The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Lives on the ‘Rule of Cool’

When you hear Ford Mustang, you probably think muscle car with a V8 that’s, in fact, one of the best of the 21st century. So it is difficult to imagine a muscle car with an electric motor. Enter the Ford Mustang Mach-E. There has been a lot of discourse about the Mach-E being a “true” Mustang. So, does it fit in with the Mustang brand, or is it more in line with an electric vehicle? It might actually meet in the middle.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E: the good and the bad

Car and Driver reviewed the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E and thought it did live up to all the hype but concluded that it does not really live up to the Mustang name. So, what did they like? The AWD model, with the extended range battery, was reasonably quick off the line, hitting 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, putting out 346 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. It also has a quiet interior with an incredibly smooth ride. The interior is somewhat refined and feels luxurious enough that $50,000 seems an appropriate price.

One spot where the Ford Mustang Mach-E missed the mark includes the design that, while nice, does not match the driving character of a Mustang. One of the biggest problems, though, is how far behind Tesla in both range and speed the Mach-E is. While Ford is promising a 480-hp GT Performance Edition that will hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, as it stands now, the Mach-E is outmatched by the Tesla Model Y, which hits 60 mph in about 4 seconds.

It’s really just a cool, unique car

A blue electric Ford Mustang Mach-E is seen at the 2020 New England Auto Show Press Preview at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
The Ford Mustang Mach-E | Paul Marotta/Getty Images

RELATED: The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Is Taking a Shot at Tesla With This Feature

It is difficult to deny that the Mustang Mach-E is a pretty cool car, and it definitely seems unique. But, depending on your standards for a Mustang, it might be another cool car, but it is not a Mustang. It is quick, and it looks great, but it does not have the roaring engine or solid chassis many people expect from the Mustang.

Unfortunately, this adds up to a fairly cool car that is unique on the surface as an all-electric Mustang, but underneath, it does not really hold up past that. Car and Driver made a solid point in their review, “If they hadn’t told us to expect a Mustang, we’d have far less to complain about.”

It could be a better EV, particularly when it comes to range

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is not one of the best EVs available, and its range is really where it is lacking. The standard 68.0 kWh battery has an EPA-estimated range of 230 miles for RWD models and 211 miles for the AWD model.

With the extended range model with an 88.0 kWh battery, those numbers go up to 300 miles and 270 miles for RWD and AWD, respectively. And while it would likely have a long enough range for most daily driving, the Tesla Model Y has a range of 326 miles with a smaller battery. This means that the Mustang Mach-E is 28 percent less efficient than the Tesla, and during Car and Driver’s testing, the Mustang Mach-E required 31 percent more power to maintain 75 mph compared to the Tesla.

Final verdict? If Ford can improve the range of the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the GT Performance improves the speed, the Mustang Mach-E could be a great EV. But if you think of loud, powerful engines when you think of Mustang, the Mach-E will never be that car. It is the car for people who want to look cool but also really want an electric vehicle. Which is also pretty cool, just maybe not Mustang cool.