Can you imagine being the descendant of a rock star, famous politician, or anyone genuinely well-perceived by the public? To some, being the descendant of such a person would make them feel they deserve the same respect as their parent, and others may feel they need to do something grandiose to stand out and be who they want to be. This is exactly how I would describe the Mustang Mach-E. It’s not easy to be the namesake of such a legend, and there are plenty of you out there who have never owned a Mustang Mach-E and may not know much about it––former Mustang drivers or not.
The Mustang Mach-E is still relatively new, so the question is, does this compact electric SUV stay true to its Mustang roots? Will the Mustang Mach-E leave the lasting impression that Ford’s hoping it will? Even if you aren’t currently interested in searching for a “Ford dealer near me” to test drive this new model, there may be more to it than you think. Let’s discuss the Mustang Mach-E and see if it has what it takes to lay claim to the Mustang name.
The State of EVs
Before we dive too deep into the Mustang Mach-E, let’s discuss the current state of EVs. Electric vehicles are in a better place now than they’ve ever been, and the same can be said for hybrids. The advancements in electrification have been so tremendous that electric cars have gone from being the butt of jokes to being some of the quickest vehicles on the road. Ford is leading the charge with revolutionary models like the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid and, of course, the main focus of today’s discussion, the Mustang Mach-E.
The state of EVs today is marked by ease of use, popularity, and accessibility. If you buy an EV like the Mustang Mach-E, more charging stations are available to Americans now than ever before, and you can expect thousands of more stations to open up in the coming years. Charging stations are appearing at a myriad of places, including shopping centers, rest stops, gas stations, and more. Charging stations aren’t as complicated to install as gas stations, so you can expect many businesses to opt to include them before too long.
One benefit that’s really drawing more buyers to electric vehicles is the ability to skip public charging stations entirely and recharge from the comfort of your home. It’s reasons like this that have led to record EV sales and the explosion of new models on the market. However, that doesn’t explain whether the Mustang Mach-E respects its roots of the original Mustang.
The Meaning of “Mustang”
Since the reveal of the Mustang Mach-E, one thing has become clear: “Mustang” is more than just the name of a vehicle. The Mustang is a dream car for many people, and the Mustang name connotes stylish designs, strong levels of performance, and an aura of traditional Americana. If the Mustang Mach-E sported any other name, it would inarguably be considered a high-quality EV. However, the addition of the Mustang badge means it is held to a much higher standard.
If you have reservations about the naming scheme of the Mustang Mach-E and believe the only Mustang is a fire breathing coupe with a V8 engine, that’s understandable. However, the Mustang Mach-E isn’t here to replace the traditional Mustang, nor is it Ford’s attempt at turning the Mustang into something it’s not. Instead, the Mustang Mach-E is growing the Mustang family. In this way, the Mustang Mach-E is expanding into areas of the automotive industry that can truly benefit from a big-name manufacturer taking the necessary risks.
The Mustang Mach-E is a fantastic addition to Ford’s lineup because it has shown us that Ford isn’t only looking to keep some of its most memorable names alive but to reinvigorate them for a new generation of drivers. I believe the Mustang Mach-E earned its name by capturing the original Mustang spirit with eye-catching style that appeals to drivers who want to stand out on the road. But the final obstacle the Mustang Mach-E must overcome to win the hearts of Mustang aficionados is providing performance to back up its sporty style and legendary name.
Undeniably Ford, Undeniably Mustang
I mentioned the Mustang Mach-E deserves the Mustang name for many reasons, but I want to shed light on performance because that’s an important attribute that defines the Mustang. Let’s look at the 2023 Mustang Mach-E. There are two battery sizes––Standard Range and Extended Range––and both are available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The addition of all-wheel drive is new for a Mustang, but it makes sense from a performance aspect because it helps put the vehicle’s tremendous power down.
The 2023 Mustang Mach-E’s standard powertrain has one electric motor on the rear axle and a 72 kWh battery, giving the base model 266 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. Using the same battery with AWD increases the output to 290 hp and 427 lb-ft of torque, which is quite comparable to the 2.3L EcoBoost engine in the Mustang coupe. I believe these are more than serviceable performance numbers for the small 72 kWh battery. However, for those true Mustang performance metrics, the 91 kWh Extended Range battery is a real powerhouse.
The 2023 Mustang Mach-E has three powertrain variations that use the 91 kWh battery. The RWD version of this powertrain increases performance output over the standard battery to 311 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. Upgrading to AWD lends another boost to 346 hp, although torque stays the same. These powertrains will give you a zero to 60 mph time of 6.3 seconds with RWD or 5.8 s with AWD.
Lastly, the Mustang Mach-E GT is incredible because it gives more horsepower and torque than the top-of-the-line Mustang Mach 1 sports car. The Mustang Mach-E GT has 480 hp and between 600 lb-ft of torque (which increases to 634 lb-ft with the GT Performance Edition), while the 5.0L V8 engine in the Mustang Mach 1 outputs 470 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Plus, by using AWD, the Mustang Mach-E GT can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds. That’s almost a half-second faster than the Mustang Mach 1.
Is the Mustang Mach-E Worthy of the Mustang Name?
Is the Mustang Mach-E true to its Mustang roots? I believe it is. Is it a great buy? I also believe so. It’s not hard to imagine the Mustang Mach-E leaving an impression. Even if the impact isn’t as large as the vehicle that birthed the Mustang name, it’s on its way to superstardom, and the new model is definitely worthy of the Mustang name. The Mustang Mach-E is a great example of where the industry is heading in a few ways. By ushering old names into new segments within the automotive industry, Ford is using the tried and true method of building upon a classic. This may sound alarming to traditional Mustang enthusiasts, but the V8 sports car we know and love isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future. If anything, Ford calling its first all-electric model a Mustang is all the proof we need of just how respected the Mustang name is.