Look previous the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E’s tenuous connection to the model’s conventional pony automobiles and you will find a really compelling electrical automobile—one ok that it earned Automotive and Driver‘s first ever EV of the Yr award. However the Mustang badge that it wears conjures photographs of highly effective, speed-addled thrills. The Mach-E merely struggles to ship these in its decrease states of tune, which prime out at a mere 346 horsepower. For the Blue Oval’s electrical SUV to method the extent of pleasure anticipated from Ford’s galloping pony, you will have to step as much as this Mach-E, the brand new performance-oriented GT mannequin with its herd of further horses.

An abundance of energy has been a defining trait of Ford’s finest Mustang fashions over time. Whereas the Mach-E GT’s all-wheel-drive format signifies that tire-smoking burnouts are off the desk, its mixed pony depend does climb to a stout 480 horsepower, because of a extra highly effective motor on its entrance axle (its rear unit is shared with lesser fashions). That is greater than sufficient grunt to startle unsuspecting passengers and draw the eye of roadside tax collectors. Aided by 600 pound-feet of torque, it is also sufficient to get the GT to 60 mph in a claimed 3.8 seconds, which is greater than a second faster than we have recorded for a non-GT model and as speedy because the final 526-hp Mustang Shelby GT350R we examined. Choosing the GT Efficiency Version—a $5000 package deal atop the $61,000 base GT—provides an additional 34 pound-feet of twist and drops the factory-stated zero-to-60 determine to three.5 seconds. For reference, a 470-hp 2020 Tesla Mannequin Y Twin Motor Efficiency, which begins at $62,400, wanted 3.6 seconds to succeed in 60 mph in our testing.

Offering the electrons to the GT’s motors is the bigger 88.0-kWh Prolonged Vary battery, which is optionally available on non-GT fashions. For the 2022 mannequin yr, recalibrated power administration programming will enhance the pack’s usable capability by 3 %, boosting its storage to 91.0 kWh. (Likewise, 2022 Mach-Es with the usual battery will sport 70.0 kWh of capability, up from the present 68.0.) Ford says these good points won’t alter the automobile’s quoted vary, which is estimated at a good 270 miles for the common GT and 260 for the GT Efficiency Version.

Along with their elevated outputs, each GT fashions sit 0.4 inch decrease on a sportier suspension setup and have wider 20-inch wheels with 245/45R-20 tires—all-seasons on the common GT and Pirelli P Zero PZ4 Elect summer time rubber for the Efficiency Version, the latter being a primary for any Mach-E. Efficiency fashions additionally carry a singular wheel design, bigger entrance brake rotors, and adaptive magnetorheological dampers. You’ll spot Mach-E GTs by their red-painted brake calipers (the fronts being four-piston Brembo models), plus GT badges on their rear liftgates, revised entrance and rear bumpers, and dark-finished grilles with illuminated pony emblems. Additionally included are entrance sport seats with bigger bolsters. Efficiency fashions function much more embracing Ford Efficiency models with grippy inserts.

Mat the accelerator and the GT delivers the moment, neck-snapping thrust that the Mach-E’s Mustang-inspired design guarantees, rapidly erasing brief straights on California’s Pacific Coast Freeway north of San Francisco. It is tough to note the Efficiency Version’s further torque over the usual GT’s, however its stickier tires and upgraded dampers reveal extra of the Mach-E’s dealing with potential. Carry an excessive amount of velocity into a pointy nook and the girth of this comparatively tall, heavy crossover is clear, however its total stability is pleasantly impartial and gives spectacular agility and physique management.

Though you possibly can activate a one-pedal drive setting with most brake regeneration through a faucet of the 15.5-inch heart touchscreen, the extra aggressive Unbridled drive mode (there are also tamer Whisper and Engaged settings) brings a good quantity of ordinary regen whereas additionally sharpening the drivetrain’s responses and upping the steering effort. Trip high quality is taut however by no means harsh on this mode and downright cozy by default, even over the few damaged sections of pavement we may discover. The common GT with its passive dampers manages most bumps with an identical smoothness, though we did discover some uncouth hobbyhorse motions over massive frequency undulations, reminiscent of these you would possibly encounter between pavement seams on the freeway. As you’d count on, it’s miles simpler to overdrive the GT when it is fitted with all-seasons, as these tires can rapidly lose buy while you abruptly unleash 600 pound-feet of torque accelerating out of a decent bend.

Distinctive to GT fashions is a brand new Unbridled Lengthen mode, which is designed to offer sustained efficiency over longer runs by optimizing the battery’s thermal administration and setting all of its chassis programs to full assault. On this mode, the brakes turn out to be extra responsive and devoid of regen, the steering will get extra linear, and the quantity of the love-it-or-don’t powertrain synthesizer that performs by way of the stereo audio system will increase barely (it may be turned off when you want close to silence). The front-to-rear energy break up additionally turns into rear biased, going from 50/50 to 40/60, and the thresholds for traction and stability management intervention are relaxed. Extra necessary, these driver aids can now be absolutely deactivated through a button subsequent to the headlight controls—a function that Mach-Es have beforehand lacked. It is going to be added to all fashions for the 2022 mannequin yr.

Aided by the GT’s exact steering, secure platform, and deep nicely of torque, Unbridled Lengthen made the Efficiency Version a hoot to fling round a maze of cones arrange in an deserted car parking zone. Ford prevented us from turning off the automobile’s security nets and sliding across the course’s hairpins with abandon, however we nonetheless had sufficient enjoyable that we did not thoughts the shortage of fireside and brimstone underneath the hood, at the least for a second. If something, pushing the GT’s limits revealed that the Mach-E’s chassis may deal with much more rubber beneath it, though bigger tires absolutely would sap a few of its vary.

There are caveats, although: Unbridled Lengthen prioritizes consistency over outright energy, that means straight-line thrust is lower than within the regular Unbridled setting. And it has very strict activation necessities associated to warmth and present flowing out and in of the battery, so you will want to interact it on startup or after the automobile has sat and cooled off for a bit. We additionally realized that the Efficiency Version’s seats, whereas in any other case properly supportive, may work higher nonetheless at holding the pilot in place throughout high-g maneuvers.

Given the GT’s better energy and poise versus lesser Mach-Es, its upcharge—practically $10K greater than a Premium all-wheel-drive mannequin with related tools and the identical vary—appears affordable. In comparison with the marginally dearer Tesla Mannequin Y Efficiency, it is higher constructed and way more partaking to function. As a Mustang, the Mach-E continues to be incomes its place amongst that nameplate’s storied historical past. However the GT does show that, with sufficient horsepower and dealing with {hardware}, even a quiet, accommodating crossover can excite a pony automobile fanatic’s gray matter.

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