LOS ANGELES — The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E will be available in a variety of trims and configurations, but they all come in two primary appearances, GT and everything else. As it turns out, there are reasons why they look different, both for styling differentiation and for aerodynamic purposes.
We'll start with where they're similar, the door handles. As you can see, there are no obvious door handles visible on the exterior of the car, not even flush or pop-out varieties. Instead, there are simply buttons on the pillars. According to a Ford designer we spoke with, this is one of a few things done to help the Mustang Mach-E achieve a coefficient of drag (Cd) below 0.30. Ford hasn't given an exact number, but that puts in the same ballpark as other high-end electric crossovers such as Jaguar I-Pace (0.29 Cd), Audi E-Tron (0.28 Cd) and Tesla Model X (0.25 Cd). But he also noted they didn't do flush handles because they wanted to keep the flanks of the car as clean and clutter free as possible, meaning not even handle cut-outs. As for making the doors easy to open, the front doors have small, black, wing-like grab handles. At the back, there are none, and the button pops the door out. There is an alcove inside the door as a place to grab the door. It's positioned fairly low so that kids can reach it more easily.
Of course the solid grille is another area meant to improve aerodynamics. It's also the key differentiator between the regular model and the GT, as the former has a smooth body color piece, and the GT has a faux grille with a smooth clear cover to maintain the aerodynamics. The designer told us that performance car buyers tend to associate large grilles with fast vehicles, and they do like more traditional designs, which the faux grille provides.
There are a couple of other parts of the front fascia that distinguish the GT, such as the outboard grilles in the bumper. These aren't just for show, they're inlets that divert air up and around the wheels. According to the designer, the GT's larger, wider wheels and tires added drag to the design, and these curtains were necessary to stay under the 0.30 Cd. Another unique feature is the deeper chin spoiler. This gives the GT a more aggressive look, but the designer noted it does also provide some extra downforce, though he didn't give an exact amount.