Range Finder: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance
Here are all the reasons I’d buy the GT Performance Edition of Ford’s electrified Mustang — and one reason you shouldn’t
I may spend much of my time hooning about in outrageously stupid supercars, but, at my core, I remain unbendingly pragmatic. Oh, I do like me some power and g-forces, but four doors are better than two; a large cargo area is preferred over a miniscule trunk; and I would never personally buy anything that consumed more than 10 litres per 100 kilometres. Put simply, space, build quality, and efficiency — not to mention comfort and reliability — will always trump power and tire size. I love the latter; I’m just not willing to sacrifice the former.
Putting all those primary predilections — not to mention my secondary desires — into one vehicle is difficult. And, as soon as you put a frugal fuel economy or low-emissions qualifier in there, your choices narrow considerably. Indeed, as far as I can see, only one vehicle qualifies right now, and that would be Toyota’s RAV4 Prime PHEV, which, not coincidentally, is the car I’d buy were I shopping a new automobile today.
Of course, I could also go electric — as it turns out, I just drove the EV which, were I to ever buy an EV, would be the one I’d raid the retirement piggy bank for.
Now, first things first: I’m not in the market for an electric vehicle. Indeed, I’m hoping that I can get to my grave before I have no choice other than a BEV. Oh, I’d consider something completely battery-powered if I were a two-car family. But the Booth manse is a resolutely one-car — and soon to be three-motorcycle — household, and I’d rather pay $2.00 a litre— hell, $3.00, if I have to — than spend even 20 minutes waiting for lithium-ions to be recharged when I’m on the open road. Been there, tried that, and found it even more annoying that I thought it would be.
All that said, if I ever did happen to park two cars in my driveway, one of them would be electric. So, here’s all the reasons why I’d choose the Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition over what is becoming an ever-increasing choice of zero-emission battery-powered cars.
I like the looks. Stylish without being stupidly futuristic and with just the right amount of sloped-roof slipperiness that doesn’t sacrifice too much rear-seat headroom, I even like it in this yellow livery, a hue I normally eschew, like movies starring Tom Cruise, and restaurants that boast presentation over portion. By comparison, Tesla’s Model Y looks like it was styled by someone who still chews bubble gum; Audi’s e-tron by somebody who would need denture glue to chew said gum; and who the heck knows what General Motors is doing with the Bolt. I could park the GT — again, this particular colour — in my driveway and open its door every day with pride. It’s one good-looking car, er, crossover, or, uh, whatever it is.
I like the fact that it’s a quasi-SUV, albeit not one of those gargantuan three-row monstrosities that pretends to be a minivan. The trunk’s decently sized, the interior roomy and, as long as I’m not footing a huge gas bill, I don’t mind the relative inefficiency of the two-box shape (mind you, anyone who thinks Big Hydro isn’t going to soak us after we’ve all converted to electric really needs to read some Milton Friedman).
It’s also got just the right amount of power. Yes, like anyone who loves to drive, I like a little giddy in my up. On the other hand, this race to 1,000-horsepower production street cars is just as stupid as it would be if they were piston-powered. Tesla’s latest Plaid is nothing more than a Dodge Charger Hellcat — too much engine and not nearly enough suspension and brakes — with asynchronous motors. It’s absolutely amazing to me that, in the middle of the greatest revolution in mobility since Karl Benz strapped a 0.75-hp horsepower single-cylinder four-stroke engine to a wooden-seated wagon, we North Americans are still buying one-dimensional muscle cars. Balance in all things, said the Greek poet Hesiod, and I, for one, consider 480 hp, 634 pound-feet of torque, and a 3.7-second sprint to 100 kilometres an hour all the “balance” I need.