Ford Mustang Mach-E

Douglas Sonders / @douglassonders

How the Electric Ford Mustang Lives Up to Its Legacy

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My first car was a 1966 Mustang Convertible. A faded red paint job with a rare front bench seat and an aftermarket CD player that was always playing grunge music mixes. That little 289 automatic pony may have leaked fluids from being largely unmaintained since its birth in 1966, but it took me on many glorious adventures. First dates, road trips, coming of age adventures, and general antics and shenanigans. I loved that car very much. It represented freedom and joy during my early driving years.

Every week I would carefully curate a new mix CD to play on a weekend adventure and sit in class fantasizing about driving through the Virginia countryside with the top down.

I would eventually sell it after college to pay for the upgraded photography equipment that would help launch my career and get me to where I am today. I’ve had a couple of beloved vintage Mustangs over the years, so you could say that this pony car is a part of who I am today.

Douglas with his 1966 Ford Mustang convertible (left) and the all-new Ford Mustang Mach-E (right)
Left: Douglas' first car: a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible / Right: The all-new Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Douglas Sonders / @douglassonders

The Mustang is more than just a car. It means so much to so many people. I’m sure many of you reading this can relate to the fondness I held for my first car. It symbolizes freedom, excitement and the pride of its owners.

I recently had the opportunity to borrow a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E for the weekend, while I was home back in midtown Manhattan. The vehicle was loaded with its optional extended range electric all-wheel drive system, capable of an EPA-estimated range of 270 miles on a full charge and can hit 60 miles per hour in under 5 seconds.

I was skeptical about the all-electric Mustang Mach-E, but I was anxious to try it out and determined to keep an open mind. Sitting in it the first time, you immediately feel like you’ve been transported into the future. Everywhere you look there’s an amazing feature: ActiveX(TM) seating material that comfortably wrap around you, a beautiful 15.5 inch SYNC 4A touchscreen with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility, Connected Built-in Navigation system, three selectable drive modes, climate control and a multitude of other capabilities that I would have to explore later.

Select between 3 unique drive modes
Select between 3 unique drive modes.

Douglas Sonders / @douglassonders

I opened up the “Drive Mode” menu on the touchscreen and activated “Unbridled” mode, which increases acceleration response. As I pulled into traffic, the steering became firm and incredibly precise as I danced in between Ubers and cabs honking at each other. Mashing on the accelerator pedal to maneuver around some obstacles in traffic, I felt like I was sent into hyperspace. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, it’s hard to convey the torque of an all-wheel-drive electric performance vehicle. The tires just bite into the pavement and you are launched forward with seemingly endless power, with the only sound being a futuristic whoosh and James Brown playing from the Bang and Olufsen speakers.

I’ll admit, this car is highly capable as a performance car. When I escaped the city for a day, it ate up corners on twisty roads like a nuclear-powered race car, more so than a growling tail-happy muscle car that its Mustang pedigree denotes. Although, not to say that the Mustang Mach-E is not an exciting car to push to its limits, just different than I was accustomed to. Its seemingly limitless power and torque is delivered quietly, unlike the gas version. It felt stable and handled really well when driven hard due to its lower center of gravity and optional all-wheel-drive. I had to think more about what this SUV meant to the Mustang brand.

Pull Quote

The Mustang is more than just a car. It means so much to so many people.

As I returned to Manhattan, I parked near Times Square to take some photos of the Mustang Mach-E under the city lights. It was not two minutes before tourists began to crowd around the car to take photos of it (and with it), peer inside the windows and stare with mouths agape at this Grabber Blue metallic Mustang Mach-E. I must have been asked a dozen times about what I thought of it, how it felt inside and how it felt to drive. “Exciting and futuristic,” I’d say.

Orange and Silver Mustang Mach-E

Ford

A man with his family walked up to me as I was taking photographs of the SUV. He proudly told me he has had many Mustangs over the years and was excited to take delivery of the Mustang Mach-E GT he ordered (the fully-spec’d high performance model). We spoke for a bit about our love for classic Mustangs and his excitement for the new one. This talk made me realize that a Mustang is not always how it sounds or that its body has to be shaped a certain way. A Mustang, at its core, is an American high performance vehicle that makes you feel young, excited and unafraid.

I shook the man’s hand as I slid back into the driver’s seat and pushed the start button, screens and sounds buzzing around me like a personal spaceship. I opened up Spotify on Apple CarPlay and put on my favorite Bob Seeger album as I shifted the gear into drive and blasted down the road. I felt an immediate deja vu as I reminisced about taking my 1966 Mustang out on a Friday night with the top down and a mix cd in my stereo, feeling freedom at its finest. Maybe they aren’t so different after all.

Disclaimer: Don’t drive while distracted or while using handheld devices. Use voice-operated systems when possible. Some features may be locked out while the vehicle is in gear. Not all features are compatible with all phones. Requires phone with active data service and compatible software. SYNC 4 does not control 3rd party products while in use. 3rd Parties are solely responsible for their respective functionality. See Owner's Manual for detail and limitations. EPA-estimated targeted range of 270 miles. Based on full charge. Actual range varies with conditions such as external environment, vehicle use, vehicle maintenance, lithium-ion battery age and state of health. FordPass App, compatible with select smartphone platforms, is available via a download. Message and data rates may apply. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and weight distribution.