San Francisco – Jostling myself on California’s twisty two-lane Pacific Coast Highway in a Mustang GT, I suddenly came across a moving three-car roadblock. I flattened the right pedal. ZOT! The GT engulfed the trio like a killer whale feeding on fish.
No demotion, no V-8 roar, no rear fuss.
Say hello (and say goodbye quickly as it vanishes into the distance) to another kind of Mustang GT – the 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. A kilowatt-hungry hatchback SUV. Infused with the same nasty DNA as its gas-guzzling V-8-powered Fastback ancestor, it’s even dressed in a bright Cyber ââOrange to match Papa Pony’s Grabber Yellow.
This is the one we’ve been waiting for.
Ford Motor Co.’s Blue Oval has been chasing Tesla ever since the Palo Alto-based automaker blew the world in 2016 with the Model 3 and changed the electric game with a simple accessible, lightning-fast EV that made even gasoline. alcoholics like me have weak knees (I bought one).
Ford gave up what he was doing and gave chase. Perhaps he was furious that Tesla had stolen his iconic ‘Model’ nickname to claim his 21st century Model T title. Maybe he admired a startup for cracking the battery electrical code after Ford floundered with the first-gen C-Max and Escape Hybrid. Maybe both.
But Ford figured out that he would have to pull out his big-brand guns to compete with Tesla’s mega-brand. The Mustang Mach-E was born and it slavishly followed the Tesla Model Y formula (a Model 3 in ute clothing): 15-inch center display, frunk, 300-mile range, remote app, starting price of $ 40,000 .
When I got my hands on the new pony, I saddled it next to a Model Y and tested them from tip to toe. The Mach-E is very good, but doomed to live in the shadow of Tesla. The apprentice at the OG. Mach-E sales are a modest 2,000 per month – sold by the Model Y, 6 to 1.
Mach-E GT is a different animal. Bringing years of muscle car experience to the compact SUV, veteran engineer Dave Pericak and his merry elves layered Mach-E with Mustang muscle. Think 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, which equates to a $ 100,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk pulled by Hellcat.
Like the V-8-powered Mustang Fastback, Mach-E receives a steroid booster over its standard 346 horsepower and 428 torque sibling. Optimizing the same 88 kWh battery, the GT puts out 480 Mercedes AMG 63-style horsepower and an impressive 634 lb-ft of torque when equipped with the Performance Edition. That’s right, a performance package just like the sports car offerings: Pirelli gummy summer tires; active suspension; Brembo brakes.
In a hairpin bend on Route 1, I nailed the Mustang Mach-E GT Performance (that’s a lot of names) and the beast pounced. I’ve driven these roads in a Mustang V-8 Fastback, but there’s nothing quite like the electric torque ON / OFF switch of a large battery EV. The Pirellis clung like claws. The electric motor whines. The sky clouded over like Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon leaping into hyperspace. Chewie, set sail for the next galaxy.
Another bobby pin rushed in sight and big 15 inch front Brembos brought me back to earth. The battery-powered Mach-E GT weighs 4,962 pounds (500 more than Tesla), but it’s low in the stomach. Without a V-8 anchor up front, the beast turned fine, the magnetic suspension working hard – in part to compensate for the 2-inch narrower tires than a Merc AMG (EVs should be balanced with rolling resistance at suction).
To exploit its nearly 2 Â½ tons, the Performance Edition is rigid springs. Less enthusiastic drivers will prefer the standard GT.
The Model Y has a similar thrust – 0-60 in 3.6 seconds – but is less intuitive when cornering compared to the crisp Mustang. GT throws a traction control stop button so you can hang it further.
In maximum unbridled mode, the ‘Stang makes a satisfying GRRRRRRR owl noise in the cabin. It’s not the reptilian gurgling of the GT Fastback, but it’s a bit of the soul of the Mustang. The SUV is so athletic that it is lower (5.1 inches versus 5.8) than the GT Fastback.
I know, I know what you are thinking. If Ford wanted to expand the Mustang sub-brand, why didn’t it follow Porsche and just make a meaty, more practical V8-powered vehicle? It would have been glorious. Mustang should have done it five years ago like (Porsche monkey) Jaguar, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and other sports car brands.
But that was then, it is now and electric vehicles are all the rage (not to mention the constraints imposed by governments). Even Macan is going electric, so rather than chasing the tail, Mustang jumped the queue with the first performance SUV to run on Tesla.
It’s a niche segment of two for now. Model Y Performance and Mach-E Performance overlap at around $ 62,000. Lots of change.
Who will buy it? My buddy Jim and his wife are thirsty for the Mach-E, and the GT badge is in their wheelhouse – a daily driver next to an Audi RS5 hatchback and a Ford truck.
Mach-E GT would naturally replace their BMW X3 Mr. Heck, the ‘Stang beating the Bimmer to 60 mph by half a second – for 10,000 less. It looks like the part too, with GT gaining a menacing black grille over the awkward traced mouth on the standard Mach-E. It says âGET OUT OF THE TRACKâ in the rearview mirror of a slower car.
Where the Mach-E GT falls short of the BMW – and Tesla – is on road trips. One of the reasons the federal government feels sorry for a $ 7,500 tax credit.
With a claimed range of 260 miles (me, uh, only got 60% whipping the pony in Northern California), the Mach-E GT requires long charging stops from a network of unreliable third-party recharge. Bimmer can sharpen his beak with gasoline anywhere. Tesla’s reliable charger network is the brand’s secret sauce.
Tesla is also bringing its signature autopilot system. While the Mach-E GT’s similar Blue Cruise system allows for truly hands-free driving (a camera looked at me to make sure I was careful), I found it less confident in lane centering than the swoopy. California four-lane 101. The Tesla (which asks you to keep one hand near the steering wheel) is remarkably precise – while still offering cutting-edge technology like Navigate-on-Autopilot and automatic lane change.
It’s hard to compete with the iPhone on wheels from Silicon Valley. So Mach-E grabs your attention old-fashioned – muscle car speed ‘n’ style.
The virgin-faced Tesla looks alien. Mach-E’s anthropomorphic fascia, muscular shoulders and fastback are as familiar as the screaming V-8 GT you coveted when you were 16.
And when you sneak everyone behind a Woodward traffic light, it won’t wake up all the agents within a 10 mile radius.
2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
Vehicle Type: Battery-Powered Four-Door All-Wheel-Drive SUV
Price: $ 60,100, including $ 1,100 destination fees ($ 63,285 GT and $ 69,800 GT Performance Edition according to testing)
Powertrain: 68 to 88 kWh lithium-ion battery driving single or double electric motors
Power: 480 horsepower, 600 lb-ft of torque (GT); 480 hp, 634 lb-ft of torque (GT Performance)
Transmission: single speed automatic
Performance: 0-60 mph, 3.8 seconds (GT, manufacturing); 3.5 seconds (GT Performance); top speed, 124 mph
Weight: GT: 4,962 pounds (4,989 pounds, GT Performance Pack)
Fuel economy: EPA estimated range, 270 miles (GT); 260 miles (GT Performance)
Tops: Merciless acceleration; confident handling
Low: needs more inner definition; The performance model can shake a bulk filling
Overall: 4 stars
Henry Payne is an auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at [email protected] or Twitter @HenryEPayne.
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