Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

An orange 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is driving down a dark road with a modern building in the background.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E: Not just another Hybrid SUV

It doesn’t seem that long when the first cars with hybrid engines started hitting the roads. But today, the roads are filled with hybrid cars, hybrid SUVs, and even hybrid pickup trucks. These cars pair a gas engine with an electric motor running off a large battery, allowing exceptional fuel economy. In a traditional hybrid, the battery recharges itself through a process called regenerative braking, capturing the energy produced when the brakes are applied to the wheels and recycling it to the battery. Automakers have also started to offer hybrids with a plug-in charger so that you could get an even greater range from the electric motor while further reducing fuel consumption.

However, there are limits to what hybrid vehicles can offer, as they still rely on a gasoline-powered, internal combustion engine as their primary power source. This is where the all-electric battery-powered vehicles come in. Ford is about to revolution the alternative energy SUV market with the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, an SUV that combines the sporty looks and raw performance of a Mustang muscle car with the energy and environmental benefits of an all-electric powertrain packaged in an affordable luxury SUV.

A red 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is parked in front of a modern home with its hatch open.

Performance Like a Mustang Sports Car

When folks are considering a vehicle that runs on an alternative energy source, rarely is speed the first thing that comes to mind. That is because most hybrid, plug-in, and electric vehicles are not a top pick to win the Indy 500. The majority of them represent a compromise between performance and energy efficiency, with the former paying the price to enhance the latter. Sure, you are going to get amazing fuel economy with most hybrid SUVs, but you are not going to be that fast off the light. Compare that to a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which has been clocked going 0 to 60 miles per hour in the mid-3-second range. That is blink-and-you’ll miss it fast. Let’s take a look at how this SUV earns its Mustang name.

As some of you Ford fans may know, the original 1965 Ford Mustang got its name from the famous P-51 Mustang fighter plane from World War II. The P-51 Mustang had been among the highest-performing fighter planes in the world and was a big reason why the Allies dominated the skies over Europe. When Ford released its brand-new performance sports car, the engineers had the plane in mind even if the designers thought a horse would make for a better emblem. Well, it wasn’t so bad since a Mustang is a very fast horse as well.

The new Mustang Mach-E takes that sports car pedigree and applies it to a low-slung SUV. This is because the engineers have utilized very powerful batteries to power their vehicle. As Ron Heiser, the chief program engineer for the project, explains, “Thanks to advances in battery technology, the Mustang Mach-E is the kind of car that gets people excited about driving, with a sporty, beautiful silhouette that delivers an incredible shape rarely seen in SUVs.”

The Mach-E utilizes two main battery types. There is a 75.7 kWh lithium-ion battery that provides what is being called Standard Range, which will give you 255 hp and either 306 lb-ft of torque or 417 lb-ft of torque. The second battery is a larger 98.8 kWh battery known as the Extended Range and comes in three versions. The regular Extended Range powertrain produces 282 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque, while the more advanced version produces 332 hp and 417 lb-ft. Then there is the GT Extended Range that provides an astounding 459 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque. Based on these figures, these batteries are providing the equivalent of a very large V-6 or V-8 gas engine without the drawbacks of mediocre to poor fuel economy and high carbon emissions. So, you are getting just as much power without either of these problems.

A popular Hybrid SUV, a white 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, is driving down the road with a lake and mountains in the background.

Five Different Mach-E Styles to Choose From

Ford will be offering the Mustang Mach-E in five different models: Select, Premium, California Route, GT, and First Edition. Each will feature the all-new SYNC 4A infotainment system with an incredible 15.5-inch central touchscreen, the Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 suite of safety features, and access to the FordPass network of charging stations. The last will allow you to easily traverse the continent in your Mustang Mach-E without worrying about finding a place to charge your vehicle’s battery. Each trim will also feature a wireless charging pad for your phone so that you and your passengers can keep your devices charged in a safe and convenient manner during your ride.

The Select trim features the Standard Range battery and is available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Choosing all-wheel drive will give you better bad-weather performance, but it will also give you the higher 417 lb-ft torque rating. Rear-wheel drive is estimated to give you 230 miles of range instead of the estimated 210 miles of range found that you get with all-wheel drive. The Select can go 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.2 seconds with all-wheel drive and 5.8 seconds with rear-wheel drive.

The Mach-E Premium is offered with your choice of Standard Range or Extended Range battery, as well as rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. If you choose the Extended Range, the estimated range on your Mach-E Premium will increase to 270 miles with all-wheel drive or 300 miles with rear-wheel drive. The Premium can go 0 to 60 miles in a very impressive 4.8 seconds when you choose an all-wheel drive model with the Extended Range battery. When it comes to luxury features, the Premium also features a hands-free power liftgate, a heated steering wheel, and a Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker audio system.

The 2021 Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 comes with rear-wheel drive and the Extended Range battery standard, giving it the same performance specs as a Mach-E Premium in that configuration. While it has a higher base MSRP than the Premium trim, the California Route 1 trim is actually more affordable than a Premium model with the Extended Range battery. And while it gives up some of the Premium’s luxury features, the California Route 1 comes with unique styling elements that make it look great when you’re cruising up the Pacific Coast Highway (or any other road for that matter).

The sportiest model of the Mach-E is the GT. This features a unique grille as well as the GT Extended Range battery and standard all-wheel drive. The GT rides on 20-inch wheels and can go an incredible 0 to 60 miles per hour in just over 3.5 seconds (for comparison, the traditional Mustang GT with its V8 gasoline engine takes nearly 4.5 seconds to reach that speed). As you can see, the 2021 Mustang Mach-E GT is really built for speed.

The final model is a limited edition named the 2021 Mustang Mach-E First Edition. This model comes equipped with an Extended Range battery, has all-wheel drive standard, and will carry you for up to 270 miles between charges. Likes its siblings, this one is an incredibly fast all-electric SUV, being able to go 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds. The First Edition is offered in three colors, including an exclusive Grabber Blue Metallic that is absolutely stunning. In addition to a whole host of premium features, the First Edition has gorgeous interior contrast stitching on the sets, specialized scuff plates, red brake calipers, and brushed aluminum pedals. Ford truly went all-out on this First Edition, which is why you’ll have to move almost as fast as a Mach-E GT to get one before they are all gone.

There are plenty of hybrid SUVs on the market today, but there is only one Ford Mustang Mach-E. Not only does this model’s aerodynamic looks help it stand out from the crowded field of boxy SUVs, it’s powertrain is unlike any other ones out there. The Mustang Mach-E has the range of a hybrid, the speed of a sports car, and the spacious and luxurious interior of a premium SUV, all in a fully electric vehicle. It truly earns the name Mustang, carrying on Ford’s tradition for great vehicles that provide incredible performance.