Ford’s newest pony silently gallops into being

Mach-E boasts a coupe-like profile, upwards rear shoulder line and a sealed grille embedded with the pony logo

Signalling the biggest change in its 55 year history, Ford this past weekend revived the Mach designation for the Mustang, albeit as an all-electric SUV in the form of the Mustang Mach-E.

The source of much speculation since the leaking of several images and product details mere hours before its unveiling, the Mach-E draws visual hints from its namesake such as the headlights, bonnet, taillights and grille, but is otherwise unique in that it boasts a coupe-like profile, upwards rear shoulder line and a sealed grille embedded with the pony logo.

Inside, the interior departs from the Mustang entirely and mirrors that of the recently updated Explorer with the most prominent being the Tesla-style portrait touchscreen infotainment system that measures 15.5-inches and which comes with the Blue Oval’s SYNC 3 software that now offers over-the-air updates.

Boasting a floating 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster and a minimalistic design for the dashboard, the Mach-E also comes with vehicle locking/unlocking using Bluetooth, a panoramic glass roof with ambient lighting, an optional 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system and three driving modes dubbed Whisper, Engage and Unbridled. Providing seating for five, the claimed boot capacity space is 821-litres or 1 688-litres with the rear seats folded down.

With order books already open, the Mach-E will go on sale in a choice of five trim levels with the Select starting the line-up off by being powered by a 75.7 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that produces 190 kW and 414 Nm in rear-wheel-drive models, and 565 Nm in all-wheel-drive derivatives. Claimed range is 370 km and 338 km respectively with 0-100 km/h taking 5.5 and 6.2 seconds.

Moving one up, the Premium has the same battery as the Select, but with all-wheel-drive only as buyers seeking rear-wheel-drive will have to upgrade to the more powerful 98.8 kWh motor that delivers 210kW/414Nm. In this guise, the Mach-E will accelerate to 100 km/h in around six seconds and offer a range of 483 km. The Premium does however come with all-wheel-drive, but which ups the power to 248 kW despite retaining the same size battery, although with a slower 0-100 km/h time of 6.5 seconds and with a claimed range of 435 km/h.

Building on the lesser powered Premium but with rear-wheel-drive is the California Route 1 edition, while the First Edition is based on the latter Premium and comes with all-wheel-drive only. Technical details are however unchanged.

Topping the range off is the GT that comes with the 98.8 kWh motor, but which has been re-programmed to produce 342kW/830Nm. With performance taking centre stage, the all-paw gripping GT’s range is capped at 378 km with 0-100 km/h taking 3.5 seconds. Standard on all models is a 150 kW on-board charger that can charge the Mach-E from 10 to 80% in 38 minutes using a fast charging station.

In the United States, the Mach-E will start at $43 985 (R648 202) for the rear-wheel-drive Select and end off at $60 500 (R891 582) for the GT, but don’t expect it to become available in South Africa anytime soon.

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