Okay here goes, I like electric vehicles. While electric vehicles (EVs) are still at their infancy, they are already showing good potential to be good ‘fun cars’. They generate great power with perfectly linear delivery, are stable through the corners due to their innately low centre of gravity, and the smaller powertrains mean they can possibly look sleeker without sacrificing interior space or practicality. We borrowed the 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition for an early sample on the future of enthusiast driving and I can confirm the future could be bright again.
Yes, the Mustang Mach-E looks like a crossover and bears the iconic Mustang nameplate. The decision to slap the logo onto the company’s latest electric crossover is one that has drawn a fair share of criticism ever since its reveal; but in my opinion, it is a decision that also gave the Mustang Mach-E some much needed attention. Afterall, car enthusiasts would not have given this a second glance if it was called anything else (Galax-E?).
The Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition sports an attractive exterior design inspired by the current Mustang and backs up its heritage with some serious performance figures. Its horsepower figure matches that of the Mustang Mach 1 at 480, but its whopping 634 lb-ft. of torque trumps all gas-powered Mustangs including the almighty Shelby GT500.
Punch the accelerator at a moment’s notice and the Mustang Mach-E GT responds with a force that is actually unfamiliar to most car nuts including myself. What you feel is a curious absence of G-force even under max acceleration thanks to the electric motor’s perfectly linear power delivery and the complete lack of noise, vibration, and harshness that we have come to expect from performance cars. It’s a weird sensation that takes some time to adjust to.
To me, I reckon this sensation is similar to riding in a bullet train, where the only sense of speed comes from the rapid change of sceneries, and of course also by the soaring number on the speedometer – zero to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds. EVs have always impressed me with their natural ability to produce instant low-end torque and endless top-end power – two benefits that used to be mutually exclusive in internal combustion engines and the Mach-E GT elevates this to another level. The Porsche Taycan 4S carries a similar level of exhilaration but it is easily double the money once options come into play.
The other contributing factor to my conviction in enthusiast EV driving is how well balanced the Mach-E GT feels thanks to the rigid chassis, excellent MagneRide damping system, and the low centre of gravity created by the large battery packs below the floor. There is actual road feel transmitted through the electric steering rack, and its accuracy is definitely above average even by modern performance car standards.
Three standard driving modes are available for the Mustang Mach-E models – Whisper, Engage, Unbridled – and the GT Performance Edition gets an additional Unbridled Extend function that dials down the nannies and turns up the interior sound control for more fun on the racetrack. I personally like the fake engine sound that gets piped in through the speakers, but those who don’t can turn it off in the setting altogether. A special set of red-painted Brembo brakes are there to bring the Mach-E GT to a halt quickly if things get out of hand, even though the brake pedal feel through the regenerative braking system left a lot to be desired and had put a damper on the spirited driving experience.
Ford Canada estimates the Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition can run for a maximum of 418 kilometres with the 88-kilowatt-hour battery on full charge, but we were only able to get an estimated 320-kilometre max range based on the onboard computer. My test drive was performed in the Fall and heating elements typically take out a chunk off of an EV’s driving range so it is no surprise to see a decrease here. Shoppers looking for a longer range can opt for the standard Mustang Mach-E models.
Moving on inside, the Mustang Mach-E GT features a minimalistic design with the star of the attraction being the enormous 15.5-inch touchscreen. The standard SYNC 4A infotainment system is easy to use, however we noticed latency issues throughout the week that marred our experience. The Mach-E is decently equipped with standard Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker stereo system, wireless charging pad, and Co-Pilot360 2.0 driver assistance technology, but I would have liked to see more gadgets such as seat ventilation to justify its near $90,000 MSRP.
Thanks to the compact packaging of the electric powertrain, the Mustang Mach-E has above-average passenger and cargo space when compared to other compact crossovers. The full panoramic fixed-glass roof brightens up the cabin nicely and Ford has done a good job cutting out radiant heat using Infrared Reflective materials. The lack of engine in the front also means you get an extra 133-litre of storage on top of the 840-litre trunk space, and there is a dedicated cubby below the trunk floor to stow the portable charging cord.
Pricing for the 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E starts at $50,495 for the base 266-horsepower Select model and moves up quickly to $82,995 for this GT Performance Edition. Sprinkle in a few options such as the gorgeous Cyber Orange paint job ($800), Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 ($2,545), and Panoramic glass roof ($1,895) and we arrive at a fully-loaded total of $88,235. The closest competition here is the Tesla Model 3 Performance which costs about the same when fully loaded, with my money going to the Mustang Mach-E GT for its joyful steering and lively handling feel.
At the end of the week, I saw a glimpse of the future of enthusiast driving in the 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition. Yes, it lacks a V8, and yes, it is a crossover, but it demonstrates a lot of promises of what performance EV driving can be. Despite all the hype around self-driving cars, I know enthusiast driving is still going to be relevant thanks to the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Porsche Taycan paving the way, and I am more excited than ever for the next wave of performance EVs.