WHEN the Ford Mustang is mentioned I still can't help thinking of the magnificent V8 muscle car that I have enjoyed driving over the decades in all its generations.
The amazing looks and stunning soundtrack always bring a smile to my face so like a lot of other fans I was a little shocked when Ford named their first all-electric car Mustang Mach-E.
The two could not be more different because the Mustang Mach-E is no sports car - instead it is an SUV that runs on electric power only and is designed to compete against very tough opposition.
I have been sampling the Mach-EPremium AWD model that has a price tag of £65,405 and £66,205 when you get it with attractive Space White paint. Thankfully it delivers amazing performance but still boasts a range of up to 341 miles.
Its battery offersa power output of 351ps and 580Nm of torque. That translates to a 0-62 sprint time of just 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 111mph.
It may not attract as much attention as its sports car sibling but the Mach-E is a good looking car and there are Mustang design cues at every turn.
It features a long bonnet, the iconic Pony badging, signature lighting, push button doors, privacy glass, a unique front grille design, unique bumpers, and 19-inch alloy wheels with Brembo brakes and red calipers. On 2023 models you also get a fixed panorama roof, as well as Mustang Signature LED taillights and LED reflector headlamps.
Move inside and you will find a massive 15.5-inch upright infotainment screen as well as a full digital dash cluster. Thelarge screen is the car's brain and, like most smartphones, features pinch, zoom and rotate functions.
It offers access to the Ford SYNC technology with navigation, voice recognition and a number of other services. The eight-way powered front seats can be heated, along with the steering wheel, and the vital driving data is displayed on a 10-2-inch screen behind the steering wheel.
There is a fine 10-speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system with dashboard soundbar, a smartphone charging pad, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, advanced park assist, and much more besides.
With its single speed transmission, the acceleration out the starting blocks is instant and there are drive modes called Whisper, Active and Untamed that alter the characteristics and handling of the car. They certainly make a change from the standard Eco, Normal and Sport tags.
It is quick off the mark and the all-round performance is impressive with assured grip through bends thanks to the all-wheel-drive system and the composed and balanced ride. The steering is well weighted and provides good feedback while the all-round visibility is also good.
In traffic you can use a button to activate one-pedal driving and that is great in stop/start traffic working well to bring the car to a complete standstill when necessary.
Comfort levels are high and there is ample room for five passengers. In addition, the boot can swallow 402 litres of kit - this increases to 1,420 litres with the rear seats folded.
There is a further 81 litres of storage space beneath the bonnet and a lot of storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin.
The Mach-E also boasts a wealth of safety kit as standard and it scored a maximum five stars when tested for its Euro NCAP rating. It features the likes of intelligent cruise control with stop and go, lane keep assist and lane departure warning, pre-collision assist, automated emergency braking and lots more.
Charging the Mach-E will very much depend on the power source, but on a fast charger - if you can find one that works, it takes 45 minutes to get from 10 to 80 per cent.