Ford Mustang Mach-E First Ride Preview at Chicago Auto Show
Ok guys, so there's been a lot of debate about "is this a Mustang" and so when I saw the opportunity to do a quick ride along at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show yesterday I literally jumped at the chance. I waited in line with other media who were similarly excited to take a ride in what is undoubtedly one of the most hotly anticipated new car releases. On the outside though, Mustang fans, EV enthusiasts, and even some Chevy and Dodge performance devotes have all been hotly debating the merits of an all-electric vehicle that bears such an iconic badge. Is it worthy? Is it a Mustang? Here's my thoughts.
So truthfully I'm going to reserve my final judgment for the full production car when the 2021 Mustang Mach-E comes out in a few months at the end of 2020. Right now, the interior is still undergoing a lot fo tweaks and the "cool features" of the technology aren't finalized yet. So this impression is based purely on visual design, comfort, space, and a quick 23-second burst of very torque filled acceleration in a tradeshow building.
My initial thoughts, however, is that, "sure ... this is a Mustang". It fits all but one of the things that I identify with when I think of a Mustang. It's quick, it's comfortable, it's practical as far as a sports car goes since it can be used for going fast ... but also moving people and stuff. It has a sharp visually attractive design as well ... though this is clearly a vehicle that biases towards family than something designed for sport.
I'm ok with that and it reminds me a LOT of what I love about the Chevy Blazer RS. It's an SUV / Crossover that fits the niche for someone that needs more than a sedan, doesn't want or need a 3rd row, but wants to still feel like they've "got it".
In many ways too though it feels miss-badged. Just like people complained "this isn't a real Blazer!" people complain that "this isn't a real Mustang!" However, I feel like ultimately it is closer than the Blazer is but if Chevy was to design an EV version of the Blazer RS and call it the Camaro EV they would be very comparable cars serving the same audience. Ironically ... just like their progenitors did back 40-50 years ago with Mustang vs Camaro for that generation.
The one thing missing however isn't the fault of Ford ... it's a generational shift. It simply doesn't SOUND like a Mustang. I love to drive Mustangs because they can be obnoxiously noisy with loud engines that growl and tear into the fabric of time and space. This does none of that. It's an EV. The silence is conspicuous for a car that bears such an iconic name.
However, I'm ok with that ... this is the future and we'll adapt. We'll also enjoy the near-instantaneous throw you back in the seat torque that it delivers.
While we only had a run of about 23 seconds, when the drive "punched it" the car launched. No not a tires smoking line-lock start but a shockingly aggressive ... and fun "Woah! This might be a Mustang!" sort of experience.
I can't wait to see more from this car and maybe get a chance to drive the 2021 Mustang Mach-E later this year. It's going to be pretty exciting and I'm thrilled to have a company like Ford leading the way with an EV that even muscle car fans can look forward to!
- Written by James Hills
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