Ford has sent shock waves through the automotive industry this past week. The iconic Detroit-based automaker unveiled their new Mustang Mach-E, but slow down Mustang fans. It’s not a sports car as the name might imply. Rather, it’s a fully electric SUV borrowing the Mustang branding in order to give potential buyers an idea of the car’s soul. Or maybe Ford just hopes it will sell more units if they slap a horse logo on the grille. We’re not sure yet. Here’s what we know about the Mach-E so far.

It’s a Mustang in Name Only

While the Mach-E is technically called a Mustang (and kind of resembles the muscle car in its exterior styling), the reality is that it’s not really a Mustang. The electric crossover SUV is a Mustang in name only. From an engineering perspective, the Mach-E is largely unrelated to what people historically consider to be a Mustang. It’s not a small, powerful pony car, that’s for sure.

The Mach-E has more in common with other electric crossovers such as the Toyota Rav4 or Subaru Crosstek. Of course, Ford is using the Mustang name and design cues in hopes that it will pique interest in their new project. Using the Mustang badge should help drive sales when the Mach-E goes on sale in late 2020. But let’s be clear. This is not a traditional Mustang. It’s certainly not the Mustang Steve McQueen drove in the Bullitt.

The Battery Range is Impressive

According to Ford, the Mach-E will come with two battery sizes and either rear or all-wheel drive. They claim that the Mach-E can drive up to 300 miles (482 km) on a single battery charge. That’s quite impressive for a crossover, and approaching Tesla comparisons. However, the all-wheel-drive version lowers the estimated range to about 270 miles. However, the Mach-E also will come with a fast-charging capability that Ford promises will be among the best in the industry.

There Are Five Trim Levels

Once on sale this time next year, the Mach-E will be available in five different trim levels. The base model Select, a Premium version, a California Route trim, the First Edition, and the top of the line GT model. Pricing will range from $44,995 for the base model Select edition up to $61,600 for the GT version. Plus additional options and upgrades, of course. There’s also a $7,500 Federal Tax Credit that most buyers will be eligible for, which cuts the price a decent amount.

Early reviews seem to favor the tier two Premium model, which offers the 300 miles range paired with the extended-range battery. It also comes with rear-wheel drive, fast-charging capability, 19-inch wheels, a Band & Olufsen sound system, a panoramic sunroof, and a power liftgate. It should also be said that the Mach-E offers a five-passenger cabin in all trim levels, as well as a cutting-edge infotainment system and ample cargo space.

Ford’s Network of Battery Chargers

When unveiling the Mach-E, Ford claimed that it currently has the largest network of electric battery charging stations in the United States. They promised their network is even larger than Tesla’s. Ford executives say that their network includes a total of 35,000 charging stations (with a few in Southern parts in Canada, too). Not only that, but Ford plans to expand that network over the next year. That means it will be even more accessible by the time the Mach-E hits dealerships. This type of vast network should certainly be a selling point for anyone planning to purchase an electric vehicle.

Equally noteworthy is the fact that every Mach-E comes with a Ford mobile charger. It can add up to 30 miles of range per night with a 120-volt outlet and up to 80 percent of battery life overnight with a 240-volt outlet. A Ford charge station can also be ordered online and installed by certified electricians, with the ability to replenish 32 miles per hour and completely recharge the battery overnight.

Interior is Designed for Comfort and Space

The Mach-E’s battery is situated under the floor of the car, which allows for maximum cargo and passenger space. Inside, the car is all 21st Century technology. It bares little resemblance to what people might expect in a Mustang.

The centerpiece of the dashboard is an attractive digital gauge cluster and a rather large 15.5-inch vertically mounted touchscreen. It’s not dissimilar to the one made famous by Tesla. Other cool features include customizable interior lighting, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless charging, a panoramic sunroof, 29 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and up to 60 cubic feet of storage with the back seats folded down.

As with all of Ford’s current vehicles, the Mach-E will also feature the company’s SYNC infotainment system. Ford claims it uses machine learning to fully customize each driver’s experience. Up to three driver profiles (and one guest profile) can be inputted into the system. These profiles will save your personal preferences, that can be customized via the main control screen. The Mach-E also takes advantage of over-the-air updates that consistently improve the system and add new content. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as a mobile WiFi hotspot, come standard in all models of the Mach-E.

Safety Features and Warranty

Last but not least, the Mustang Mach-E comes with an array of standard driver-assistance safety technology. The highlights include forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist.

The Mach-E will also be available with a decent warranty program that covers hybrid components for eight years or 100,000 miles, full warranty coverage on the entire vehicle for three years or 36,000 miles, and a powertrain warranty that’s good for five years or 60,000 miles. On the downside, there is no complimentary scheduled maintenance included. Then again, your electric SUV doesn’t need oil changes anyway.

The Last Word

The Mach-E is not your father’s Mustang. The branding might be just a clever marketing gimmick, but that shouldn’t deter you. In terms of a performance crossover SUV that is fully electric, the Mach-E is worth keeping an eye on.

Early industry takes seem to feel that the Mach-E is one of the few electric SUVs capable of challenging Tesla’s dominance. With Ford’s plans to move all its vehicles to electric motors in the coming years, the Mach-E is sure to feature prominently in the company’s plans going forward. At a base price under $45,000, the Mach-E could be a smash hit.

Source: Ford.com

Devon is a veteran of the online publishing world, having written about everything from cars to movies, sports to parenting. Although he drives a minivan (#DadLife), he's especially fond of classic muscle cars.