Ford Mustang Mach-E: updated details, pricing and first drive

  • Hugely important electric Ford is fast and practical
  • Online and connected services help the driver
  • This Mustang is a family-friendly SUV at heart

Ford Mustang Mach-E (2020) driving

The Mustang Mach-E gets closer to its UK introduction, and Ford has announced some cutting-edge cloud-based services to make the most of its EV range by optimising your route. We have all the details of this, plus our thoughts from a first ride in this new model further down the page. Read on to find out everything you need to know.

In recent years, Ford has been busy resurrecting cherished model names on cars that, honestly, owe little to their previous generations. For Kuga (read Cougar), a low-slung, luxury coupe; for Puma, a low-slung, nimble Fiesta-sized sports car that's been reborn as a practical SUV. Now there's a new Mustang - the Mach-E. A five-door, five-seater fastback SUV with a sporty attitude.

The Ford Mustang, however, is still very much alive and kicking, with a 5.0-litre V8 option and some very extreme tuned versions available. It's a low-slung (do you see a theme here) large coupe or convertible, with old-school fun from rear-wheel drive handling and it has rock-solid credentials as an American icon.

We don't use that word often, or lightly; such is the consistency and focus of the Mustang's identity over 55 years, it deserves it.

Charging and gadgets: Mustang's on the pace

Ford Mustang Mach-E (2020) instruments

Although novel for Ford, a lot of the connected technology featured on the Mustang Mach-E is what we have come to expect from premium electric cars. Smartphone integration including the ability to use the smartphone as a key, 150kW charging capacity and advanced driver assistance are all available, ensuring the Mach E is competitive with key rivals.

Ford's partnership with Ionity yields a healthy number of FordPass connected chargers, Home charging will benefit from dedicated Ford Connected wallboxes, but there's a domestic power cable included as well - giving 9 miles per hour of charging, versus 38 minutes for an 80% charge (around 250 miles) on a DC fast charger.

It also comes equipped with a new feature to help more accurately predict how much range drivers have left, becoming more precise over time. Ford says that the Mustang Mach-E’s cloud-based online Intelligent Range system can accurately estimate how much range the all-electric SUV has left, helping reduce anxiety about when and where customers can re-charge.

Mustang Mach-E delivers on performance

Yes, it's a practical family SUV offering 1,420 litres of boot space with the seats down - and 402 with them up, plus a handy front boot with a drainage system so you can hose out muddy boots and sandy beach gear (if it fits in the 100-litre space). It's got the kind of performance original Mustang buyers could only dream about, however.

Thanks to that all-electric powertrain, it has up to 337hp and 565Nm on tap, and it's rear-wheel drive as standard; yet Ford's also targeting a 370 mile range from the largest 98.8kWh battery. A high performance model, the Mach-E GT, aims to reach 62mph in less than five seconds and deliver 465hp and an immense 830Nm - enough to shame some fierce 4x4s (including the Ranger Raptor) and the occasional supercar.

Style - core to the Mustang's identity

Even though the Mach-E is a thoroughly practical electric car, Ford hasn't neglected design, and claims to have retained strong links to the Mustang's core identity. Taut, muscular flanks with distinct rear haunches and a series of power bulges on the bonnet retain some instantly-recognisable cues from current Mustang coupes, without sacrificing modern aerodynamic efficiency.

The unusual door handles are particularly distinctive - they're electric buttons that 'pop' the door open, with a small handle on the front doors because buyers felt uncomfortable putting their fingers in the gap to pull it wider.

Clever optics mask the height needed to provide that capacious boot and ample rear seat space, literally drawing a fastback coupe profile onto a five-door shape.Two-tone finishes may be vital for this to work effectively, and on the road most people will probably miss the true shape of the rear roof and window.

What you can't miss is the updated rendition of those unmistakable three-bar lights - a genuinely attractive piece of design regardless of heritage.Big on the outside means big on the inside, of course - and Ford has blended the futuristic vision of electric cars with some key elements of Mustang DNA to create an airy, but still sporty interior.

Ford Mustang Mach-E (2020) dashboard

Mustang's traditional dual-cowl dashboard is reduced to the barest of lines, allowing the large 15.5-inch touchscreen of Ford's latest Sync infotainment to dominate the cabin, including the discrete, sound-bar like installation of B&O audio above the airvents.

Sync's upgrades include cloud-based driver assistance, such as learning routines and routes, mapping out the best chargepoints for you and Car-to-X communication for smart traffic updates. Simplifying the interface, there's a conversational voice recognition system made possible by more than doubling the processing power.

An optional full-length panoramic glass roof makes the most of the minimalist dashboard and spacious rear seats, while providing improved solar insulation and sound suppression than previous tech.

First ride review

Our first experience of the Mustang Mach-E isn’t exactly an extensive one. We pick up the action in an underground car park near Marble Arch, where Ford’s latest baby silently pulls up to greet us.

This is a pre-production model wearing a vinyl wrap instead of its final paint finish, but it’s not camouflaged, per se, so we’re able to see the body and its styling in a reasonable level of detail. In the flesh, the Mach-E doesn’t appear to be as upright and boxy as rival electric SUVs such as the Tesla Model X or Audi E-Tron. That will of course affect practicality, but it bodes well for the car’s sporting credentials – embodied in the use of the ‘Mustang’ name, which has exclusively been applied to muscle cars since its inception.

When building an electric car, manufacturers love doing something high-tech with the car’s extremities – just look at the Audi E-Tron’s ‘virtual’ door mirrors. The Mustang Mach-E has conventional mirrors but has done away with door handles – instead, you get in by pressing a small button and allowing the door to ‘pop’ before pulling it open.

Ford Mustang Mach-E (2020) driving

These don’t have quite the same ‘wow’ factor as the Tesla Model X’s ‘falcon-wing’ attachments, but they’re rather more practical – and a lot quicker. With regards to practicality, the Mustang Mach-E offers a surprising amount of passenger room in both front and rear seats – easily on a par with an Audi E-Tron or Mercedes-Benz EQC. That’s helped by the construction of the battery pack – it sits flat underneath the car, providing a totally unobstructed floor for passengers to slide their feet around.

Our driver’s quick to tell us that the materials used in the interior aren’t representative of the production car, but the layout is. It uses a portrait-oriented central touchscreen measuring a colossal 15.5 inches to display most information such as navigation, entertainment and other secondary functions. However, unlike the latest Teslas, which also use the central display for driving data, the Mach-E has a narrow, high-resolution display behind the steering wheel for speed, remaining range and alerts.

A brief squirt of acceleration from our test driver shows that the power and instant pick-up provided by the electric drivetrain are alive and kicking – there’s more performance on tap here than anyone will realistically need, and though it probably won’t outpace a Tesla at the traffic lights you’ll leave most conventional traffic in your (silent) wake.

The car’s ride is undeniably on the firm side – it’s not as rough as a full ST-branded Ford, but central London’s potholes do unsettle it more than they would a Mercedes-Benz EQC. That should pay dividends when it comes to handling, though – and the body control exhibited through our short run is impressive.

It's of course too early to tell anything meaningful about the Mustang Mach-E's on-road credentials from such a short ride, but the process - and a further poke around a more 'finished' model later in the day - leave us cautiously optimistic about the car's future.

Ford Mustang Mach-E (2020) front seats

Ford Mustang Mach-E (2020) rear seats

What this means for you

You can go to Ford's website and place a pre-order right now. There's a First Edition model featuring extended-range and all-wheel drive, finished in Grabber Blue Metallic paint. As well as the full-length panorama roof, it's got contrasting interior stitching and First Edition door scuff plates.

Prices start at £40,270 for the Mach-E, rising to £58,000 for the extended-range, all-wheel drive First Edition. and pre-orders are expected to deliver in 2020. The high-performance Ford Mustang Mach-E GT is expected to arrive in 2021.

This isn't Ford's first purpose-made production electric car - the Norwegian-built TH!NK gets that honour - but on first impressions, it's a deeply promising, on-trend and attractive EV that really doesn't need the Mustang name to succeed.

Further reading

>> Best electric cars to lease

>> The best electric cars

>> Electric cars - the latest reviews and advice

Ford Mustang Mach-E (2020) rear view