Is the Mustang muscle car becoming irrelevant?

The highly anticipated 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E just broke cover as the company’s first competitive EV and the first production electric vehicle to sport the Mustang name. The big news is that the Mach-E will be offered in a high-performance trim as well. It will be called the GT, it will generate well in excess of 400 horsepower, and hit 60 mph from a standing start in "the mid-three-second range." This means it will be quicker than the Mustang GT. Is the muscle car becoming irrelevant now that the Mustang is also a high-performance electric SUV?

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT is impressively powerful

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Will Be Quicker Than The Mustang GT Exterior
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While the regular Mustang Mach-E won’t give sports coupes many reasons to worry, the GT trim will hit showrooms with impressive performance.

Powered by two electric motors that provide AWD capability, the Mach-E GT Performance Edition will come with 459 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque on tap.

That’s just one horsepower less than the Mustang GT, but a whopping 192 pound-feet more than the two-door coupe. To get a better idea of how torquey the Mach-E GT is, the electric motors generate only 13 pound-feet less than the supercharged Shelby GT500.

These figures apply for both the Mach-E GT and the Mach-E GT Performance Edition. It’s important to know this because the Performance Edition is supposed to be a half-second quicker than the GT from 0 to 60 mph.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT is insanely quick

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Will Be Quicker Than The Mustang GT Exterior
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Ford says that the Mach-E GT s targeting a 0-to-60 mph sprint in "under four seconds."

This hasn’t been tested yet, as the figure is based on "calculation using computer engineering simulations." But these figures are pretty accurate most of the time, so the GT will probably deliver what Ford claims in ideal conditions. A sub-four-second sprint would be downright impressive for an SUV. Not to mention that it will put the Mach-E on par with the Mustang GT. The latter needs around 3.9 seconds to hit 60 mph, a benchmark that the Mach-E GT should also achieve in order to deliver the sub-four-second target.

Sure, the Mach-E GT cranks out almost 200 pound-feet of extra torque, so it might not seem that impressive that it’s as quick as the Mustang GT, but it’s a big feat since it’s heavier due to the batteries powering the electric motors and the heavier SUV body.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Will Be Quicker Than The Mustang GT Exterior
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Not impressed? Well, then you should know that the Mach-E GT Performance Edition will hit 60 mph from a standing start in the "mid-three-second range." Yes, that’s somewhere between 3.4 to 3.6 seconds and at least three tenths quicker than the Mustang GT. If the Mach-E GT Performance Edition will be able to hit 60 mph in less than 3.5 clicks, it will be a half-second quicker than the muscle car.

This benchmark would also be more or less identical to the Shelby GT350. The Mach-E GT would also be a tenth or two slower than the incredible Shelby GT500.

Is the Mustang muscle car becoming irrelevant?

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Will Be Quicker Than The Mustang GT Exterior
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With the range-topping Mach-E GT more powerful and quicker than the Mustang GT, is the muscle car still relevant for Ford? Does it have a future or will it be discontinued like other cars from the U.S. market? Well, Mustang fans would probably go nuts and start a revolution, but it’s not completely out of the question.

Once the Mach-E becomes popular and sales match those of the Mustang, Ford could opt to discontinue the coupe

. However, it would axe the entire range. My best guess is that Ford would continue to offer the GT350 and GT500 as bespoke models and keep the Mustang nameplate for this all-electric crossover version only. It’s not a scenario I’d like to see, but I think it’s possible.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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