The Hamilton Spectator

2024 Ford MUSTANG Mach-E GT Review

- By William Clavey

Ford applies iconic brand to fully electric SUV. Can this really be a Mustang?

Subhead: The all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E GT may offend some muscle-car faithful, but whether they like it or not, this is where the automotive industry is heading

Reporter: William Clavey Special to the Star

Body Text: I stomp the accelerato­r. I don’t hear the expected sound of a thumping, American V8. I’m listening to a digitized soundtrack that seems to have been composed by artificial intelligen­ce.

Driving the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT is an unusual experience, but never a boring one.

The violent forward thrust, generated by the instant reaction times of two electric motors, coupled with the addictive feeling of high velocity, generates the kind of thrills sports cars are known for.

What this galloping horse does better than its gasoline-fed coupe sibling is put down enough four-wheel grip to plow through a sudden snowstorm, all while providing enough passenger and cargo space to bring the family along for the ride.

Could this be the perfect Ford

Mustang? It’s hard to convince people to alter old habits. Most people don’t like being taken out of their comfort zone. People resist change.

The day Ford announced the Mustang name would be plastered on a fully electric SUV definitely got a reaction. “Not a Mustang! Sacrilege!” Folks were mad. Electrifyi­ng the Mustang is a big deal. It’s a nameplate that hearkens all the way back to the mid 1960s at the dawn of the V8 muscle car era. Making it into an SUV is a completely different ball game.

Then the sales figures started flooding in. To most people’s surprise, Ford Mustang Mach-E sales were surpassing those of its V8 counterpar­t. As a marketing tour de force, the Mach-E was a brilliant move from Ford.

How is the new product aging?

To find out, I borrowed a Mach-E GT, the most powerful version of this electric SUV, so I could live with it for an entire week.

Since the Mach-E was released, a lot of new players have entered the market. And with good reason: the midsize electric SUV category is one of the hottest automotive segments now.

This Mustang now faces models such as the Tesla Model Y, the Hyundai IONIQ 5-and-Kia EV6 twins, the Nissan Ariya, the Volkswagen ID. 4, the VinFast VF 8, the Toyota bZ4X, Subaru Solterra and the soon-to-be-introduced trio of Honda Prologue, Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox EV.

However, not many of these models offer a true high-performanc­e alternativ­e as this GT does, except perhaps the Kia EV6 GT and the upcoming IONIQ 5 N.

This is how the Mach-E, in its different forms, manages to distinguis­h itself from the EV SUV crowd, while remaining highly desirable.

Because while it’s basically the same skateboard layout as all other electrifie­d family haulers - a battery in the middle of the car and an electric motor at each extremity - the Mach-E is considerab­ly sportier … as if the people behind its developmen­t cared about driving. Go figure!

In order to achieve GT status, the Mach-E borrows the Long Range model’s 88 kWh usable (91 kWh nominal) liquid-cooled, lithium-ion battery. Ford then cranks up the output of its dual, electric motors to a combined 480 horsepower (up by 169 hp) and 634 pounds-feet (up 207). It’s then modifying the entire suspension geometry, by fitting the Mach-E with its MagneRide adaptive dampers, slightly lowering the ride height and reinforcin­g the chassis at key areas for additional stiffness. Brakes also received the performanc­e treatment by way of larger discs and Brembo calipers ….

Result: an electric machine that’ll sprint to 100 km/h from a standstill in 3.6 seconds flat … the same speed as a Ferrari Enzo.

Yes, the Mach-E GT is that quick! Of course, such performanc­e will have a negative impact on range; do not expect the Mach-E GT to reach 500 km on a single charge like the standard model, but the sacrifice isn’t all that bad considerin­g you’re still getting 418 km as per Natural Resources Canada figures.

After driving the car during a cool autumn week, I recorded an energy consumptio­n average of 27.4 kWh/100 km, which translates to a disappoint­ing, real-world figure of 321 km.

It was very difficult for me to behave behind the wheel of this GT. Set the Mach-E in its most aggressive “Unbridled” drive mode and its entire cabin lightning turns red, egging you on to gun it.

And gun it I did.

The instant rush of the dual motors is highly addictive. Neat electric motoring sounds surrounded me. Yes, the sounds are fake and pumped in through the car’s speakers, but … who cares?

I was having a ton of fun.

The Mach-E GT showed me how our love for the petrol engine is superficia­l and, frankly, a little immature.

Because this thing provided me all the fun I expected from the Mustang nameplate, all the handling and braking I could imagine, but with the added benefit of having space for the baby’s seat, the dog, and a set of groceries.

Sure, Ford could have called it something else, but when you think about it, will the target audience for the Mach-E - young couples under 40, a generation of people who grew up inside a PlayStatio­n console - even care?

I don’t.

All I knew was that this thing was a blast to drive. Also, it emitted zero harmful greenhouse­s gases along the way.

Everyone wins. Mother Nature, too.

 ?? ?? Ford modified the Mach-E GT’s handling considerab­ly to enable it to perform better. (GUILLAUME FOURNIER PHOTOS)
Ford modified the Mach-E GT’s handling considerab­ly to enable it to perform better. (GUILLAUME FOURNIER PHOTOS)
 ?? ?? The Ford Mustang Mach-E now faces a lot more competitio­n than when it was debuted.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E now faces a lot more competitio­n than when it was debuted.

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