(Pocket-lint) - For the first time in 55 years Ford is expanding the Mustang line, with the introduction of the Mach-E, the company's first all-electric vehicle.
We were at the European launch in Oslo, Norway, to get a closer look at the next step in Mustang history. Here's everything you need to know.
All-new SUV design
- All-electric, all-electric SUV
- 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels
- LED signature Mustang headlights
Hold up a minute, that's not a Mustang? Well, perhaps not as you would expect. The traditional coupe styling has given way to the new hot flavour of 2019: an SUV design format. For some it'll be a revelation, for others it will go against the Mustang heritage.
To look at, however, it's well-proportioned; with a low-seated driver position and high ride, it's designed to take the best of both worlds of sporty and SUV.
There are Mustang traits to the design: slim LED headlamps; muscular panels in the hood and rear haunch; a pushed-back A-pillar to accentuate the aggressive design.
In the same breath there's a whole lot of new to take in: no visible door handles (your phone can act as the key in the future); a longer wheelbase than other Mustang models; no front grille being necessary, as there's no radiator to cool.
Being an SUV, the new Mustang is obviously targeting the most successful vehicle range on the market today. It's following a similar path to what Porsche achieved with its (admittedly not electric) Cayenne, while appealing to the green-conscious seeking a zero emissions vehicle.
Range and efficiency
- 0-62mph in under 5 seconds
- Up to 280 miles range per charge
- Up to 370 miles (extended model)
- 150kW DC high power charging
- 0g/km CO2 (zero emissions)
The all-electric Mustang comes in a number of forms: Mach-E, AWD (that's all-wheel drive - the first time ever in a Mustang); and First Edition.
Each can be configured with with standard range or extended range (the First Edtion is extended only). You'll pay more the all-wheel drive and more again for the extended range. The range is up to 280 miles per charge for the standard or up to 370 miles for the extended. That's an impressive figure in the world of electric vehicles.
Charging is provided up to 150kW with the correct fast-charger on the road. Plug in at home and it'll obviously be a lot slower, such is the way with EVs.
Just because it's electric doesn't mean the Mach-E is slow either - the name gives that suggestion - with a 0-62mph speed in under 5 seconds. In the AWD model that's delivered with a dual motor system, rather than the single motor system of the rear-wheel drive Mach-E.
- 15.5-inch touchscreen interface
- 10.2-inch digital drivers cluster
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity
- Intelligent adaptive cruise control, lane-keep, collision prevention
- No visible doorhandles, touch-based passcode system / phone key in the future
If you're familiar with Ford's tech suite then you'll know it's been lagging behind the competition for some time now. The Mach-E looks to change that, with the company's Sync 4 system delivering a far superior setup than before.
To the centre is a huge 15.5-inch touchscreen interface, reminiscent of a Tesla setup. It really is massive, almost like a small telly that's been side-mounted into the centre of the car, floating in position.
If you want to plug in an Apple or Android phone then both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is supported. If not, the system will handle navigation and tech under the Ford Sync umbrella.
That's complemented by a 10.2-inch drivers cluster, ensuring everything is digitally displayed in line of sight, this screen being smaller and much more elongated.
There's a host of intelligent technologies too: adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, auto-collision prevention. It's safety first, just as you'd expect of any modern car.
Just beyond the steering wheel are driver detection cameras, which, in combination with its 360-degree cameras setup, in the future could mean the Mach-E is fully automated. It's launching in future-proof style.
Perhaps most peculair yet interesting is the absence of traditional door handles. It means the doors keep a smooth form, with a small circular nub on each able to mechanically push the door away to make it accessible to open. On the driver's side, however, there's a touch-based keypad within the upper panel of the door, which can be programmed to unlock. We've never seen anything like it before.
And in the future you'll be able to use your phone as a key (this will be delayed in the UK due to various regulation, Ford says, but will arrive later).
Price and release date
- Mach-E rear-wheel drive from £40,270
- Dual motor 'AWD' from £46,570
- First Edition: £58,000
- Available "late 2020"
Go for the base rear-wheel drive model, the Mach-E, and the OTR price is from £40,270. That's a lot less than, say, an entry Audi e-tron, cementing Ford's vision to lure in customers who want electric but who can't afford the big bucks Teslas and such like (although the Model 3 is likely to arrive in the UK at an amenible price point).
The price continues to rise depending on what you select. The First Edition comes with everything you could want, including a signature 'Grabber Blue' coat of paint, extended range and all-wheel drive. But that pushes the price to its maximum of £58,000, with all the bells and whistles of the technology pack plus, with a Bang & Olufsen soundsystem included. In the UK the technology pack (and plus version) are aligned with specific vehicles; elsewhere it'll be possible to kit out your Mach-E as you please for additional cost.
All three trim levels are available for pre-order now, with delivery expected in late 2020. Is this the future of the electric revolution or the dilution of the Mustang as we once knew it? You decide...