SAUSALITO, Calif.—In the grand scheme of things, the names that automakers give their cars aren’t really important. And yet, almost two years after it was first revealed, some people are still upset that Ford decided to call its new electric crossover the Mustang Mach-E. It probably didn’t help that Ford focused its attention on the longer-range Mach-E at first rather than a car that would live up to the image of the Mustang as the people’s sports car.
I’m not entirely unsympathetic to that argument. When we tested a Mach-E in February, I found it a competent electric vehicle, but it wasn’t much fun. Using the Mustang name to take advantage of brand recognition is all well and good, but only if it doesn’t dilute that name past any point of meaning. A Mustang is a wild horse, after all.
Well, Ford has rectified that with the arrival of the $59,900 Mustang Mach-E GT. The concept is similar to the first Mustang GT back in 1965. More power, better tires, and seats that hold you in place, plus some styling tweaks—just don’t crash it leaving Cars and Coffee.
To start with, the GT rides 0.4 inches (10 mm) lower than a standard Mach-E, and it wears new Continental all-season tires on its 20-inch aero-covered wheels. The red brake calipers are new, as is a black honeycomb insert upfront that houses an illuminated Mach-E logo. Ford’s stylists have also revised the front air curtains, and at the back there’s a GT logo in place of the Mach-E horse. As usual, people will have their own opinions on the styling; I think the new nose treatment is quite effective here.
On the inside are new front seats with much more side bolstering, and the new patterned aluminum trim, together with the charcoal fabrics, gives the Mach-E GT’s cabin a more upmarket feel befitting its price tag.
The Mach-E GT uses the same battery cells as other Mach-Es and has the same useable capacity of 88 kWh. However, the pack has uprated power electronics to be able to deliver a higher peak power output of 480 hp (358 kW)—134 hp (100 kW) more than the previously most-powerful Mach-E. Torque has gone up even more, from 428 lb-ft (580 Nm) to 600 lb-ft (813 Nm).
That’s good for a 0-60 mph (0-98 km/h) time of just 3.8 seconds and an EPA range of 270 miles (434 km). These figures match the First Edition we tested as well as the all-wheel-drive extended-range Premium Mach-E. (If you want to maximize your road trips in a Mach-E, you’ll want the California Route 1 version, which is rated at 305 miles/490 km.)
However, this is not the sporty Mach-E GT you’ll want. Instead, the Mach-E GT Performance Edition is where the real action is, although this option adds a not-inconsiderable $5,000 to the asking price (although the Mach-E still qualifies for the $7,500 IRS 30D tax credit).
You do get your money’s worth, though. There are larger front brakes, wider alloy wheels, and even better front seats. The front motor is uprated compared to the regular Mach-E GT such that peak torque output is an even higher 634 lb-ft (860 Nm). This helps drops a few tenths from the 0-60 time, down to 3.5 seconds.