Tuesday , March 28 2023

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT First Drive: More Smiles Per Kil


We were among the first to receive the Mustang Mach GT and GT Performance bike in 2021 for Ford’s first driving event last week in San Francisco and we came with a sense that we only saw the start of Ford’s plans to continually update. and updated the pony-inspired crossover with its plug-in.

Ford’s Mach-E Mustang has been a bestseller for the brand so far, and the company has sold 18,855 units in the United States as of September. That puts the Mach-E safely in # 2 spot for electric crossovers, and only follows the Tesla Y Model. The addition of the Mach-E GT and GT Performance versions will help Ford maintain the lead. of its sales on the Volkswagen ID.4? That’s one of the questions we started answering in our first Mach-E GT driving experience.

Quick Stats: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT & GT Performance
Motorcycle: Synchronous double permanent magnet

Mach-E GT: 480 lb-ft of 480-hp torque

GT performance: 480 hp torque of 634 lb-ft


Mach-E GT: 250-mi EPA (east)

GT performance: GT: EPA 235-mi (east)


Mach-E GT: 3.8 seconds

GT performance: 3.5 seconds

Base Price:

Mach-E GT: $ 59,900

GT performance: $ 64,900

A new look

While you may have to be a Mach-E enthusiast to notice the subtle visual differences on the newer versions of the GT, they’re there if you look. Let’s start with the colors. Ford has brought back a former Blue Grabber that was previously offered exclusively on the Mach-E First Edition and added a new Cyber ​​Orange Metallic, which in our opinion, is gorgeous.

Both versions of the GT get a new design for the faux grille area that Ford calls the Carbonized Gray Grille, and the lower front and rear front sections have been redesigned. In addition, the front pony badge on the Carbonized Grille is illuminated.

The GT brings new sporty contour seats and the GT Performance gets even better seats with aggressive side reinforcement and shoulder support. The GT seats are comfortable and supportive, but the seats in the GT performance are even better and will hold the driver firmly in place during the most aggressive driving. There’s also a “GT” Stamped on the center rest, front door aluminum plates, a Bang & Olufsen 9-speaker sound system, and a few other minor interior details but upgraded seats and the sound system are the most noticeable internal differences.

2021 Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition_04bs
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Dynamic

Mach-E GT “Carbonized Grid” compared to regular Mach-E fascia

More power, better handling

First of all for comparison, the extended-range Mach-E AWD delivers 346 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. The Mach-E GT has 480 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, the GT Performance has the same horsepower rating, but an additional 34 lb-ft of torque, achieved strictly through software upgrades. .

Most of the torque and torque overpower comes from a more powerful front motor. The rear engine on the GT and GT Performance is the same as it is on all Mach-Es; it is the front motor that has been upgraded. Unlike previous Mach-E versions, all Mach-E GTs are all-wheel-drive with an extended range battery of 98.8 kWh; there is no standard range battery or rear drive options.

Mustang Mach-E GT in Cyber ​​Orange Metallic

The Mach-E GT Performance in a stunning Cyber ​​Orange Metallic Tri-Coat

As you can see from the graph below, the increase in power is substantial, and this is reflected in a much better 0-60 time. Both the GT and GT Performance come with 20 “wider wheels (although each has their own unique design) and 245/45 R20 tires, which is also a considerable improvement over the standard 19 “Mach-E with 225/55 R19 tires.

Tires have always been a weak point for Mach-E when it comes to pushing the handling limits, so we were happy to see both versions of the GT make serious updates.

Mach-E Ext range, AWD Mach-E GT Mach-E GT performance
Horsepower: 346 hp 480 hp 480 hp
Torque: 428 lb-ft 600 lb-ft 634 lb-ft
0-60-mph: 4.8 seconds 3.8 seconds 3.5 seconds
Base Price: $ 55,800 $ 59,900 $ 64,900
EPA range: 270 mil 250 mil 235 miles

However, the added grip comes at a price, and this is less of a driving range, which is certainly why Ford didn’t use more aggressive rubber on earlier versions of Mach-E. Ford has put Continental tires all season on the GT, and the extra rolling resistance along with the extra power should bring the EPA range below 270 miles (Mach-E ext range, AWD ) for 250 miles estimated by Ford. The Performance GT uses even tougher summer tires than Pirelli, and those will drop the EPA’s estimated range estimate to 235 miles, according to Ford.

Ford also upgraded the brakes and provided the GT red-painted performance brake calipers with 385-mm ventilated front rotors and 316-mm solid rear rotors. The GT Performance achieves 385-mm front rotors with red-painted Brembo calipers and Continental rear calipers.

The GT Performance also gets Ford’s MagneRide damping system, and we’re able to confirm that system makes a big difference. In addition to the roughly 50-mile test drive on the road, Ford set up an autocross track in a parking lot for us to have fun with Mach-E GT Performance and test the MagneRide suspension. The extra power, combined with the improved rubber and advanced damping system turns the crossover named Mustang into an excellent, good performer, at least as long as it hits its thermal limit. And unfortunately, this is not too difficult to do. Which brings us to the next added feature; Unbridled way Extend.

Extend an unbridled “kind of”

One of the challenges facing electric vehicles is when they are driven to their limit, batteries, motors and power electronics heat up – a lot. When this happens, in order to protect the components, the vehicle limits the power it gives to the engine and reduces the amount of regenerative braking force it accepts, all in an effort to try to cool things down.

When the Mach-E came out we first noticed that when pushed a lot for a long time, it could easily hit the thermal limit of the vehicle and enter a reduced power mode. Ford also knew that then they started working on a solution that would allow Mach-E GT owners to take more of their vehicles before they face thermal limitation. They named the solution Unbridled Extend mode.

When the Mach-E GT is in Unbridled driving mode, the driver can then choose to activate the Unbridled Extend mode which reduces the regenerative braking force, and slightly reduces the amount of power sent. to motorcycles. Unbridled Extend doesn’t make the vehicle faster, it actually slows it down a bit, but doing so is supposed to leave the driver more time on the track before the vehicle overheats and enters reduced power mode.

Mustang Mach-E GT Unbridled Extend Mode

Mustang Mach-E GT Unbridled Extend Mode

However, when we had our track time, we were directed to do just two hot laps and then do one cool-down lap before giving the car to the next driver. Then do one slow turn to learn the track before they can make two hot turns. Also, there were two cars, so each car still had 5 minutes or so between runs to cool off. Was Ford too conservative or still have some work to do on Unbridled Extend? Personally I believe it is the latter.

I like that Ford is addressing this issue, even if most Mach-E owners rarely or never, hit the thermal limit of the vehicle. You really need to drive the vehicle hard, or at high speed (above 100 mph) for a while. However, the Mach-E is a Mustang – at least that’s what Ford tells us, and with the name Mustang come some obligations. One is to have the ability to perform at a high level for long periods of time for autocross and other track events.

Just because the Mach-E Mustang is a crossover doesn’t mean it’s not expected to be a performance car. If that was the case the pony name plate should not have been given. Unbridled Extend is a good start and we’re glad Ford has taken on the challenge of reducing thermal limitation, but they still have some work to do – it needs to work even better than it currently does. If I can overheat the Mach-E GT Performance in less than 5 minutes of track time then it’s not a good race car, unless you do all the short one-lap races.

Charging Mustang Mach-E GT

Other updates

We also learned that Ford will soon be making two major improvements to the entire Mach-E Mustang through OTA software updates. First of all, they will be increasing the usable battery capacity on the battery pack with an extended range from 88 kWh to 91 kWh. The opening of an extra 3 kWh adds about 12 miles of distance for vehicles. Ford tells us that they are confident that allowing customers to access the additional battery will not contribute to faster battery degradation.

Second, they will be improving the DC’s fast charging curve. We previously reported that while charging on a DC Fast Charger, the Mach-E’s charging rate drops to its level 2 charging speed of 11 kW once the charging state reaches 80%. The charging rate of all EVs decreases as the SOC increases and generally after 80% this decreases further.

However, the Mach-E’s payout rate after 80% is about the worst we’ve ever seen, so it’s good to hear that Ford will be improving it. We were told once the new charging software is installed, the vehicle will maintain a relatively high charge rate of up to 90% SOC, at which point it will reduce speed considerably.

The GTs got the Blues

BlueCruise, Ford’s ADAS hands-free highway is now available on the Mach-E GT and GT Performance. It is a $ 1,900 option and comes with the Ford 2.0 Co-pilot360 Active 2.0 Pack. BlueCruise can be activated on mapped highways, which currently includes over 100,000 miles of shared highways that Ford calls “Hands-Free Blue Zones”.

I was a native of the BlueCruise and it worked very well on the highway sections that allow it to be activated. However, not all sections of the highways I drive on were Blue Hands-Free Zones, so the system could not be activated for all of my highway driving. As long as all the roads have complete accurate mapping, it’s hard to be too excited about the BlueCruise and other ADAS systems like GM’s SuperCruise that rely on mapping, because you can’t just turn it on and use it without checking to see if it works on the routes you need. You really need to work when you want to, not just when you say you can.

Mustang Mach-E GT in Grabber Blue and Cyber ​​Orange Metallic

Is the GT worth the extra cost?

Despite the Unbridled Extended Mode, the Mach-E GT and GT Performance are serious performance upgrades from previous Mach-E versions. At an MSRP base of $ 59,900, it’s only a $ 4,100 premium on the Mach-E Extended AWD range. As long as it’s within your budget, it makes it unthinkable in our book. Depending on the acceleration it really feels as fast as the GT Performance and the best combination of tires and wheels improves handling even without the updated damping system.

For an additional $ 5,000 (MSRP of $ 64,900) you can get the GT Performance MagneRide suspension, different wheels with sticky tires, but you’ll lose a lot more range because of those tires. If you don’t take your car to the racetrack, I personally think GT could be the way to go. But if top performance is your thing and you have the coin, the GT Performance is probably the best Mustang I’ve ever driven and it’s also the fastest one.

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