Ford Mustang Mach-E GT review
The new Mustang Mach-E GT is a solid effort at a first zero-emissions 'fast Ford'
- Faster and more engaging than standard Mach-E
- Sporty styling and great in-car tech
- No practicality compromises
- Quite expensive
- Still feels pretty heavy
- Driving hard drains range fast
|Car type||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||310 miles||14hrs (0-100%, 7.4kW)||43mins (10-80%, 150kW)|
Ford has a long and successful history of creating engaging and relatively affordable performance versions of its mass-produced family cars. The Sierra and Escort Cosworth of the '80s and '90s, and more recently the Fiesta and Focus ST, are just a few examples. Ford is sticking with this approach as we enter the era of electrification and its first effort is this GT version of the Mustang Mach-E family SUV.
High performance is obviously a natural fit for the Mustang nameplate and the Mach-E GT's numbers are strong on paper. It has dual electric motors for four-wheel drive and makes a total of 480bhp and 860Nm of torque, which is sufficient for a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds. The Tesla Model Y Performance is the GT's most obvious rival, but it must also see off the challenge of Volkswagen ID.4 GTX and Kia EV6 GT, while its price puts it in contention with premium offerings like the Jaguar I-Pace, too.
Straight-line speed definitely isn't lacking; you only need to brush the accelerator for a strong surge of forward momentum from almost any speed. It has to be said, though, that the car's hefty 2,273kg weight can be felt when moving off from a standstill. And the response isn't quite as urgent at higher speeds as it is when accelerating from 20 or 30mph. But it's all relative: whatever way you cut it, the Mach-E GT is a fast car.
Ford has upgraded the chassis and brakes to deal with this extra performance: the car has 'MagnaRide 2' adaptive suspension and big 385mm Brembo brakes. The company says driving fun was the order of the day when setting all this kit up, but in corners as much as in a straight line, its significant weight can't be fully disguised.
The steering responds quickly and grip is as strong as you'd expect from a four-wheel-drive machine, but the truly satisfying engagement provided by fast Fords of old is unfortunately absent. Ford's engineers deserve credit for making the Mach-E GT drive and handle well for such a large and heavy car, but it can't transcend that status like the very best combustion-engined fast SUVs from the likes of Porsche do.
Like most electric cars, performance or otherwise, the Mach-E GT driving experience can be adjusted to your preferences thanks to several different modes. Ford calls them Whisper, Active, Untamed and Untamed Plus, with the focus shifting from comfort and refinement in Whisper to all-out speed and sharpness in Untamed Plus.
In some cars, the differences between such modes are almost too subtle to notice, but in the Mach-E GT, Untamed Plus in particular does open up a degree of playfulness and adjustability that's missing from some of its rivals. It's also said to optimise the drivetrain for repeatedly delivering maximum power, but there's no getting away from the fact that driving the car hard quickly takes big chunks out of the claimed 310-mile range.
At least you can top the 88kWh battery fairly quickly, thanks to standard 150kW rapid-charging capability that'll get you from 10 to 80% capacity in just under 45 minutes. And if you're done having fun and want to maximise range, the Mach-E's one-pedal regenerative braking system is particularly effective at slowing you down smoothly while also sending energy back into the battery.
The car cruises comfortably in Whisper mode, too, with smoother dips and bumps taken care of by that trick suspension. Large 20-inch alloy wheels do mean that harsher imperfections send a shudder through the cabin, however, and overall there's always a slightly stiff edge to the ride no matter what driving mode you're in.
To set it apart visually from lesser models in the Mach-E range, the GT gets Ford Performance sports seats that hug you in position so you don't slide out when rounding a fast corner, as well as body-coloured wheelarches, a special bumper design, a 3D-effect grille and two unique, eye-catching colours to pick from: Grabber Blue and our test car's Cyber Orange.
Infotainment is provided by the same portrait-orientated 15.5-inch touchscreen you get in all other Mach-Es, running Ford's SYNC4 software. The system is both responsive and intuitive, although our previous criticisms about it not being angled towards the driver, and missing somewhere to anchor your hand, bear repeating here. The 10.2-inch digital driver's display can't be faulted, however: it's brilliantly simple and clear to read.
On the practicality front, there are no differences from the standard Mach-E: you still get a 402-litre boot at the back (above) and a 100-litre storage area up front under the bonnet, while passenger space in the front and rear is unchanged, too.
Spec-wise, the GT gets everything the Mach-E AWD Extended Range does: that includes wireless phone charging, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors all round, a 360-degree parking camera, dual-zone climate control, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, adaptive LED headlights and a comprehensive tally of safety equipment. There's no shortage of kit, then, but you'd expect no less from the car's list price of over £65,000, which is definitely stretching the traditional affordability of fast Ford models a tad.
And that pretty much sums up the issue with the Mustang Mach-E GT. Taken at face value, it's an impressive, well equipped, fast, engaging, practical and head-turning electric SUV. But compared to the legendary fast Fords of old, it can't help but come up a little short when it comes to pure driving fun and relative affordability.