By Steven Cole Smith
With more electric cars in the works, get ready for fuel savings and simulated engine noise
The Mustang giveth, and the Mustang taketh away.
The Ford model made its debut in 1965, helping start the “Pony Car” era. I owned a 1970 Mustang Mach 1; it’s one of those cars — and my list is long — that I should have kept. I specialized in buying high and selling low, and have been very successful at that well into my adult life.
So, it was a bit of a slap in the face when Ford introduced the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, a Mustang in name and taillights only. The Mach-E is, of course, electric, and an electric Mustang isn’t a Mustang. It foretells the future.
According to Autoweek, there will be one more Mustang produced with a gasoline engine; then, about 2028, the Mustang as we know it today turns electric. If MotorTrend is right, the Chevrolet Camaro will be replaced by an electric model in 2024. And according to hagerty.com, the Dodge Charger Hellcat will be replaced by an electric sedan for 2024 that broadcasts synthetic Hellcat-like sounds through a “tailpipe” that serves as a resonator.
The world is changing. And fast.
As an automotive writer, I’ve driven a lot of electric vehicles and liked most of them in the same way that I like spicy curry. Which is to say, once in a while.
I just spent a week in the 2023 BMW iX M60 SUV — one of the fastest-accelerating vehicles I’ve ever driven. Thanks to 532 horsepower and a stunning 749 pound-feet of torque, it delivers an eye-opening “whoosh!” that seems spaceshiplike. And there was noise: a delightful and indescribable soft roar that was created by movie composer Hans Zimmer for BMW.
It’s a big SUV and, consequently, pretty thirsty. When I noticed I only had 133 miles left on the batteries, I stopped at Walmart and charged it up to 277 in 35 minutes. It cost $23.71. You do the math on whether that’s a good deal compared with a trip to the pump for fueling up your internal combustion engine.
According to the EPA, annual fuel cost is $900 for the electric BMW, compared with $1,950 for a gas-fueled Ford Expedition V-6. The BMW cost $109,270; the Expedition an even $83,000.
So, like it or not — and if you drive a Tesla you’ve already voted — electric cars and trucks are coming. And Mustangs are going away. There’s still time to enjoy that authentic V8 sound, although the new electric Charger Daytona pumps out 126 decibels of fury as loud as a real Hellcat.
Is it the same? You decide.