It's a brilliant blend of low-maintenance and supercar-rivaling performance.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E has been a runaway success for the Blue Oval and was recently rated as the best electric car on sale today. The fastest variant, called the GT Performance Edition, is mightily impressive, with 480 horsepower and 634 lb-ft of torque.
With a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 3.5 seconds, the $67,995 range-topper is quicker than a BMW M4 Competition. As one of the world's best-known gearheads, Jay Leno managed to get a look at the rapid Mach-E, joined by Ford's director of future electric vehicles, Dave Pericak. While people weren't pleased with Ford's decision to use the Mustang nameplate, Leno notes the iconic badging sets it apart from other EVs.
Pericak says the Blue Oval is embracing the electrification of its legendary vehicles. "We're electrifying the F-150, the Transit [and] the Mustang...I think it was really important that we leaned into Mustang, it's one of the best-known [nameplates] in the world." Incredibly, the EV is outselling the gas-powered models.
To distinguish the GT and GT Performance Edition from lesser variants, Ford equips the range-topper with an illuminated Mustang logo. Additionally, it also gains 20-inch wheels which are about one inch wider than the items fitted to lesser Mach-E models. This means the sportiest offering receives wider 245 tires, and, in the case of the Performance Edition, it gains Pirelli P-Zero rubber which was specially designed for the model.
It also nets itself some serious stopping power. Pericak states the brisk crossover receives 385-millimeter rotors and four-piston Brembos, which is needed considering the immense power. To aid handling and give it a sportier look, GT models receive lowered suspension. It's the Performance Edition that goes further, with standard MagneRide suspension which, says Pericak, makes "such a big difference."
But aside from performance, Leno remarks low maintenance is the biggest selling point of EVs. "Your brakes literally last forever. You only use them to hold the vehicle at a stop light or maybe a hill. You're using regen almost all of the way."
On the road, Pericak says, "Most people have a misconception. They haven't been in an EV so they think they don't like it or that it's not for them. I always ask: don't you want instantaneous torque?" Leno doesn't hold back, mashing the throttle to test its capabilities. "You just put your foot down; it really goes."
Aside from the model-specific styling flourishes and tires, GT models also gain the "Unbridled Extend" mode. "It's a new model. [It has] been designed to give you more sustained lap times, for instance. The pedal mapping is more linear, both for the brake and the accelerator. We're cooling the battery, but we're doing it in advance."
"The idea that it's so maintenance-free...these could go half a million miles and you really wouldn't know it. Nothing really wears out, it's pretty amazing."
Leno certainly has a point. While enthusiasts may lament the lack of an exhaust note, the Performance Edition (and electric cars in general) offer an unrivaled mix of performance and low maintenance.
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