After spending the past year teasing the public with a trickle of information, Ford has finally unveiled its first official, all-electric Mustang, the Mach-E. But the automaker’s latest version of its famous pony isn’t the electrified muscle car people have been waiting for. Rather, it’s a crossover SUV meant to compete with the likes of Audi, Jaguar and Tesla.
Making its debut during a livestream on Sunday evening, the Mach-E represents a notable commitment to the electric car future by the Detroit-based automaker. While Ford and its peers have toyed with smaller electric options, the new battery-powered Mustang has the iconic name, styling and size that American drivers expect from their automakers.
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At first blush, even though the first electric Mustang is an SUV, it somehow still looks the part. In fact, the Mach-E bears a striking resemblance to the sixth generation of the muscle car—only bigger, wider and with an extra set of doors. Featuring the same (simulated) grille, headlights and taillights that have become its trademarks, it almost looks as if someone took the standard Mustang and inflated it. One design quirk that’s sure to get people talking, though, are the door handles. They’re hidden and only reveal themselves after a special activator button is triggered. The reason? Aerodynamics, of course.
While aerodynamic door handles may sound like a gimmicky feature for an SUV, Ford clearly wants the Mach-E to live up to the Mustang’s storied history of performance, zero-emissions or not. The EV is powered by a rear-mounted motor that is capable of producing 332 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque and has a range of around 300 miles, thanks to an extended-range 98.8 kWh battery pack (the standard 75.7 kWh battery is good for a range of 235). Even more powerful is the top-of-the-line GT Performance Edition, which adds a front-mounted motor and can churn out a very impressive 459 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque. Ford claims the GT Performance is capable of going 0-60 mph in the mid-three-seconds range, which is significantly faster than its nearest competition—the Audi E-Tron (5.5 seconds) and Jaguar I-Pace (4.5 seconds).
“The Mustang Mach-E wholeheartedly rejects the notion that electric vehicles are only good at reducing gas consumption,” Hau Thai-Tang, the company’s chief product development and purchasing officer, said in a press release. “People want a car that’s thrilling to drive, that looks gorgeous and that can easily adapt to their lifestyle—and the Mustang Mach-E delivers all of this in unmatched style.”
Of course, at the end of the day this is a crossover SUV, and it has the storage room to prove it. A trunk and the rear hatchback combine to give the vehicle 29 cubic-ft of luggage space, a number that more than doubles when you fold down the rear seat, which is more than the E-Tron and I-Pace. The interior is just as spacious, with has room for six adult passengers. The SUV also features a deluxe infotainment system with a giant 15.5-inch touchscreen panel with a physical control knob. Ford plans to release the EV in a range of different trim styles, including Select, Premium, First Edition, California Route 1, GT and a GT Performance Edition.
But what might be most surprising about the Mach-E may be the pricing. It’s clear from the specs that Ford expects its first electric SUV to compete with the E-Tron, I-Pace and the upcoming Tesla Model Y, but its prices will fall well under those models. Whereas the I-Pace starts at $69,500 and the E-Tron at $74,800, the Mach-E is expected to start at $40,000, with trim and performance options taking it up to $50,000.
The Mustang Mach-E, which will make its debut later this week at the LA Auto Show, can now be reserved through Ford’s website for a deposit of $500. Deliveries of the electric SUV are expected to begin next spring. Check out more photos of the car below: