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Ford Mustang Mach-E GT vs. Tesla Model Y Performance: The Mustang Has a Power Problem

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT vs. Tesla Model Y Performance: The Mustang Has a Power Problem

Why the muscle-bound Mach-E GT left us wanting so much more

  • We brought a Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition to our test facility to see how the sporty EV stacks up against its direct rival from Tesla.
  • The Mach-E GT performed well in our handling and braking tests, but acceleration was a different story.
  • While its 0-60 mph acceleration was competitive, the Mustang Mach-E GT comes standard with the fun police — it can only maintain peak output for 5 seconds.

This is the showdown we've been waiting for. Ford put the EV world on notice when it announced the Mustang Mach-E GT, a high-performance version of the Mustang Mach-E electric crossover. We couldn't wait to test it against our own long-term Tesla Model Y Dual Motor Performance to see which would earn a higher recommendation. But we didn't expect what we found.

Track Tested: Mach-E GT vs. Model Y Performance

We took the Mach-E GT to our test track to measure its acceleration, braking, handling and overall capability. The numbers were impressive — mostly.

Compared with the regular Mach-E, the Mach-E GT comes with lots of upgraded equipment. And our test model was the Mach-E GT Performance Edition, which carries even more sporty features. Among them are Pirelli P Zero summer tires, larger front and rear brakes, plus an adaptive sport suspension called MagneRide.

These features helped the Mach-E GT Performance Edition achieve braking from 60 mph to a full stop in a short 106 feet. It also recorded a very impressive 0.99 g in our skidpad test. Both numbers are a major improvement over the numbers we observed while testing the standard Mach-E (120 feet and 0.85 g), and they also top the similarly sporty Tesla Model Y Performance (108 feet and 0.95 g).

So far, so good. We also found the Mach-E more comfortable and composed in high-speed turns. It seemed to be living up to expectations, and surpassing its main rival in the process.

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

However, acceleration proved to be a different story. Ford claims a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds for the Mach-E GT Performance Edition. We measured a time of 3.8 seconds, just behind the Model Y Performance at 3.7 seconds.

But here's the rub. The Tesla ran the quarter mile in 11.8 seconds at 115.6 mph, while the Mach-E GT Performance Edition pulled the ripcord at higher speeds, crossing the line in 12.4 seconds at just 102.6 mph.

Any way you slice it, 13 mph is a huge deficit at the quarter-mile mark — and 102.6 mph is an exceptionally low trap speed for a car that breaks the 4-second barrier to 60 mph. We began to suspect that the Mach-E GT Performance Edition was holding itself back at the end of the run. We also noticed it lost power in certain corners of the track as the day wore on, feeling at times like a boxer on the ropes. The Tesla had no such issues.

We contacted Ford public relations, who confirmed our suspicions. "The GT has around 5 seconds of [maximum] boost, so once that boost is used up, it needs to recharge," we were told. That means it can only deliver 5 seconds of full power at a time before the battery takes a breather. In a direct comparison against the Model Y Performance, which had no problem delivering full power whenever we asked, this made the Mustang Mach-E GT feel underwhelming to say the least.

Edmunds says

The Mustang Mach-E GT felt more refined and capable at high speeds on a track than the Tesla Model Y Performance. Unfortunately, its surprising acceleration issue kept it from winning this head-to-head battle. Power is a hallmark of the Mustang GT brand, and the Mach-E GT's inability to deliver the full goods for more than a few seconds will disappoint the Mustang faithful. It sure disappointed us.