Ford has unveiled Mustang Mach-E police concept at the Emergency Services Show in Birmingham, following several requests from forces around the country to evaluate the pure electric SUV.
The Metropolitan Police Force has already appraised the standard Mustang Mach-E and has now requested a full test of the marked concept. Also waiting for an opportunity to try the new 999 vehicle are the Sussex, Surrey, South Wales, Dyfed Powys, Devon & Cornwall and Police Scotland forces.
The initial concept is a demonstrator Mustang Mach-E Standard Range AWD (all-wheel drive). Subject to testing of this model, Ford is planning to offer Extended Range versions of its RWD (rear-wheel drive) and AWD versions. The extended battery types would give the police even greater range, and therefore versatility and capability, for police operations.
Instant and super-quick acceleration – the new Mach-E is capable of 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds (GT version) and 111mph – will be a useful weapon against crime for any police car, but the Mach-E will offer the forces one of the most economical and environmentally-friendly cars on their fleets.
The conversion of the original Mach-E was carried out by Ford’s long term partner to the blue light industry, Safeguard SVP, a specialist constructor based in Essex.
Among the equipment fitted to the concept car are bespoke mounting pods and brackets to ensure suitable locations are found for operational use, with minimal damage to the vehicle. All lighting is LED with very low power consumption to reduce current draw from the vehicle’s 12V power system.
Meanwhile, the 999 livery is a first-off design which utilises high specification material to maximise day and night visibility requirements.
Centenarian Harold Baggott, who learned to drive in a Ford Model T, has demonstrated an all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E to his great-grandchildren.
The event took place at the British Motor Museum, Beaulieu, near the Hampshire home of Harold, who still drives daily.
The 101-year-old’s great-grandchildren, Felix and Charlie, also got to ride in a Model T – the same as Harold first drove on private land in 1930.
“Since the age of 10, I’ve retained my interest in motoring and today find myself interested in the switch to electrification following the government phasing out the traditional combustion engines I’m used to,” said Harold.
“I have reminisced about my driving history with the Model T and seen what the future has in store. It was exciting to get behind the wheel of what I expect to see my great grandchildren will be driving.”
After Harold got his driving licence in 1936 (the first year they were introduced), he purchased his first car (a Ford 8 Popular) in 1937 for £100, followed by a Ford Anglia the next year.
Since then his family has owned 20 Fords privately, as well as Ford commercial vehicles in chassis form, converted into coaches for a fleet of 140 run by their travel and coach business.
The all-new, all-electric Mustang Mach-E is a big deal for Ford.
The Blue Oval may be late to the EV party, but this SUV is worth the wait with its combination of style, performance, driver engagement and practicality.
Starting at £41,330 and rising to £67,225, the Mach-E is available with rear or all-wheel drive, and with two different battery sizes delivering a range of up to 379 miles.
And while its “pony” badging and sculpted design are a nod to Ford’s iconic Mustang car, the similarity ends there because this EV muscle car is smooth, silent and emits zero emissions.
Your choice of Mach-E will depend on your priorities. The Extended Range with rear-wheel drive has the longest range (379 miles), while the quickest is the GT version (0-62mph in 3.7 seconds).
I tested the Mach-E AWD Extended Range (arguably the best all-rounder in the line-up), which competes with everything from the Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq to the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron.
Powered by a large 88kWh battery pack and a pair of electric motors (one on each axle), it delivers 346bhp and 580Nm, allowing an impressive 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds.
Range on this model is officially up to 355 miles, but in everyday driving, 300 is achievable, while a typical charge of 10-80% can be reached in as little as 45 minutes via a rapid 150kW DC charger.
To look at it another way, it’s possible to add 73 miles in 10 minutes, though many owners will simply plug in from home and charge overnight.
I found the mileage covered matched the indicated range well in everyday motoring, though clearly the miles remaining will take a hit during winter and if you take full advantage of the performance available.
Naturally, the Mach-E’s acceleration is instant and rapid, and not quite as unnecessarily gut-wrenching as some electric rivals.
You can choose from three drive modes: Active, Whisper, and Untamed. Active is your default setting, Whisper is “the most relaxing way to enjoy Mustang Mach-E” and Untamed unleashes the car, sharpening the steering, enhancing the throttle response and boosting the fake interior engine noise.
Despite its two-tonne weight, the Mach-E feels surprisingly agile on more challenging roads, delivering a degree of driver engagement often missing in the EV sector.
Body control is impressive, thanks to the relatively firm suspension set-up, meaning it will stay flat in faster corners. Traction is superb, as is the grip, while the steering is swift, just as you’d expect from any Fast Ford.
Meanwhile, the brakes are strong and more progressive than some – a weak point in many EVs.
However, technology hasn’t been allowed to completely sanitise the driving experience, because even in all-wheel drive form, it’s possible to get the rear to step out.
Whether you agree with Ford’s decision to market this SUV as a Mustang or not, there’s no denying that the muscular styling is distinctive and there are enough design cues to legitimise the comparison with the automotive icon.
Signature elements include the long, powerful bonnet, rear haunches, mean headlights and trademark tri-bar tail-lights.
The Mach-E’s designers should also be commended for having the confidence to go their own way n certain areas. For instance, the door handles don’t pop out. In fact, there are no handles. Instead, you press a button on the B or C pillars and pull a streamlined ‘E-Latch”.
Inside, there’s a 15.5-inch portrait-mounted infotainment touchscreen in the centre console, plus a smaller 10.2-inch digital cluster behind the steering wheel for basic driving information, such as speed, battery percentage and remaining range.
Apart from screens, the cabin has a familiar Ford feel, so while it’s a pleasant and comfortable enough place to be, it doesn’t quite have the premium feel of some competitors.
That said, there’s plenty of space for five adults, while boot capacity is a useable 410 litres (expanding to 1,420 litres of space with the rear seats flipped). The front trunk (frunk) has a further 81 litres, though in practice this is the best place to store your charging cable.
So, all in all, the Mach-E is an impressive addition to the electric SUV scene. And frankly, when your biggest gripe is subjective (I couldn’t find a comfortable spot to rest my left foot), it’s a job done well.
Verdict: Ford’s first fully-fledged electric car has been worth the wait. With its combination of kerb appeal, driving dynamics, practicality and long range, the Mustang Mach-E is one of the most accomplished EVs in the crossover sector. Sometimes it’s fashionable to arrive late to a party.
A little over a year since its launch, and the Ford Puma compact crossover has become a firm fixture in the Top 10 UK best-selling cars list.
Up until now it’s only been available with the excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine in various states of tune, but now there’s the sporty ST version.
Using the same 197bhp 1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder unit as the Fiesta ST (but with torque boosted from 214lb ft to 236lb ft), Ford hopes it can work the same magic with this distinctive, slightly bigger, more practical car.
At first glance, there’s not much to distinguish the ST from the smaller-engined ST-Line, apart from ST badging and a few subtle tweaks, including twin exhaust tips and new alloys.
This is probably the right decision because too many boy racer additions would limit its appeal. Plus, if you opt for Mean Green, you stand out quite enough, thank you very much.
Inside, the biggest difference is a pair of Recaro sports seats, a flat-bottomed ST steering wheel, plus ST-branded gear knob and door sill protectors.
Elsewhere, the ST gets the same 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and 8.0-inch central infotainment screen as a high-spec regular Puma, with built-in sat-nav, Apple and Android smartphone mirroring and a wireless phone-charging pad.
The 456-litre boot is also carried over, along with the waterproof and drainable ‘Megabox’ underfloor storage area.
Some scoff at the Megabox because it’s just utilising the space where traditionally a full-sized spare wheel would be kept. This is true, but the extra storage makes a huge difference and the Puma really can swallow a surprising amount of luggage.
Power is sent through the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, resulting in a 0-60 time of 6.7 seconds, a 137mph top speed, fuel economy of 40.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 155g/km CO2.
Other changes out of sight include a suspension that’s firmer and lower, plus uprated anti-roll bars.
Sounds good on paper, but how does it go, and is it worthy of the ST badge? Well, the standard Puma drives pretty much how you’d expect a crossover based on the acclaimed Fiesta to drive, which is no bad thing.
The Puma ST takes it up a notch or two, blending impressive engine responsiveness with quick steering, powerful brakes and excellent body control.
Accelerate hard out of a bend and the traction is superb, thanks to an optional mechanical limited-slip differential (a rarity in this price range) and specially-developed Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.
There’s no shortage of grunt from the engine, while the slick six-speed gearbox has a short shift action and the gear ratios are well chosen.
Even the driving position, complemented by supportive Recaros, is near perfect.
Ok, it’s not quite as nimble as the smaller Fiesta ST, but Ford’s engineers have done a fantastic job crafting a compact crossover this engaging to drive.
There are four selectable driving modes (Eco, Normal, Sport and Track), but with a ride that is on the firm side, Normal will do just fine for everyday driving and reserve Sport for fun on more challenging roads.
Claimed fuel economy is pretty much on the money, though we managed to squeeze as much as a 45mpg out of it on a steady motorway run.
Competitively priced from £28,510, a Performance Pack (with goodies including a Mechanical Limited Slip Differential and Launch Control) is an extra £950, while the £600 Drive Assistance Pack adds nice-to-haves such as Adaptive Cruise Control and a rear-view camera.
Verdict: With its winning blend of dynamic drive, practicality and cool looks, the well-equipped, surprisingly spacious Puma ST sports crossover is a welcome addition to the Fast Ford family.
The Ford Fiesta has cemented its reputation as the UK’s favourite car, taking the No 1 spot for the 10th consecutive year. However, final year figures for 2018 released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that total registrations were down 6.8% to 2.37 million cars, reflecting 12 months of turbulence. Sales of …