The Hottest Mach-E
When Clean Fleet Report first reported on the Ford Mustang Mach-E in March 2021, we were impressed with its styling, range, and standard features, but what we were lusting for was to get behind the wheel of the Performance Edition GT version, which wasn’t available at the Mach-E launch. Our wish has been granted now that Ford has released the GT version.
What Is the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition?
As with generations of ICE Mustangs, the GT is the more powerful, better handling, and sportier-looking version of the Mach-E. It includes larger electric motors–one on each axle–with 480 horsepower and 600 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque. The largest Mach-E battery, a 93-kilowatt-hour (kWh, with 88-kWh usable) unit, is standard. The suspension is stiffer, along with larger brakes, 20-inch wheels shod in performance all-season tires, and a pair of comfortable 8-way power driver and passenger performance seats that are covered in grippy Miko suede inserts and a Miko suede-wrapped steering wheel.
At the top of the GT lineup is the Performance Edition. This $5,000 option keeps the same drivetrain, with torque increased to 634 lb.-ft., MagneRide shocks, upgraded Brembo front brakes and summer performance tires. With these performance-oriented bits, the EPA range drops from 270 miles to 260. However, in real-world driving, the range was very close to the regular Mach-E extended range versions. Ford claims a 0-60 mph time in the 3.5-second range. While we did not time the GT, it sure seemed like a mid-three-second car. The GT-PE also allows “One Pedal Driving” using the car’s regenerative capabilities to slow and stop without touching the brake pedal.
Charging the GT PE is through a CCS combo connector that has up to 150kW DC fast-charging capability and 10.5 kW AC L2 charging. With DC fast charging, 20 to 80% charging can be achieved in under an hour. While it’s not the fastest charging out there today, it’s quick enough for a battery as large as the GT-PE has.
A Comfortable but Sporty Cabin
The cabin’s comfort, safety, and usability are essential attributes of any vehicle. How do the seats feel, are the instruments valuable and intuitive, and does the interior entertain and delight? The GT Performance Edition (PE) does very well on all of these attributes.
It’s almost identical to the lesser Mach-E trims, but with the 8-way power driver and passenger performance seats with the Miko suede bits. It has the same 10.2-inch driver information cluster and a colossal 15.5-inch center high-resolution display. Topping this off is a standard 560-watt Bang&Olufsen sound system with 10 speakers, including an externally coupled subwoofer that uses the Mach-E’s cabin volume to produce powerful bass. Our GT-PE came with the optional panoramic glass roof. Despite the entire interior top being glass, we were never distracted by glare or heat. Glass roofs seem to be the fad these days rather than a steel ones or a moveable sunroof. It’s an excellent design treatment and works well in the GT-PE.
Since the introduction of the Mach-E, Ford has installed hardware to enable hands-free driving. Recently the software was enabled to take advantage of this technology. The name has changed from Active Drive Assist to Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 and BlueCruise, which is essentially hands-free adaptive cruise control. It’s a transparent technology not much different from regular adaptive cruise control with lane centering. There is just one setting to activate it, and then the driver engages and disengages it just like one would expect with regular adaptive cruise control. The car keeps track of where the driver is looking and reminds the driver to keep their eyes on the road if their eyes stray for too long. If the BlueCruise has difficulty seeing the street, the system passes control back to the driver until it feels okay to take over again.
It doesn’t take long to get used to BlueCruise and its quirks, and soon it becomes a natural way of letting the car navigate itself. The Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 system is optional for the Mach-E, but rather than paying $10,000 to be a beta tester (ahem, Tesla), Ford only asks $1,900 for one of the best advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) on the road today.
The only distraction in the interior was the sports suspension and tires. As one would expect with a sport-tuned car with summer performance tires, the ride is firm and, depending on the road, smooth and quiet to downright harsh and noisy, regardless of which of the three performance settings–Whisper, Engage or Unbridled–is activated.
What Sort of Range Did the GT-PE Return?
When we first tested the range of the Mach-E on our 456-mile test loop last year, we were impressed with the Premium RWD Extended Range version. The test loop starts at sea level in San Jose, Calif., and includes a 7,377-foot (ft.) pass before settling in at 6,327 ft. in South Lake Tahoe. Essentially, it’s interstate flatland roads for half the trip, then up and over one of the highest mountain road passes in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
On that trip, we achieved a range of 249 miles on the uphill section and 313 miles on the downhill section.
With the GT-PE’s AWD and more powerful motors, we did not expect to match the RWD’s range, but we were surprised when the GT-PE bested the Extended Range version with 251 miles on the uphill section and 309 miles on the downhill section. We ran both Mach-Es in Whisper mode in all range tests and stayed at the speed limit. We attribute our driving style (where the GT-PE is driven primarily by the rear motor rather than both motors) for the range we achieved.
Despite the frugalness that the GT-PE is capable of, plant your foot deep in the go-pedal, and you better hold on. Power is instantaneous and is guaranteed to push you hard into your seat. It became standard procedure that we gave our passengers a “prepare for launch” heads-up when we were going to floor it.
The Mach-E and the GT-PE version is a top-tier EV, with performance and range on par with the competition. The customer cars in the field have been relatively trouble-free, with only a few teething issues anticipated with new technologies and products. Ford has worked very hard to identify and correct problems that have come up so far and is working hard to get its franchised dealer network up to speed in servicing the Mach-E and the other EV and PHEVs in the Ford portfolio. Over-the-air updates (OTA) are an integral part of the enhancement process of updating the Mach-E. This commitment by Ford has paid off, as the 2022 Mach-E has sold-out and orders for 2023 model can be placed soon. This success has made Ford the #2 seller of EVs in the United States.
Ford Mach-E GT MSRP Pricing
- Price as tested $69,600
- Mach-E GT AWD $59,900
- GT Performance Edition $5,000
- Metallic Paint $400
- Panoramic Glass Roof $1,300
- Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 $1,900
- Destination & Delivery $1,100
Story & photos by Gary Lieber.
Our staff and friends have taken several looks at the Mach-E (this is in chronological order with the most recent first)
Opinion: A Plug-in Perk: Free Charging
Flash Drive: Mach-E GT/GT Performance Edition
First Timer: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Road Trip: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Road Test: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Flash Drive: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
News: Ford Ups Electric Performance
News: How Ford Will Sell the Mach-E
News: Ford Pumps Up Charging Speed on the Mach-E
Update: Forget Ford vs. Ferrari, It’s Ford vs. Tesla
News: Mach-E Intro Update
News: Ford Mach-E Introduction