[updated] The Ford Mustang Mach-E EV is a vehicle that has been long-awaited on the mainstream auto market. This Mustang EV model looks nothing like the iconic Mustang that debuted as an ultra-sporty pony car in Ford’s vehicle lineup way back in 1964. Just two years after it launched on the auto market, more than one million original Ford Mustangs had already been sold. The original Ford Mustang is now a classic car that has become a cultural icon in the auto industry and in American pop culture. 

One of the longest-running vehicles in Ford’s lineup, the Ford Mustang has never been discontinued—which means it has been continuously available on the mainstream auto market for almost 60 years. In fact, even when Ford discontinued the vast majority of its sedans for the 2020 and 2021 model years in favor of their far more popular SUV and pickup truck models, the Mustang remained on the mainstream auto market and is available in a sports coupe, convertible, and various special-edition models.

The New Mustang EV

The New Mustang EV

The newest Mustang for the 2021 model year, however, is an SUV that looks almost nothing like the classic pony car Mustang model. However, according to Ford, the Mustang Mach-E EV still “embodies the Mustang spirit” with its “sleek silhouette and muscular curves”. 

Plus, the Mach-E still packs plenty of power and speed—which is a major part of what has helped the original Mustang sports cars gain such notoriety in the auto industry over the past several decades. Its 0-60 MPH acceleration time is just over 3 seconds, and it is available with all-wheel drive. It also delivers 342 kW (which is equal to 459 horsepower) and 830 Nm (which is equal to 612 lb.-ft. of torque) on the road. Plus, it can drive up to 300 miles on a single battery charge. 

The all-new 2021 Mustang Mach-E EV is not just the first all-electric Mustang model to hit the mainstream auto market. It is also the first Mustang model to feature Ford’s all-new infotainment system and connected vehicle technology. 

Even more exciting is the fact that most Mustang Mach-E EV models will soon become equipped with Ford’s all-new hands-free driving technology. 

Ford Co-Pilot360 is Ford’s suite of advanced safety and driver-assistance features. These features currently include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, a rear backup camera, radar adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, camera-based lane-centering tech, and more. This technology launched in 2019, but is newly available with Active Driver Assist for the 2021 model year. 

Active Driver Assist is a driver-assistance system that allows for hands-free driving on approximately 100,000 miles of road throughout North America. It works only on divided highways, which Ford refers to as Hands-Free Zones. 

Although Active Driver Assist helps make driving more convenient and less taxing and tedious, it is a semi-autonomous driving system that still requires drivers to pay attention to the road ahead of them. The trapezoidal driver-facing camera that is built into most 2021 Mustang Mach-E models tracks your eye movements while you drive in order to minimize driver distraction. 

If the camera catches you not paying attention while you’re behind the wheel, the hands-free driving mode will disengage—so you can’t be asleep, in the backseat, or not looking at the road for any other reason while using Active Driver Assist. 

Active Driver Assist Prep Kit 

The 2021 Mustang Mach-E EV hit the mainstream auto market in late 2020. However, any Mustang Mach-E driver will tell you that they do not yet have access to hands-free driving or any Active Driver Assist features in their 2021 Mach-E vehicle. This is because the hands-free driving option will not be available until mid-2021. 

Active Driver Assist will automatically become available in most 2021 Mustang Mach-E EV models in mid-2021 as an over-the-air upgrade—which means it will just automatically program itself into your Mach-E’s Co-Pilot360 system without requiring any driver intervention or a trip to the dealership. 

Most Mustang Mach-E models are built with an infrared driver-facing camera atop their steering column and an onboard Active Driver Assist Prep Kit that allows for this over-the-air upgrade. However, the Active Driver Assist system will cost 2021 Mach-E drivers an additional $600 activation fee in order for the over-the-air upgrade to be processed. 

That being said, most 2021 Mustang Mach-E drivers are very excited for Active Driver Assist to launch in their vehicles and consider the required activation fee well worth it in exchange for the chance to try out Ford’s all-new hands-free driving technology.