Hybrids & Electrics

Too Heavy to Be Too Quick – the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Is it really possible to combine a muscle car with an SUV with an EV? The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is an attempt to achieve the impossible. Critics have a favorable view of the Mach-E’s interior, described as an improved copy of the Tesla Model Y. The Mustang Mach-E has made quite an impression on critics with many touting that it could be the best EV ever designed with some speculation that the SUV could win “Car of the Year” honors this year. In spite of the praise, there are some concerns regarding the Mach-E’s performance.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E weighs more than a three-row Explorer XLT

When MotorTrend rolled the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E onto their scales, they discovered that the Mustang EV weighed in at 4,807 pounds with a slight (49/51 percent) rear bias. Since most buyers don’t have a clue how much their vehicle weighs, it is necessary to provide a point of reference.

A 2021 three-row Ford Explorer XLT weighs 4,367 pounds. The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse has a curb weight of 4,362 pounds and a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe weighs in just a little over 600 pounds heavier (5,473 pounds) than the Mach-E.

Considering the other dimensions of these vehicles, you will notice that the Mach-E is heavier or equal to SUVs in the mid-size to large classifications while it is packaged in a crossover body. SUVs of similar size to the Mach-E are much lighter by comparison. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a curb weight between 4,235 and 4,300 pounds while the Tesla Model Y tips the scales at 4,413 pounds.

How the Mach-E’s weight affects its performance

Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of inertia states that “an object at rest tends to stay at rest”, so it takes a lot more power to get a heavier vehicle to move faster. The sprint to 30 mph is the typical test for launch acceleration. Any vehicle under 2.0 seconds is considered quick. The Ford Mustang Mach-E came in at 1.9 seconds only a tenth of a second behind the BMW X3 M Competition and the Tesla Model Y Dual Motor Long Range.

The chubbier Mach-E shows its weight problem in its 0-to-60 mph and quarter-mile times (4.8 and 13.4 seconds), coming in seven-tenths and a full second slower than the Model Y, respectively. Additionally, the Model Y hit 114.8 mph at the quarter-mile mark where the Mach-E only managed to register 103.5 mph.

Why is the Ford Mustang Mach-E so heavy?

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One would think that a gas-fuel vehicle would be heavier. After all, a gas engine is a heavy component, so the Ford Mustang Mach-E should be lighter than the Explorer. A gas engine weighs between 330 and 770 pounds, depending on its displacement while an EV motor weighs less than 100 pounds. In order to get the range out of an electric vehicle, you need a pretty significant battery bank. A typical 24 kWh electric vehicle battery (EVB) pack can weigh up to 650 pounds. Tesla’s 85kWh EVB pack weighs 1,200 pounds.

To produce the Mach-E’s the maximum combined torque output 428 lb-ft for its initial thrust by its two electric engines, which 18 lb-ft more than the 5.0-liter V8 in the Ford F-150, along with its 270-mile range requires a 98.8 kWh battery pack with liquid system temperature control. The Mach-E’s EVB should be between 250 and 300 pounds heavier than the Model Y EVB.

The additional 100-to-150-pound weight difference comes from the Mach-E’s use of two permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) while the Model Y uses one PMSM and a lighter induction motor as well as some added weight in the body design of the Mach-E.

Though a Mustang, don’t expect the Mach-E to be super quick

In one respect, the only Mustang that can beat the Mach-E from 0-to-60 mph is the 760-hp Shelby GT500 with a time of 3.3 seconds, which means it is pretty quick in comparison to gas fuel models. However, the Ford Mustang Mach-E lags behind when compared to its EV competitors. The 2021 Mustang Mach-E is just a little too heavy to be super quick.