The extra $600 will go towards something very useful indeed.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV got a small price bump last week. That by itself isn't news: year-over-year, cars increase in price all the time, but now buyers of certain trims (with the Comfort/Tech Package) will come loaded with Ford's semi-autonomous, hands-free BlueCruise option. We asked Ford's Emma Bergg about the price changes, which she confirmed.
"On price increases, for Premium, California Route 1 and Select with the Comfort/Tech package BlueCruise hands-free driving feature includes software loaded at time of manufacturing," said Bergg. "This accounts for a $600 increase in pricing which is in effect for new 21MY orders placed from today."
The Mach-E Premium Standard Range goes up to $48,700 from $48,100. The Premium Standard Range with all-wheel drive goes up to $51,400 from $50,800. The California Route 1 goes up to $51,500 and the Mach-E Premium First Edition now starts at $60,000 even.
BlueCruise, for the uninitiated, is Ford's answer to Cadillac's Super Cruise and Tesla's Autopilot features (we'll note that Super Cruise is hands-free and uses a camera to located the driver's eyes; Autopilot works with a weight on the wheel and no one in the driver's seat). Like Cadillac's system, Ford has mapped out more than 100,000 miles of road in North America, which will be known to Ford as "Hands-Free Blue Zones," where you can take your Mach-E and let it fly, autonomously.
The tech isn't available yet, but if you have a 2021 Ford F-150 or a Mustang Mach-E, and picked the Ford CoPilot 360 Active 2.0 Prep Package (and now the Comfort/Tech Package with the latest models), you'll be receiving BlueCruise through an over-the-air update later this year. Recently Ford took a handful of BlueCruise vehicles and trekked 110,000 miles through 37 US states and five Canadian provinces to test the validity.
Expect to see more models featuring the new system as this and next year go by. And $600 seems like deal when you consider that Tesla's FSD costs $10,000 as a standalone option, though it should be going to a subscription model soon. For the record, when Cadillac added Super Cruise to its CT4 and CT5 sedans, the prices went up $400.
You should be able to download the update, or purchase a new Mach-E with the feature this fall.