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First drive: Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Image by Ford.

First drive: Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
The high-performance electric SUV is brilliant, but is it worth its 65k price tag?

   



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Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

The Ford Mustang Mach-E has already made great first impressions among the road test team, and now the range-topping, high-performance GT model has arrived to steal the show. An impressive feat of engineering that offers incredible performance and a 500km official electric range, it's undoubtedly brilliant. But is it good enough to justify its lofty price tag?

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
Pricing: Mach-E range from 41,330, GT from 67,225
Electric system: twin permanent magnet synchronous electric motors (one on each axle) developing 358kW plus 98.7kWh (88kWh net) lithium-ion battery pack
Transmission: single-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive
Body style: five-door, five-seat SUV
CO2 emissions: 0g/km (VED Band 0: 0 in perpetuity)
Range: 310 miles
Charging: 150kW for Extended Range via CCS Combo 2 port on nearside front wing; 45 minutes for 10-80 per cent battery charge on maximum DC connection speed, 99 miles of driving range every 10 minutes at maximum DC connection speed
Top speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 3.7 seconds
Power: 487hp
Torque: 860Nm
Boot space: 402-1,420 litres rear plus 100 litres front trunk

What's this?

It's the Ford Mustang Mach-E, but with a Carolina Reaper chili up its backside. Okay, Ford hasn't literally stuffed the boot of its electric SUV with peppers, but it has certainly added a little more spice to the previously mild Mach-E. The result is this all-wheel-drive GT version, which uses two electric motors to produce 487hp and 860Nm of torque. If you like your stats, this thing has 15 per cent more torque than the Ford GT supercar, and that means it's fast. Very fast. The sprint from 0-62mph takes 3.7 seconds, which makes this Ford's fastest-accelerating five-seat car. It'll even keep pace with a mid-range Porsche 911.

As standard, the GT comes with the 98.7kWh battery you'll find in the Extended Range (ER) versions of the standard Mach-E, although the on-board electronics mean you can only ever access a maximum of 88kWh. However, Ford has said it thinks this limit may be "too conservative," and it's looking at increasing the capacity available in the future. For now, though, the GT will take you up to 310 miles on a single charge. That isn't quite as much as some of the less powerful, rear-wheel-drive Mach-Es, but it's more than you'll get from the basic Standard Range cars.

But the recipe for this GT version doesn't just involve squeezing more power from the electric motors. Ford has also tweaked the design, giving the Mach-E a new grey front 'grille' panel, which gives the front end a much more cohesive look than the standard car's droopy 'moustache' arrangement. Better still, the GT comes with body-coloured arches and glossy black sills, as well as black paint on the roof and door mirror caps. Finally, there's a set of 20-inch alloy wheels with an intricate two-tone design, behind which lurk the high-spec red Brembo brake callipers.

Inside, the changes are far more subtle, with the body-hugging performance seats being the only difference of note. They're more comfortable than they might look, although they won't suit everyone. The rest of the interior is a sure-fire hit, however, because it's pretty much identical to that of the standard Mach-E. That means you get a massive central touchscreen, a digital instrument display and an almost entirely button-free dashboard.

Normally, such minimalism might be irritating, but it works in the Mach-E because the touchscreen is so good. Okay, the layout occasionally feels haphazard, but it's crisp and responsive when you prod it, and the display is beautifully presented. We even like the rotary volume control built into the enormous screen. And although Ford might be a mainstream brand, the quality is premium-level. The cabin feels every bit as good as a 67,225 car's interior should.

We like the level of standard equipment, too. You get navigation, smartphone integration technology and a fabulous B&O sound system as standard. The only optional extra is a panoramic glass roof, which makes the cabin feel much brighter, but it doesn't come cheap.

How does it drive?

Very, very well. Sorry to spoil the surprise, but the Mach-E is brilliant, and the GT is even better. In addition to the Brembo brakes, which are stupendously effective but devoid of feel, Ford has fitted bigger wheels and suspension designed to keep the car flat through the corners. That would normally be a recipe for a bone-jarring ride, but the GT comes with MagneRide adaptive suspension to smooth out the worst bumps. It works relatively well, but even clever electronic systems can't change the laws of physics. The GT is heavy, and it rides on big alloys, which means there's a slight edge to the ride. That said, it's only slightly less comfortable than the standard car, and that's an achievement in itself.

From here on in, it's almost exclusively good news. At the top of the agenda is the performance, which is every bit as remarkable as we were hoping. The numbers tell us this car is fast, but they can't convey the brutality of such eager acceleration. The electric motors deliver their power with such alacrity that you're pushed back into the big sports seats and the numbers in the digital display simply become a blur. And it's almost silent, as long as you aren't in one of the myriad driving modes that plays some fake motor whirr in a vain attempt to imbue some character.

Anyway, the Mach-E GT gathers pace incredibly quickly, and the handling is almost as impressive. Every version of the Mach-E feels beautifully balanced, but the GT feels as though it's more alert; on its toes and ready for the next change of direction. Like the brakes, the steering is slightly numb, but it elicits an immediate response from the front wheels, and that makes the car feel more like a precision implement.

In part, the experience will be coloured by the four driving modes the Mach-E GT offers. The Whisper, Active and Untamed modes are carried over from the standard Mach-E, but you also get Untamed Plus for track driving. To be honest, Whisper is the most appealing for everyday driving, giving you the quietest, most stable and most refined experience. But if you want to drive with a little more vigour, the Untamed mode will sharpen the throttle response and tweak the all-wheel-drive system to make the car more tail-happy. Active mode strikes a balance between the two, while Untamed Plus dials back the traction control and stability systems to leave the car in your hands. It's probably best sampled on a racetrack, rather than the public road.

Verdict

The GT was an inevitable next step in the Mach-E story, and there's no doubt that it gives Ford's electric SUV the performance that was missing before. It's great to drive, too, and it has plenty of range - assuming you can resist the temptation of that immense acceleration. It isn't the most characterful car in the Mustang range, of course, but it certainly feels more engaging than the standard Mach-E. The problem is the price tag. A mid-range Mach-E costs around 20,000 less and comes with more range. And because those cars drive so sweetly, the GT doesn't feel like a huge step forward. As a result, the GT may represent the pinnacle of the Mach-E range, but it doesn't offer great value for money.

5 5 5 5 5 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Interior Ambience

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Passenger Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain


James Fossdyke - 10 Nov 2021



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2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Image by Ford.2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Image by Ford.2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Image by Ford.2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Image by Ford.2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Image by Ford.

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Image by Ford.2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Image by Ford.2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Image by Ford.2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Image by Ford.2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Image by Ford.








 

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