But it’s also a high, wide and heavy car – and the tuning of the busy, testy ride and the often dull-feeling, leaden controls makes it seem all the heavier. Its electric powertrain, potent as it may be, does little more to involve you in the act of operating it than even the most basic EV does. And on really challenging roads where the dynamic composure of a great driver’s car ought to shine like a beacon, the Mach-E GT too often falters, fidgets and irks.
Part of the car’s problem is the shadow cast by its muscle car namesake. You just expect a fast Mustang – any fast Mustang, even an electric one with an SUV body profile – to be a little bit feisty, don’t you? To bristle a bit over lumps and bumps. Well, the Mach-E GT certainly does that.
The car’s ride over choppier country roads ranges from a noticeably restive and reactive in Ford’s more relaxed driving modes (Whisper, Active) to clunky, excitable and often uncomfortable in the sportier ones (Untamed, Untamed Plus). Granted, it wouldn’t have handled as Ford wanted it to without plenty of stiffness, both lateral and vertical, dialled into the suspension. But this doesn’t feel like a car that’s been anywhere near a complex road surface at any point in its gestation. It may corner well, at times; but it doesn’t invite you to commit it to any particular bend or line with real enthusiasm unless you know beyond a doubt that there isn’t a mid-corner bump waiting around the next hedge, ready to lift you out of your seat. That’s the truth of it.
If it had done a bit more benchmarking, Ford could have learned lessons from its rivals about how to take some of the fuzziness and eerie featurelessness out of the motive character of an electric car here, and put some feel, definition and engaging interest back in. It, like so many car firms, seems to need to make its own mistakes with EVs. Not for the Mach-E GT, then, any way to ratchet up regenerative braking on approach to a corner, and feel almost like you’re working your way down a paddleshift gearbox in readiness. Not for this car Porsche’s clever option, from the Taycan, to deactivate regenerative braking entirely, and thereby perhaps simplify and sharpen up brake pedal progression. It’s disappointingly grabby and dead-feeling any which way.
The Mustang Mach-E GT seems, to this tester, to be a new-age performance car that isn’t clever- or innovative enough to genuinely interest and engage you in the simpler facets of operating it; and which, in doubling down on fleeting, torque-vectored handling balance in a misguided attempt to make up the shortfall, ends up selling itself short on lasting, real-world driver appeal. I’d have a cheaper, rear-driven, extended-range model instead – and I’d be content knowing that I was having about as much fun driving it as the maturity of the technology associated currently allows.