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When the Ford Mustang Mach-E debuted for the 2021 model year, it was something Ford’s venerable Mustang had never been before — in more ways than one.

Featuring a four-door, coupe-like SUV profile, and an all-electric powertrain, the Mustang Mach-E heralds a new electric car model that’s as much about style as it is about performance. Related: 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E ordered to reopen, price increase

Including “Mustang” in the model name created performance expectations from the start.

So when we had the chance to test two versions of the Mustang Mach-E side-by-side – the Premium All-Drive model with a long-range battery and the GT Performance Edition – it seemed like the perfect opportunity to meet this question. but the performance improvement of the GT is worthwhile.

To do this, we brought both electric cars to Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wisconsin, for a day of racing and brake testing at the drag strip.

We also took them on an autocross course to test their handling range. Watch the video below that recreates our test and read on for more details on the models we tested and the results they achieved.

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What we tested

Both Mustang Mach-Es we tested were 2021 models, but today’s 2023 is the same, albeit more expensive.

The as-tested price of the 2021 Mustang Mach-E Premium is about $56,000, but the similar 2023 model costs about $68,000.

Similarly, the 2021 Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition costs almost $70,000, but buying this model in 2023 will cost almost $78,000, or $10,000 rather than the premium. What will you get for that extra $10,000?

More power: The GT Performance Edition is rated at 480 horsepower and 634 pound-feet of torque compared to the AWD Premium’s 346 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque.

Instead of the regular tires that go with the Premium, the GT Performance Edition gets larger wheels fitted with slick summer tires and Ford’s MagneRide suspension,

larger front brakes and Brembo four-piston calipers, a different front and back design, and front seat performance.

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Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium | Photo from Cars.com by Christian Lantry
However, opting for the GT Performance Edition in premium form also offers less range and performance.

According to EPA estimates for the 2022 model year, the GT Performance Edition is shown to go about 260 kilometers on a full charge and travel 100 kilometers with 41 kilowatt hours of energy;

Currently, the Premium is available to go 277 kilometers on a charge and use 37kWh for 100 kilometers, although Ford says that the 2023 model gets 13 kilometers of range for a total of 290 kilometers.

Acceleration and braking

Both Mustang Mach-Es have 96 percent battery charge at the start of the test, and we used the sportiest unbridled drive mode for the acceleration test.

Premium Mach-E accelerates quickly, and the power is more than acceptable for daily use.

The Mach-E GT Performance Edition, however, offers more forgiveness when accelerating from a standstill, which translates into a significantly lower 0-60mph time. In our drag-drip test,

the Premium went from 0-60 in 5.4 seconds versus 3.95 seconds for the GT Performance Edition, a difference of nearly two and a half seconds.

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Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium | Photo from Cars.com by Christian Lantry
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The added torque of the GT Performance Edition also helps with acceleration, as acceleration is stronger than the premium version.

In our 50-70mph test, the GT Performance Edition beat the Premium by almost a third of a second: 2.03 seconds over 2.77.

 

Although the 0-60mph and 50-70mph acceleration differences are significant, the gap between the two EVs narrows at the end of the quarter, with the GT Performance Edition completing the sprint in 12.64 seconds at 100.5 mph versus 13.75 seconds at 100.7 mph for.

Premium, a difference of 1.11 seconds.

Both GT Performance Edition and Premium lose some of their power in the quarter, but both cover more distance and less speed than at the beginning of the competition.

 

In the 60-0 mph braking test, we saw a big difference.

The Premium panic brake is an incredible experience that resulted in a stopping distance of 125.71 feet.

The GT Performance Edition, however, seems to be struggling to catch on; Its tires occasionally deflate to release smoke, and its shortest stopping distance is 149.46 feet, nearly 24 feet longer than the Premium.

Outside temperatures on our test day were in the 40s and 50s Fahrenheit, which may be relatively calm for GT Performance Edition summer tires.

Publication control

The summer tires performed well on our autocross course, while the GT Performance Edition was easier to slide through the cones than the Premium and its all-season tires screamed through the corners.

The GT Performance Edition is also easy to turn with the accelerator pedal; stand on it in the corner and you can fly tail when you come out.

The Premium, which does not have a button to turn off the traction control, tends to reduce power in similar situations.

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Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition |

Photo from Cars.com by Christian Lantry
The GT Performance Edition’s integrated steering wheel is another advantage, but these EVs are heavy – their curb weight is around 5,000 kilograms – and you feel that feeling when you try to launch them around a tough autocross course.

Interestingly, the suspension movement of the GT Performance Edition does not seem to be better in measuring the roll, which is controlled by logic for both models.

Which Mustang Mach-E Should You Buy?

The roughly $10,000 that separates the Mustang Mach-E Premium from the GT Performance Edition is a significant amount.

Although the GT Performance Edition offers quick low-to-mid acceleration, its impressive acceleration in the back half of the quarter is disappointing.

The GT Performance Edition’s summer tires made our driving experience more enjoyable, but some of the premium’s shortcomings could be addressed with different tires — and for less than $10,000.

The GT Performance Edition is billed as a premium offering of the Mustang Mach-E. Overall, though, there hasn’t been enough added performance to justify the extra money. Until then, the premium version is our choice.

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