Is the Ford Mustang Mach-E the first true electric muscle car?

With the electric revolution in full swing, we’re now starting to see manufacturers introduce performance versions of their EVs, enticing driving enthusiasts over to zero-emission motoring.

That’s exactly why Ford has released a go-faster GT version of its Mustang Mach-E SUV. Being an electric car, the regular model is no slouch, but this new version ups the ante. The Blue Oval is perhaps best known by enthusiasts for its exciting hot hatches, but the Mach-E is more like an electric muscle car, borrowing characteristics from its Mustang namesake – namely impressive straight-line speed with less enthusiasm for hard cornering.

The dual-motor electric powertrain has been given a boost, but the GT is much more than simply pumped up numbers. A couple of the changes that have been made to improve overall on-road performance include new MagneRide suspension and uprated Brembo brakes.

Photos: PA Media

Furthermore, regular Mach-Es have a sporty Untamed mode, but the GT gets Untamed Plus, designed for optimum performance on track. Other highlights include new tyres that provide more grip, as well as a unique exterior styling package that adds a sporty edge.

Power comes from a dual electric motor system that provides all-wheel-drive, with a total output of 480bhp and 865Nm of torque. It’s the second figure that’s most impressive, being the most torque any Ford road car has ever made.

It makes for a stomach-churning 3.5-second 0-60mph time, before scooting hurriedly to its limited top speed of 124mph.

There’s 88kWh of usable battery capacity that provides a range of up to 310 miles, but Ford says it was being conservative with that figure and real world results show it could be upped to 91kWh. Expect an over-the-air update early next year that could increase the range to around 340 miles. It has a charging capacity of 150kW too, with a 10-80 per cent charge taking about 45 minutes when hooked up to a rapid charger.

As its performance figures suggest, the Mustang Mach-E GT is lightning fast off the line. It has that uncanny EV trick of providing an instant punch of acceleration that leaves your stomach momentarily lounging in the rear seats. Even on the move, planting your foot sees the car squat and surge forward with impressive urgency.

The new suspension works wonders for comfort, too. The regular car has a tendency to jiggle about all over the place on a lumpy road, but the GT is much more settled, with only high-speed vertical movements successfully unsettling it.

As a performance car, though, it’s a more curious prospect. It’s much closer to the muscle car character of the classic Mustang, with tight corners proving its undoing as the front end fights in vain for grip. The all-wheel-drive system is more rear-biased in the GT and seems happy to kick the back out when provoked, but its behaviour can be unpredictable at the edge of grip.

It’s much better to settle into a more relaxed rhythm, occasionally riding the surge of torque when the road opens up. The only thing that lets the experience down is the fidgety steering wheel, which seems to be constantly adjusting for you no matter how low you set the lane-keep driver assistance technology – a Mach-E complaint that’s not GT-specific.

Although it does have some awkward proportions, the Mustang Mach-E is a great-looking car overall, hiding its size and weight impressively well. This is only amplified in the GT, which gets a bespoke styling kit to hint at the performance within.

Upgrades include body-coloured wheel arches, a 3D-effect polycarbonate front grille, unique front bumper with air intakes, and a chin spoiler. Two new paint jobs are called Grabber Blue and Cyber Orange; our test car looked fantastic in the blue.

Ford really stepped up with the Mustang Mach-E interior, offering the highest quality, tech-heavy cabin in its range. The 15.5-inch, portrait-orientated infotainment display is hugely impressive, with its high-definition display being very responsive and its menus generally easy to navigate.

The GT gets sports seats, which are just about supportive enough while also being comfortable, thanks to the soft leather-like upholstery. The general atmosphere is pleasingly premium, given the GT’s price; though Ford is still lagging a little behind the likes of Audi and BMW in this regard, few could grumble about the Mach-E’s cabin.

The GT is the most expensive Mach-E in the range. As such, it gets a whole host of specification upgrades alongside the aforementioned performance and aesthetic improvements.

Standard equipment includes 20-inch machined alloy wheels, a black roof, LED headlights and tail lights, 10-speaker B&O sound system (which is excellent, by the way), adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E takes a bit of time to form an opinion on. If you’re looking for something that’ll be a thrilling companion on an early morning thrash along the tight and twisting lanes of the British countryside, look elsewhere. The GT feels heavy in sharper turns and its prodigious torque output can make it tough to find a rhythm on smaller roads.

But treat it like a muscle car and it makes more sense. Rein in your enthusiasm a little and that’s where you’ll find that rhythm, saving the huge torque figure’s talents for when the road opens up more.

It’s a decent chunk more money than a regular Mach-E, but if it remains in budget, this might be the best family car for daily driving duties in the range, with the upgraded suspension softening off that jiggly ride on the standard car.

For a car with this performance to be such a fantastic all-rounder is commendable… this is the closest Ford has come to a true electric Mustang.

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