As a dealership, we are full of faces that have a passion for all things fast and loud, which means no surprise we’re good friends with the Sussex RS Owners Club, a well-established group full of like-minded individuals that, like us, love a good ford!
So much that we let them loose on the new Mustang Mach-E, have a read below to find out what they said.
As the Chairman of an owners club which has been built on the passion of gas guzzling, turbo whistling, fire spitting performance Fords, it would be fair to say that I am a huge fan of the internal combustion engine; for me, some of the greatest symphonies are composed by the Otto cycle and performed by a trio of high flow air filters, big bore exhausts and turbos the size of a cathedral. So when our friends at Birchwood called me and asked if I would like to try out the new Mustang Mach E, I initially thought they were joking; surely asking me to review an electric car named after one of the most iconic FUEL powered muscle car ever made was asking for trouble! My amusement then soon turned to mild concern; How would I explain to my fellow RS petrolhead friends that I had dipped my toes into the pool of all electric cars; and worse still, what if I actually liked it! How would I explain that With that aside, I’m always happy to get involved with Birchwood’s events, and as a lover of all things car related I was curious to see what the Ford boffins had produced with their first all electric offering, and get a taste of what the cars of the future will be like. I arrived in Hastings to meet with Peter and collected the Mach E wearing my Petrolhead T-shirt and full of jokes about Duracell bunnies hiding in the boot. Despite my relentless jokes, Peter seemed very quietly confident that I would be singing a different tune when I returned the car on Monday; and as it turns out, he wasn’t entirely wrong.
So there are two things about this car that I really don’t like, and I’m going to start with the negatives to get them out the way because in reality, only disliking two things would still equate to a very positive review. Firstly, and most importantly to me. The Mach E is not a Mustang! Ok, it might be called a Mustang but it’s not and never will be! As a life long fan, I will sing the praises of Ford till the cows come home, I’ve owned dozens, I’ve driven hundreds, and I’ve previously reviewed a 2019 5.0 Mustang GT for Birchwood and loved it. The Mustang is an icon, and has been for decades. The decision by Ford to call this car a Mustang was a mistake in my opinion. Not just because the two cars are not comparable, but also because the Mach E is good enough to be a successful car in its own right, without cashing in on the iconic name and legendary status earned by a totally different car.
Secondly, there no engine noise. There is a fake engine noise available on the car, but it doesn’t even come close to the noise of a real Mustang, or even a real car for that matter, it kind of sounds like a muzzled V6, or a fake car noise from a 1970’s movie. But whilst I might see this as a problem, that is the opinion of someone that likes the sound of an engine, so if you’re more of a “silence is golden” type of person then the Mach E is going to be right up your street. Even I have to admit that there is a certain relaxing serenity to driving a silent car. To really get this car I had to come away from the mental image that the name “Mustang” creates in the mind, and judge this car for what it is, Fords first all electric car. If you do that, you WILL be impressed. The Mach E is fast, comfortable, spacious, has the same mileage range between charges as the average petrol car would between fill-ups, and it is absolutely oozing with technology.
The torque of the motor is instantly delivered, propelling you off from the lights and up to speed effortlessly and seamlessly. You are thrown back in your seat with some vigour, and the lack of noise and lack of gear changes makes for a weirdly thrilling “rollercoaster” kind of sensation; its quite strange at first but really quite enjoyable once you get used to it. The handling on the AWD model that I was driving is not at all bad either. The original Mustang was not the greatest handling car in the world, and this also won’t be setting any records round the Nurburgring. It’s a big heavy car, with averagely wide, reasonably high profile tyres made more for comfort than handling, and like the original Mustang it does feel a little boat-ish. But with that said it’s a well mannered car with reasonably predictable handling and responsive steering which provides good feedback and feel on all types of road. When you do want to get a little playful the rear will step out gently and predictably which I liked, as oversteer is always preferable to understeer; so it would seem that the new pony is now slightly more tameable than the old pony.
The exterior is modern and intriguing to behold, not bad on the eye and clearly inspired by the original Mustang with some of its features. But I don’t think I’d be turning my head to look back at this car as I walked away in the same way as I did with the original Mustang or my Focus RS. The interior and technology was for me the absolute best bits about the Mach E, in fact, I would challenge anyone to not be impressed by what this car has to offer once inside. The interior is spacious, comfortable, nicely put together and has loads and loads of storage space; a decent sized boot with even more storage space below the carpet and also in the front where the engine should be. You sit comfortably in what feels like a very natural driving position with really good vision all the way round the car, and a high SUV style viewpoint of your surroundings.
I could tell you about all the technology on the car but this would end up being a essay rather than a review, so my advice would be to get down to Birchwood and see it for yourself; but here’s a few features that I really liked. The big touchscreen using sync4 technology is really easy to use, much more iPhone style than Android for its ease of use, and one of the really cleaver things is that the system learns what you like and suggest things accordingly, for example; if you regularly make calls on your drive home in the evening, it will put calls in the top menu, or if you regularly charge the car in the morning it will suggest nearby charging stations. The trip menu not only give you information about your journey, but it also tells you what percentage of the battery energy was used on powering the air con or the entertainment system. The driver assist options and the information you can view is seemingly endless, it really is incredibly clever. Added to this the Bang & Olufsen sound system is without a doubt the best (standard equipment) car stereo I ever heard, it really is impeccable in its clarity.
So in conclusion then, I would have admit that Peter was right, I do like this car. Because of the name I was expecting a “performance Ford” as I perceive a performance Ford to be, and with that mindset I was only ever going to be disappointed. But once I viewed this car a an example of the future, and by judging it on its own merits, its difficult to see how people couldn’t be impressed by it. For petrolheads like me, the idea that the RS era has come to an end, and that fuel powered cars are also on the way out is very sad. I was very unsure what the future would hold. But as the Mach E is the first in a long line of what Ford has planned for the future, I feel greatly encouraged. I will be very interested to see the success of the Mach E, and now wait eagerly to see what further offerings are to come from Ford.