Mustang Mach-E Rally first drive: Ford is getting more comfortable with EVs

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I had the chance to drive the updated Mustang Mach-E, including the new top-of-the-line Rally version, and I think it marks an important step for Ford, or more specifically, Ford Model e.

The automaker is getting more comfortable and better with electric vehicles.

Last month, Ford unveiled its new 2024 Mustang Mach-E with more range, quicker acceleration, and faster charging.

Last week, the automaker invited me to Bellevue, Washington to come check out the new version of its popular electric SUV.

I’ve already reviewed the Mach-E on several occasions and I love the car. My main gripe has always been the charging for long-distance, but the deal with Tesla to get access to the Supercharger network as virtually solved that.

In fact, one of the main updates with the 2024 model year Mach-E is the charging time, which is now down to 36.2 minutes from 10 to 80% for the Mach-E trims with extended battery.

Even though Tesla vehicles have a higher peak charger rate of 250 kW, the Mach-E ends up charging as fast if not faster depending on the conditions due to its impressive charge curve.

This is really helpful since it will help manage the increased load on the Supercharger network coming from Ford EVs. I tested the new Mach-E GT at a Supercharger in Renton, Washington with the CCS to NACS adapter and it was a sight to see as many Ford EVs as Tesla EVs at a Supercharger station:

The experience with the adapter is smooth. It basically adds 10 seconds to the whole charging experience.

On top of the improved charging, Mustang Mach-E vehicles are getting more range with the new model year:

Vehicle  2024 model year EPA-estimated range Improvement
Mustang Mach-E Select, standard-range battery, rear-wheel drive  250  + 20 
Mustang Mach-E Premium, extended-range battery, rear-wheel drive  320  + 20 
Mustang Mach-E GT  280  + 10 
Mustang Mach-E Rally  265  N/A 

Ford is getting better at electric vehicles and software

Most of the improvements enabling better charging and range have to do with the improved thermal management system and new and updated electric motors.

While talking to Ford engineers at the media event, it felt like the automaker, which now operates its electric vehicle division as ‘model e’ led by former Tesla and Apple engineering leader Doug Field, is getting more comfortable as an electric automaker.

Ford was always great at making cars, and everything with the Mach-E that has to do with a traditional car is great, but the electric powertrain seemed to be conservative, which shouldn’t be too surprising for a 100-year-old company jumping in a whole new market.

The same can apply to software. Ford was never a big software company, CEO Jim Farley was one of the rare legacy automaker executives to appreciate how Tesla was able to implement over-the-air software updates throughout most of its vehicle subsystems by vertically integrating electronic modules.

Now, 85% of the Mustang Mach-E’s modules are OTA updatable. That means that the existing vehicles will get better over time.

The new Ford Pass app is also a god example of Ford’s improvements in software.

The Mustang Mach-E Rally

The Rally is a brand-new trim in the new 2024 Mach-E line-up. It’s a GT when it comes to the powertrain, but the Rally comes “raised 1” higher than GT, tuned for both on road and off-road, with rally-inspired appearance wheels, tires, spoilers, and stripe package.”

Both the GT and the Rally now come standard with Ford’s adjustable MagnaRide dampers, which is incredible. Ford’s dynamics team knows what it is doing.

However, after having driven both, I think the combination of tuning of the suspension in the Rally combined with its bigger tires makes for a better ride – on road and obviously off-road, which the GT is not geared for.

I’m not much of an off-road driver and certainly no rally driver, but I had the change to do a hot lap on DirtFish’s rally course in Snoqualmie, Washington with professional rally driver Adrien Fourmaux and it was quite experience:

As you can imagine, there are not many electric rally cars out there and therefore, it was Fourmaux’s first time driving one. He told me that the Mach-E Rally was so good it basically made it too easy for him. I believe him since he barely seemed to have his eyes opened for this while I was holding on to my life, testing the Mach-E Rally seats’ side support.

When it was time to drive the Rally on the road, I was more in my element and I was pleasantly surprised. The road was incredibly smooth, but not too much boat-like, which can happen with vehicles geared toward off-roading.

Now, you do lose some efficiency with version, but I think the 15 fewer miles over the GT version might be worth it for ride experience, especially in places like I’m from where roads often look like warzones.

If you’re looking for a deal on Ford’s electric SUV, we can help you find the right model at the best price. You can use our link to find great deals on the 2023 and 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E at a dealer near you.

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