Motor Authority's review of the Mach-E highlighted its playful handling for an electric crossover.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E may not feel like it's pony car namesake, but it's a fun electric crossover with up to 300 miles of range.
As I hunt for clover leafs and twisty roads, the Mach-E departs further from the feel of a true Mustang; it drives more like an agile crossover. The steering feels dull though direct. It gets so artificial with the added weight of Unbridled mode that I dial it back to Engage for a more natural steering response.
The 225/55R19 Michelin Primacy all-season tires are nothing like you’d expect on a Mustang. They’re too skinny to create the sinister look of the coupe and convertible or to provide ultimate grip.
However, a couple spirited runs through clover leaf on-ramps show some unexpected playfulness. When I charge into a corner, the Mach-E suffers from some initial understeer. But its nose tucks in and the vehicle rotates when I expect it to push during higher speed cornering. That’s enabled by a stiff structure and some electric trickery that moves the power around with a rear-drive bias and rear-axle electronic torque vectoring. The body rolls like a crossover due to the tall ride height and 4,838-pound curb weight. It’d say it compares favorably to the sporty Mazda CX-5.
The development process created this behavior. The Mach-E’s Team Edison development team included members of the Mustang team, led by Dave Pericak, global director of Ford’s icon vehicles. According to Palmer, Pericak insisted on stiffer front and rear subframes to enable the handling targets for the forthcoming Mach-E GT model and to match the platform stiffness that is enhanced by the rigid battery structure. Those subframes were eventually used for all models. Ford also tuned the suspension on its NASCAR simulator in Charlotte, North Carolina.
But there’s room for more. For now, Ford doesn’t offer wider tires or summer-performance tires. Both are on tap for the upcoming GT and GT Performance Edition models, and they should give the Mach-E more of the handling and look of a proper Mustang. The GT models will also use a larger front motor to target 459 hp, 612 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.5-second 0-60 mph time.