event, I rarely used the brake pedal to apply the 19-inch vented discs and their bright red Brembo calipers (standard on the GT Performance model).
The all-electric driving range is estimated to be 270 miles for the GT, and 260 miles for the GT Performance. For comparison, the base Mach-E with rear-wheel drive and equipped with the extended range battery is rated with a 305-mile all-electric driving range. If the extra 30 or so miles of range is more important than the extra performance, you may consider going with the base Mach-E. Either choice will not be wrong.
Hitting the Road
Our Marin County Mach-E GT and GT Performance test drives took us from Sausalito to Olema, then along the coastal mountains to the quaint town of Stinson Beach. We returned to base by driving over Mt. Tamalpais, through Mill Valley and then Sausalito. This route was an excellent showcase as it had city streets with traffic lights, wide open country roads, and several miles on the iconic California 101 at 70 miles per hour.
When on the highway we had the opportunity to engage the Blue Cruise intelligent and adaptive hands-free driving system. Blue Cruise is not autonomous driving, but allows for driver assistance when the conditions are right. Ford tested Blue Cruise on more than 100,000 miles of divided highway across North America. Their system utilizes a combination of road sensors and cameras that track the driver’s head movements and eyes, even when wearing sunglasses. When Blue Cruise senses a lack of attention to the road, warnings tell the driver to refocus and take control of the Mach-E. Like other systems of this type, Blue Cruise centers the Mach-E between lane lines and can bring the SUV to a complete stop, and then accelerate again, when in stop-and-go traffic. Automating these tasks can be helpful when behind the wheel.
The first thing you notice with either the GT or GT Performance is the rush of acceleration. In the GT Performance I would occasionally switch into Unbridled Extend at all times. It used more electricity than in the less demanding settings, but heck, I was there to drive the Mach-E to reasonable
extremes to report on its fun factor capabilities. And, does it ever have lots and lots of fun factor built in!AWhat was learned is the Mach-E has instant, linear throttle response with all that wonderful torque available at any speed. The acceleration at times was so powerful that pedal modulation was necessary to not be exceeding the country road speed limit times four.
The ride was smooth and quiet as the 245/45 20-inch tires (Continental all-season for the GT, and Pirelli summer for the GT Performance) and Macpherson front and independent rear suspension handled pretty much anything we threw at it. The 4,587 pounds was noticeable, but this was a good thing as the weight balance, with the batteries placed low under the floor, feels neutral, making for consistent and predictable cornering.
Longer, higher speed sweepers had the Mach-E planted to the road with very little need to adjust the electric-assisted steering on double apex or decreasing radius corners. On tighter turns, the harder the acceleration, the more the AWD sucked the GT and GT Performance into the corner. Optional on the GT but standard on the GT Performance is Ford’s MagneRide suspension, which is found on the gas-powered Mustang GT coupe. MagneRide is an active suspension system that utilizes an electromagnet within the shock absorber to increase the viscosity of the shock fluid, which increases the damping of the absorber. It all happens seamlessly and instantly, with the end result a sure-footed driving experience.
Mach-E: In and Out
Ford designed the Mach-E interior to be a familiar place for car buyers, not a futuristic cockpit.
The interior design is sleek, modern and uncluttered. The seats were supportive and comfortable, with the steering wheel having a good thickness to it. The center armrest is deep for storing purses and bags, and the panoramic sunroof is large, opening the cabin for front and rear seat occupants. The horizontal 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster provides the most important operational information. There is no head-up display on the Mach-E.
Mach-E has room for five, but three full-size adults in the rear is not advised for a trip of any distance. With the rear seat folded, cargo space is 59.7 cubic feet, but that isn’t the only place to store stuff. Under the hood is a “frunk” that can hold a carry-on sized bag. For versatility, the frunk has been cleverly designed with a drain so it can hold wet or dirty items, or even be packed with ice for beverages, and then cleaned out.
The distinctive Mustang exterior design heritage continues onto the Mach-E, including a long hood and the three LED tail lights that look oh-so classic Mustang. LED headlights and daytime running lamps frame the faux grille that sports the Mustang pony badge. The GT and GT Performance get the machined finished wheels, with the GT Performance getting a front splitter and a rear diffuser. The sleek, smooth Mach-E is nearly devoid of badging, save for the nose, tailgate and the lower front doors.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is available with the updated and improved advanced driver assist technology (ADAS) of Co-Pilot360 2.0, which has features that help make driving safer and more confident. These include automatic emergency braking, blind spot and active lane control monitoring, post impact braking and evasive steering assist plus adaptive cruise control.
FordPass Connect is standard, offering a 4G LTE Wi-Fi that can handle mobile devises and allows for over the air software updates. This is also where electric charging can be managed, including charging and payment, through the Blue Oval Charge Network, the largest such network in North America with more than 19,500 charging stations.
Ford’s proprietary 15.5-inch, vertical touchscreen handles the next generation Sync 4 connectivity system that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Ford+Alexa and Waze navigation. The Sync 4 system has been simplified so now everything is no more than two touches away. If you really want to go big, the optional 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen Premium audio system should be worth the investment as the cabin on the Mach-E is quiet.
Price, Timing and Warranty
The all-new, all-electric 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT has a base price of $61,095, and the GT Performance is $66,095. All pricing includes the $1,195 destination and delivery fee. Federal and state tax credits could reduce your final price, and in some states it will qualify for a HOV sticker.
Both the Mustang Mach-E GT and Mach-E GT Performance should be in dealers in the fourth quarter 2021.
All 2021 Mustang Mach-E models come with these warranties:
- Bumper-To-Bumper – Three years/36,000 miles
- Battery – Eight years/ 100,000 miles
Observations: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT/Mach-E GT Performance
With three Mustang Mach-E options for fun, fun, fun, Ford gives drivers every opportunity to express themselves. Whether it’s the base Mach-E or the top-line Mach-E GT or Mach-E GT Performance, the all-electric ownership experience provided by Ford is one to grab.
The pinned-in-your-seat acceleration is only the beginning of owning the all-new 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E as its practicality as an everyday driver comes through very quickly. With ample passenger and cargo space, interior comfort features, and a smooth and quiet ride, the Mach-E is sure to replace many a gasoline-powered crossover SUV in garages everywhere.
Mustang aficionados comment how the Mach-E really isn’t a Mustang. We heard the same thing about the Porsche Cayenne SUV, launched in 2003, that it didn’t look like a 911. The Cayenne is now Porsche’s top-selling vehicle. The Mach-E will easily become the top-selling Mustang; it’s already out-selling the gas Mustang.
There is so much to talk about on the Mach-E, we cannot cover it all here in this Flash Drive review. Clean Fleet Report will do a thorough Road Test of the 2021 Mustang Mach-E GT and GT Performance in the coming months. Until then, contact your local Ford dealer and set an appointment to check-out any of the Mach-E models.
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Story by John Faulkner. Photos by John Faulkner, Clean Fleet Report and Ford.
Our Other Mach-E Encounters
First Timer: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Road Trip: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Road Test: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Flash Drive: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
News: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E