Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance 2021 : Muscle Car 2.0?

Whether one was delighted or enraged that Ford had given the name of an automotive icon to an electric crossover, it was certain that the brand would come up with more powerful and sporty versions of it.

Here is the GT Performance which settled at the top of the Mustang Mach-E series as soon as it arrived here this fall.

The American neighbors are also entitled to a GT, but only the most powerful and best equipped grind crosses the border to the north. So much the better. All GTs have a 98.8 kWh battery of which they only use 88 kWh to preserve its longevity. This limit climbs to 91 kWh for 2022. Let’s hope that the autonomy will benefit from it, since we did not see more than 311 km in autonomy promised by the on-board computer during our test.

Photo: Marc Lachapelle

Proven recipe

Engineers used a long-proven method to create this smart version of the Mustang Mach-E. They first grafted a bigger, more muscular engine to the front axle of the all-wheel-drive version to bring total power and torque to 480 horsepower and 634 lb-ft. To get the most out of it, they then chose Pirelli PZero Elect performance tires in size 245/45, mounted on 20-inch alloy rims and tamed by excellent magnetically-variable shocks and firmer springs. At the same time, the body was lowered by 12 mm, which further improves agility.

Photo: Marc Lachapelle

To calm the ardor of the beast, they installed larger 385mm front ventilated disc brakes, pinched by four-piston Brembo calipers and solid 316mm rear discs. The red color of their calipers is a classic touch. However, you can easily drive the GT Performance with just one pedal, thanks to regenerative braking. All you have to do is activate this function on the touch screen that sits in the middle of the dashboard.

From the outside, the GT Performance stands out with its fake black patterned grille in the middle of which sits a stallion whose outline lights up in the evening. It is flanked by large air intakes to cool its brakes. At the rear, a GT badge replaces the standard that adorns the tailgate of other Mach-E’s and the fender contours are color coordinated with that of the bodywork. Our GT Performance’s Cyber ​​Orange Metallic shade is worth each of the $ 800 it costs.

Photo: Marc Lachapelle

Almost Scandinavian

The changes in the cabin are as discreet as they are limited. The GT Performance is treated to large cross-pattern aluminum moldings and suede cushions with stitching for its dashboard. We also notice the letters GT inscribed in low relief on the central armrest and engraved on aluminum sill plates. The sound system is provided by a Bang & Olufsen system with nine loudspeakers and a sub-bass box.

The most significant change is the addition of more sculpted front bucket seats, which provide flawless comfort and support. Access is impeccable, thanks to the perfect seat height and narrow thresholds. The sober presentation of the cabin and its sleek design are at odds with the usual clichés that are associated with performance cars and others muscle cars. We appreciate the quality of the materials and the play of textures between the different surfaces of the dashboard.

Photo: Marc Lachapelle

Visible through the upper part of the steering wheel, an elongated screen presents a series of essential data: electric range (in km and%), speed, selected gear, charge level and status of a handful of systems. This delightfully bright rectangle is the perfect complement to the large 15.5-inch screen, placed vertically, which allows easy navigation between menus and pages arranged in a logical and user-friendly way.

The rim of the steering wheel, dressed in fairly soft leather, is just the right size. The black plastic levers, mounted on either side, ring hollow, on the other hand. But since they are reminiscent of the Porsche 911, the Mach-E is not in such bad company. However, we could do better than the microscopic button of the rear wiper, planted at the end of the right lever.

Photo: Marc Lachapelle

Contrary natures

Comparisons between the Mustang Mach-E GT and Mustang Mach 1 are inevitable, since they have the same power in addition to the same name. The Mach-E GT Performance is 76mm shorter and 35mm narrower, on a 264mm larger wheelbase. However, it is 233 mm taller but above all heavier by a substantial 519 kg. As always with the best electric vehicles, we console ourselves by thinking that the mass of the propulsion battery extends very low, under the floor.

The 480 horsepower of the Mach-E and Mach 1 express themselves in radically different ways. The Mach 1 reaches 100 km / h in 4.99 seconds and completes the quarter mile in 13.15 seconds at 181.1 km / h. In good overpowered propulsion with the front engine, it has difficulty setting off, despite its Cannon Start mode.

In stark contrast, the GT Performance crushes you in your seat and soars with force and the bare minimum of slip that its virtual all-wheel drive allows. It crosses the 100 km / h mark in 4.46 seconds but covers the quarter mile in 13.29 seconds with a peak of only 157.8 km / h. Especially because the force of the acceleration tops out at around 130 km / h, as is often the case with an electric cog.

Photo: Marc Lachapelle

A new species

The GT Performance immediately puts you at ease when driving. The driving position is fair and the visibility towards the front and the inside of the bends is very good. The look is less generous to the sides and rear, with a beefy center pillar and the blind angle of the rear pillar. The rear headrests also block the corners of the center mirror and do not swivel flat, alas. The Mach-E athlete is stable and comfortable on the road, in Whisper or Engage mode. The ride is firm, without harshness or harshness, thanks to the magnetically variable dampers.

Unbridled mode strengthens the steering and the shock absorbers while simultaneously raising the anti-skid intervention thresholds. The GT Performance suddenly becomes seriously playful. The front end bites instantly and grips in tight curves with little or no understeer. It displays an impressive balance that can be modulated at will with the accelerator. You can even drift the rear end without a cold sweat, with strangely robotic precision.

Photo: Marc Lachapelle

The Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance is arguably not as fast on a racetrack as its lower, lighter Mach 1 cousin, whose 480 horsepower cruises at high revs. It can at least give it the change with the Unbridled Extended mode, which better spreads the reserves of its battery to allow it to put on a few laps without overheating or reducing power.

It doesn’t really matter, anyway, since this vitamin-packed Mach-E belongs to a new era and a new breed of performance machines that won’t cease to amaze us anytime soon. The rest of the time, you can quietly enjoy the other virtues of this slender, comfortable, spacious and practical crossover with zero pollution. Who says better?

In video: Antoine Joubert presents the Ford Mustang Mach-E


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