2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Los Angeles Auto Show Ford officially unveiled its all-new pure-electric sporty crossover—the 2021 Mustang Mach E—Sunday night in Los Angeles, less than a week before the kick-off of the 2019 L.A. Auto Show. It’s remarkable enough that this genre-smashing new vehicle is Ford’s first purpose-built, regular-production, pure-electric vehicle (with no equivalent gasoline-engine version). What’s almost as noteworthy is that Ford has elected to use the name of its beloved pony car, and make this new EV part of the Mustang “family.”

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2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Los Angeles Auto Show
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Even the “Mach-E” suffix has Mustang roots—it’s close to the Mach 1 Mustang performance model that debuted for 1969 and has appeared periodically in the Mustang lineup since then. Ford’s press release officially calls the Mach-E an SUV, and claims the vehicle will fit five adults comfortably and offer ample cargo space. The listed cargo specs are quite good: The rear cargo area has 29 cubic feet of cargo space, which grows to 59.6 cu ft. with the rear seats folded down. There’s also a drainable front-trunk storage unit with 4.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

The Mustang Mach-E will be built on Ford’s all-new electric-car architecture; the battery is located on the floor between the front and rear axles. Standard-range models are equipped with a 75.7-kWh lithium-ion battery, while extended-range models get a 98.8-kWh battery; both offer a choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Ford is targeting a driving range of at least 300 miles with the extended-range battery and rear-wheel drive.

Targeted horsepower and torque ratings on extended-range AWD versions are 332 hp and 417 pound-feet. That’s more than respectable, but there will also be GT and GT Performance Edition models that offer an estimated 459 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque. Ford is targeting 0-60-mph times of under 4 seconds in GT models, and in the mid-3-second range for the GT Performance Edition.

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The Mach-E will also features Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled drive modes that Ford says offer “finely tuned driving dynamics packaged with a distinct sensory experience.” Sportier steering, ambient lighting, and “sounds tuned for an authentic all-electric experience” are among the drive-mode parameters; we’re guessing that last one means exciting (but artificial) powertrain sounds piped in through the stereo system.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E LogoThe Mach-E’s interior has a large, vertically oriented 15.5-inch central touchscreen that appears similar to the one in the Tesla Model 3. A next-generation SYNC infotainment system will offer smartphone-linked user profiles, over-the-air software updates for future upgradability, and features such as machine learning to adapt to individual driver preferences.

Available features include the Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 suite of driver-assist features, Ford’s Magneride adaptive suspension system, premium Bang & Olufsen stereo, fixed panoramic sunroof, and Ford’s Phone As A Key technology, which enables vehicle entry and starting via a user’s smartphone.

The Mustang Mach-E is slated to go on sale late in the 2020 calendar year, with GT models set to follow in spring 2021.

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CG Says:

Wow. There’s a lot to process here. First, there will be a Mustang SUV;  second, it will be a pure-electric vehicle; and third, there’s a performance version that will be about as quick to 60 mph as a Porsche 911 GTS. We’ve known since early 2018 that this vehicle was coming, and that it was going to take its overall design inspiration from the Mustang, but we’re a bit surprised that Ford is officially calling it a Mustang.

The strategy makes sense on many levels, however. The very rationally minded Chevrolet Bolt EV and Nissan Leaf, to name a couple current mainstream-brand EVs, are fine vehicles… but they don’t really set anyone’s heart afire, and they haven’t exactly been roaring successes in the marketplace. Ford is clearly aiming for the Mach-E to have emotional, enthusiast driver appeal in addition to the requisite green-car credentials, and the company has put an exclamation point on that by naming the Mach-E after one of the most emotionally appealing vehicles it has ever made.

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