2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Review: BlueCruise Brains Meet Electrified Brawn

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The GT’s external differences begin with a glossy black faux grille that replaces the color-matched nose of the standard Mach-E. Of course, the electric crossover doesn’t need a large front intake to cool an engine, so there’s nothing behind the grille but a spacious and versatile frunk storage area. A more aggressive front bumper completes the sporty makeover, while a glowing pony badge adds a bit of visual flair. Meanwhile, the rear end’s Mustang icon gets swapped for “GT” lettering.

Filling the GT’s arches are standard 20-inch wheels shod with either 245/45R20 all-season tires or Pirelli P-Zero summer rubber if you spring for the Performance Edition. Four-piston Brembo front brakes with 15.1-inch rotors and 12.4-inch rear rotors with single-piston calipers add stopping power and a pop of bright red. The GT also sits half an inch lower to the ground than the standard Mach-E, giving it a nicer overall stance.

Large red-painted Brembo brakes fill space behind the standard 20-inch wheels.

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Dual-motor Performance Edition

The GT uses the Mach-E’s same dual-motor all-wheel-drive setup but boasts a combined 480 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque — 120 hp and 172 lb-ft more than the standard SUV. That’s enough thrust to launch the Mach-E GT from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Opting for the Performance Edition bumps torque up to 634 lb-ft and shaves that 0-to-60-mph time down to just 3.5 seconds.

The Performance Edition accelerates like a slug out of a railgun, squatting slightly onto its rear wheels with just a hint of chirp from the fronts. No energy is wasted spinning tires; the Mach-E just goes, mashing its occupants into their seats and hurling itself forward without drama. The effect is even stranger if you disable the Mach-E’s electro-V8 fake engine noise — launching that hard in near silence can be a little weird.

Drivers have a choice of three modes to customize the Mach-E’s performance. Whisper, Engage and Unbridled roughly correspond to comfort, normal and sport, affecting the throttle response, regenerative braking, engine sound and — for the Performance Edition — the adaptive suspension settings. There is also a setting to activate a one-pedal driving mode, which maximizes regenerative braking when lifting the accelerator, allowing the Mach-E to slow to a stop without touching the friction brakes.

Extended use of Unbridled mode can cause heat buildup in the Mach-E GT’s power systems. This is unlikely to happen when enjoying a twisty road, but on a race track, a hot battery doesn’t perform as well. To prevent heat buildup, a fourth drive mode — Unbridled Extend — is unique to GT models, restricting power to a more thermally manageable level. There’s only a touch less oomph than raw Unbridled, but that tradeoff gets you more consistent performance over more laps on a track. Unbridled Extend also, interestingly, disables one-pedal driving, so you’ll appreciate those Brembos even more if you track your Mach-E GT.

Range and charging

Feeding those electric motors is Ford’s Extended Range battery pack with 88 kilowatt-hours of usable capacity. The EPA estimates that the Mach-E GT will cruise for 270 miles per charge versus 312 for the non-GT AWD model. The Performance Edition, with its stickier tires, drops the range to 260 miles per charge. From an 80% charge, I traveled 153 miles before plugging in at a public station with 17% reserve remaining, which is fairly close to the advertised consumption. My testing also took place before the rollout of an over-the-air software update that will extend the usable battery pack capacity to 91 kWh and could net owners a modest range boost — though neither Ford nor the EPA is updating their estimates to reflect the change.

Charging takes just over 10 hours when connected to a Level 2 home or public AC charger. At a 150-kW DC fast charger, the GT can go from 10% to 80% in around 45 minutes via its CCS connection. Ford is offering new Mach-E owners up to 250 kWh of complimentary DC fast charging on its BlueOval network of public stations, which is only about 600 miles if you perfectly nail the EPA’s 2.4 mi/kWh estimate.

GT and GT Performance Edition models ride on a suspension that’s a half-inch lower than standard.

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Magneride suspension and handling

The Performance Edition also adds MagneRide adaptive dampers to the GT package. Able to go from very firm to compliant and controlled with the touch of a button, the boost in around-town ride quality alone is perhaps reason enough to spring for the Performance Edition, to say nothing of the cornering advantages on smooth roads.

The more sophisticated suspension — along with the grippier tires — afford the Mach-E GT Performance a more robust handling envelope than the standard model, more valiantly combating the crossover’s 4,989-pound curb weight. The crossover’s steering, however, is still overboosted and could use a touch more weight and feedback to go along with the GT’s more generous limits. 

Co-Pilot 360 with BlueCruise

The Mach-E comes standard with Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 Assist 2.0 suite of driver aid technologies, so every GT includes lane-centering steering assist, adaptive cruise control that works in stop-and-go traffic, blind-spot monitoring, pre-collision automatic emergency braking and more. Pedestrian detection, rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert with brake assist and a standard rear camera help with low-speed safety.

The 2022 Mach-E’s coolest new technology is BlueCruise, Ford’s hands-free highway assist system that comes as part of the $1,900 Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 package. BlueCruise is an SAE-certified Level 2 driver assistance system that — much like General Motors’ Super Cruise — can handle steering, acceleration and braking under certain conditions without the driver’s hands on the wheel, with the requirement that their eyes stay on the road. BlueCruise works only in Ford’s Hands-Free Blue Zones — around 130,000 miles of divided highways and interstates that Ford has scanned and vetted — and when the driver’s head and eye position have been confirmed by onboard cameras.

At a 150-kWh station, the Mach-E GT can rapidly charge from 10% to 80% in about 45 minutes.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET

When operating hands-free, the Mach-E stays nicely centered in its lane, follows bends smoothly enough and keeps a good distance behind leading cars. BlueCruise communicates with the driver via prompts on the standard 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster. For example, a blue circle and a blue “hands-free” steering wheel icon indicate the system is ready and active, respectively. But Ford’s use of blue icons on a blue background can be difficult to read at a glance. I much prefer Super Cruise’s big steering wheel light strip, which communicates everything you need to know clearly and instantaneously with blue, green and red illumination that can be read with peripheral vision.

Actually, almost everything about GM’s Super Cruise tech feels a generation ahead of Ford’s, from the smoother automated steering inputs to the more intuitive interface to the ability to automatically change lanes and, now, even tow. That said, Super Cruise isn’t available on any vehicles that compete directly with the Mach-E — the Bolt EUV is close, but no cigar — and BlueCruise still feels like safe and solid tech and an excellent first hands-free offering from Ford.

Opting for Co-Pilot 360 Active also upgrades the Mach-E’s rear camera to a 360-degree surround view system which further boosts safety and helps greatly with precision parking and Active Parking Assist that can just steer itself into perpendicular or parallel spaces for you.

Sync 4A cabin technology

The Mach-E GT’s cabin doesn’t make many departures from the standard spec, though it does swap in Ford Performance seats with fixed headrests and a tad more bolstering. The Performance Edition features synthetic leather trim with perforated inserts and metallic stitching. Overall, the interior quality is as good if not better than the Tesla Model Y, though Ford’s tech isn’t quite as bold.

Sync 4A makes excellent use of its large, vertically oriented screen.

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The vertically oriented Sync 4A infotainment system won’t play Cyberpunk 2077, but its large 15.5-inch display with an embedded physical volume knob puts a mostly intuitive interface at the driver’s fingertips. The core interface and home screen are smartly designed with large virtual buttons and a strip of tiles for the most recently accessed functions that makes getting around snappy and easy. However, the shallow menu structure means that sometimes there are a lot of options on screen at one time, particularly on the quick settings menu, which can feel overwhelming.

The onboard navigation software works great with the vertical screen, filling the display and showing more of the route than would normally be visible in landscape orientation. When using the standard wireless or USB-connected Android Auto or Apple CarPlay connectivity, the space is used less elegantly, but there is still plenty of real estate to see your streamed maps and apps clearly. 

The Mach-E also has one of the largest phone pads I’ve seen in a car with space for two large devices side by side, though it only supports wireless charging for one. Owners can even use their phone as a key via the FordPass app.

Pricing and competition

The 2022 Ford Mach-E GT starts at $63,095 including a $1,100 destination charge and before any state or federal tax incentives. The GT Performance Edition starts at $69,095. Add Rapid Red premium paint and the Co-Pilot 360 Active package with BlueCruise and you’ll reach my tester’s as-tested price of $72,990.

With a solid performance, good range and Ford’s BlueCruise tech, the Mach-E GT is one of the most compelling players in its class.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET

That’s a price approaching the entry point of Audi’s E-Tron Sportback and the Jaguar I-Pace, both of which are more luxurious but much less potent performers. For a lot less money, the Kia EV6 GT-Line is probably my favorite vehicle in this class right now, though its performance is more on par with the standard Mach-E. The Tesla Model Y Performance is about as quick as the Ford when driven in anger but boasts more range (303 miles) for drivers with a light right foot, making it the Mach-E’s closest competitor. Tesla’s driver aid tech makes bolder claims, but I think BlueCruise’s more modest performance does a better job delivering consistency.

Ford’s Mustang Mach-E was already excellent, but the 2022 model is even better thanks to the addition of BlueCruise. Plus, the enhanced athleticism of the GT and GT Performance Edition models make it a little more worthy of its pony car pedigree and one of the few truly performance oriented options in its class.



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