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.
What are your key considerations when choosing a new car – practicality, running costs, connectivity or safety?
The reality is that looks tend to trump all of the above, which is why kerb appeal is so crucial.
Now, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I’d argue that the all-new Mokka is the coolest looking Vauxhall ever.
Putting aside the argument that Vauxhall’s DNA isn’t what is, because it’s now owned by the giant Stellantis group which was formed from the merger of France’s Groupe PSA (Peugeot, Citroen) and FCA (Fiat, Jeep etc), the Mokka urban crossover is a stand-out vehicle.
Battling it out against the likes of the big-selling Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, the good news for the Mokka is that it has an ace up its sleeve – it’s available with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, plus a 100% electric variant.
Our focus is on the latter – the Vauxhall Mokka-e – which is competitively priced from £30,540 (after the £2,500 PiCG, or plug-in car grant) and boasts a decent 201-mile electric range.
Sharing the same underpinnings as the Citroen e-C4, Peugeot e-2008 and DS 3 Crossback E-Tense (which is no bad thing), it looks like no other car on the road.
In a nutshell, the second-generation Mokka is radical compared to its dumpy predecessor. Slightly shorter, it has smaller front and rear overhangs and a more athletic stance.
It also features the bold new brand ‘face’ of Vauxhall (known as Vizor) which “organically integrates the grille, headlights and badge into one dramatic sweeping module”.
Call me old fashioned, but being able to view that long, horizontal bonnet with the strong centre crease as you drive along is such a unique pleasure these days.
Inside, the cockpit is futuristic and minimalist. Dominated by a large central infotainment screen (7″ or 10″) and digital driver’s display (10″ or 12″), there’s a real step-up in build quality throughout the cabin.
The pure electric Mokka-e has a 50kWh battery and a 134bhp electric motor that powers the front wheels and delivers 260Nm of instant torque.
It can be charged overnight if you have a home wallbox, while 80% of charge can be reached in as little as 30 minutes using a rapid 100kW public chargepoint. A more common 50kW fast charger will deliver around 100 miles in less than half an hour.
In real-world terms, we reckon the battery range is closer to 175 miles in everyday driving, while Vauxhall calculates the Mokka-e’s running costs are from 3p a mile.
The cabin is comfortable with plenty of space up front, even offering a lower, sporty driving position if you prefer. It’s a little tighter in the back for adults, while the boot has a useful 310-litre luggage capacity, expanding to 1,060 litres with the rear seats folded.
The Mokka-e is simple to drive and silent (none of the faint whine or audio enhancement you get with many EVs), and while it’s swift, it’s not stupidly fast. For the record, it can complete the 0-62mph sprint in 8.5 seconds.
If you want a bit of fun, then switch the drive mode from Normal or Eco to Sport, but apart from the odd blast, you’re more likely to want to squeeze out as many miles as possible.
The benefit of a smaller battery pack is that it’s easier to see instant results from regenerative braking (which returns most of the energy from braking and coasting back into the battery while you’re driving) and the Mokka-e’s system is particularly satisfying.
With light steering and good visibility, it’s a doddle to drive and surprisingly nimble. However, because it’s more comfort than performance focused, it loses its composure when pushed on more challenging roads.
Broadly speaking, electric vehicles’ brakes tend to be disappointing and the Mokka-e is par for the course. Our test car’s system didn’t seem to be terribly progressive, but did the job.
Ultimately, even if the Mokka-e looks sportier than it actually is, it’s still a refreshing sight on our roads – especially in Mamba Green. Rivals include the MINI Electric, Honda e, Fiat 500 and Mazda MX-30.
Verdict: The Vauxhall Mokka-e is a funky, all-electric urban crossover that dares to be different. Affordable, well-equipped, safe and fun to drive, it has a unique charm.
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.
RS e-tron GT proves its worth against AMG, proves electric vehicles can have style, performance on par or better than ICE machines.
There’s no doubt the New ’20s will likely be the last time ICE machines have the higher ground in all aspects of motoring. As more automakers enter the roadway to electrification, new EVs continue to improve their standing away from egomaniacs and their playthings. Audi is among them with their e-tron family, including its high-performance RS e-tron GT fastback sedan.
“I’m sitting in a Mercedes E 63 AMG,” said Watson. “Next to me is an Audi RS e-tron GT. This may seem like a bit of an odd match-up, but I’m going to explain why I’m doing it. You see, [the Audi] is now the most powerful RS model you can buy. Yet, every time I’ve raced an RS car against this E 63, the Mercedes has come out on top. So can that new, electric-powered RS car regain some honor for Audi?”
Of course, it’s not just about regaining honor for Audi. It’s a demonstration of how far EVs have come along in just a few short years as being as good, if not better than, their ICE counterparts. Though manufacturers like Toyota and Porsche have either put their weight behind alternatives like hydrogen and synthetic gasoline (the latter which could keep ICE machines on the road for a long time to come, per Donut Media), there’s no doubt the EV is not only here to stay, it’s here to overthrow the old order.
“I think this [Audi] looks great,” said Charalambous. “I really, really like this a lot. I’ll be honest with you, when I saw the lineup, I was so surprised you gave me this car. I personally don’t think you got a chance. But, I could be underestimating that vehicle.”
Right off the bat, Charalambous proves the RS e-tron GT is the wave of the future. In the drag race, he uses his perfect launch to leave Watson in dust by around two car lengths. After all, his Audi’s pair of electric motors deliver their combined 620 ft-lb of torque all at once. Meanwhile, the AMG’s torque takes a while to come up, just as the Audi’s 630 ponies have long already gotten the job done.
That instant torque shows up even harder on the roll races. On the first with both cars in their respective comfort modes, the RS e-tron GT immediately pulls away, crossing the mile-mark by four car lengths. In their performance modes, though, the duo cross the same line in a dead heat. However, it did take the AMG a while to reach the Audi.
“For a car that’s so fast,” said Charalambous, “it doesn’t brake well. I assume you got no ceramics on this?”
Despite the AMG winning the brake test, it did so by about a third of a car. Part of this could be due to the RS e-tron GT’s battery pack contributing to the overall 2.3 tons it weighs. It also, as Charalambous believes, could be due to the lack of the right sort of brakes for such a machine.
However, the weight issue could resolve itself once the infrastructure is in place. As Audi CEO Markus Duesmann told Roadshow in February, the long-range packs of today could shrink amid a denser infrastructure. In turn, charging times also shrink, placing EVs finally on par with fueling times for ICE machines. And, of course, shorter stopping distances for brake tests like the ones carwow performs due to less weight overall.
In short, races like these demonstrate where the EV lines up with ICEs. Looks like the latter has finally met its match, and its fate.
Cameron Aubernon’s path to automotive journalism began in the early New ’10s. Back then, a friend of hers thought she was an independent fashion blogger.
Aubernon wasn’t, so she became one, covering fashion in her own way for the next few years.
From there, she’s written for: Louisville.com/Louisville Magazine, Insider Louisville, The Voice-Tribune/The Voice, TOPS Louisville, Jeffersontown Magazine, Dispatches Europe, The Truth About Cars, Automotive News, Yahoo Autos, RideApart, Hagerty, and Street Trucks.
Aubernon also served as the editor-in-chief of a short-lived online society publication in Louisville, Kentucky, interned at the city’s NPR affiliate, WFPL-FM, and was the de facto publicist-in-residence for a communal art space near the University of Louisville.
Owners of electric vehicles (EVs) should pay close attention to the tyres they choose when the originals need replacing, warns TyreSafe.
Increasingly, advises the UK road safety charity, tyres fitted are specifically designed for use on EVs and can be significantly different to the ‘normal’ tyres motorists are familiar with.
Fitting the wrong type of tyre could result in loss of range, extra noise, accelerated wear and the risk of failing while being driven, which could result in a serious incident.
TyreSafe has released detailed advice for EV owners in the ‘About Tyres’ section of its website, tyresafe.org.
Four reasons why correct EV tyres matter
There are a wide range of factors which are important to choosing the right tyre, which the vehicle manufacturer has already taken into account when fitting the originals at the factory.
The vehicle’s weight is just one as it influences the amount of air pressure required to keep a tyre in its optimal shape along with the stiffness of its sidewall and even its centre section. EVs are well-known for being heavier than their petrol or diesel equivalents, so an owner must be aware of their tyre’s load rating when a replacement is needed as well as maintaining the recommended tyre pressure at all times.
Another consideration is the impact tyre choice can have on an EV’s range, due to its ‘rolling resistance’. A tyre should have the least rolling resistance as possible, however, as always, a balance needs to be struck as grip is essential for safety when it comes to braking. Minimising rolling resistance while providing adequate grip seems like a contradictory requirement but this is a key performance characteristic for EVs to ensure maximum range.
The tyre also needs to be robust as EVs produce maximum power from standing. This places high demands on the rubber compound, which needs to be of the right mixture of components and have the appropriate tread pattern to provide a lifespan comparable with petrol or diesel vehicles.
The amount of noise the tyre produces as it travels over a road surface is yet another example of the possible adaptations which could make tyres for EVs different to those of a petrol or diesel vehicle. As EV motors produce very little noise, the quiet cabin environment is one of the big attractions of these cars, which could easily be ruined by the wrong choice of tyre.
“Tyres are an extremely sophisticated piece of technology, which we all too commonly take for granted,” said TyreSafe’s Stuart Jackson.
“Choosing a like-for-like tyre will allow EV owners to enjoy the full benefit of the electric car revolution and reduce the risks of an incident.”
Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.