Dealer show

Got an e-mail from the dealership: “Come see the new lineup: F-150, Mach-E, and Bronco and get 11,000 Ford Pass points”. Ford Pass points are Ford’s award program for using the dealership. You get points for getting service done, buying a new car, adding the new car to your Ford Pass app, etc.

I figured what the heck I’ll go and get some points. (Thinking of using my points to pick up the all weather floor mats since I can’t use them for an oil change!)

Saw my sales person when we showed up and told him “hey I’m here to see what this Mach-E thing is all about??”

What was more interesting is that they were demoing the new full sized Bronco:

Which is a very cool vehicle. The guy’s doing the demo were remarking that the first model year is already sold out and they are almost 1/2 way through the 2nd one.

Yes that is the Mach-E behind it. Of course since the Mach-E is out on the roads now it wasn’t getting nearly as much attention as the Bronco was. (They didn’t even have the new F-150 in the showroom.)

As far as our Mach-E: Its been weird: In a normal year I’d have my daily commute to enjoy driving it around. With no commute I’ve found myself looking for any excuse to go for a drive “anyone want to go somewhere??” I’ve still managed to put a thousand miles/month on it so far–going on month two now….

Dealer show

Cool features of Sync4a’s nav

Lets talk a little bit more about that Nav system, specifically two items in particular. I’ll first talk about how to get to them. We will start out on the main navigation screen. On the bottom left is an icon (I’ve probably mentioned it before) with some tools on it. Tapping it will open up the “toolbox”:

The two items I’m going to highlight here are “Up Ahead” and “Exit Services”. These two features work by scanning the road ahead–in the case of Exit Services you must be on the highway for it to work properly.

Lets tap on “Up Ahead”: You’ll see a small window open up at bottom right listing points of interest ahead of you:

The list will show you quick search results for four categories of your choosing. If nothing is found within a few miles or multiple items are found you’ll see the category name in the slot (“Charging Stations” in the image above). Otherwise you’ll see the closest item listed in the box (“Tim Hortons” above for restaurants). Tapping on the item will pop up the search results screen for that item (if its a single destination you’ll see that screen with the “Go” button on it, if its a category you’ll see the search results list for items in that category ahead of you). The list is dynamic changing as you drive to display the nearest items. If you don’t like the default four categories (Charge Stations, Restaurants, Banks?, and Parks) you can tap the pencil at top right and pick which category you want (on the edit screen you tap the slot and pick the new category you want to go there). This makes searching for places while on the road a lot quicker if they are always going on in front of you.

The other item of interest is “Exit Services”. Tapping on it will show a similar list to “Up Ahead” but the contents are a little different:

This one will list out the exits ahead of you with the closest one at the top and further ones on down the list. The icon shows the services available at the exit (from what I’ve seen it would appear that if there are multiple different kinds of services available at an exit–for example an exit has both gas stations and restaurants–you’ll see multiple entries one for each service). Tapping on the entry will show the search results screen listing all the items in that category for that exit. A pretty handy way to search for the items with no need to tap where to and then find the category.

I’ve been using an app called iExit for years that essentially does the exact same thing “Exit Services” does. It tracks your location on the freeway and lists out what is at each exit in front of you. Its really nice to see something like this implemented in the car.

Both of these add a nice touch to the nav system that makes the Mach-E a pretty cool road tripping car (of course as Ford adds Sync 4a to other vehicles this will add to their road tripping skills as well).

Cool features of Sync4a’s nav

Whats missing?

Despite all the accolades the Mach-E is getting everywhere this is one common thing that the reviewers point out and many people on the Mach-E forums also point out that is missing: Power and Energy meters. I’ll be charitable here and think that their omission is simply due to time: Ford intended to put them on but ran out of time before launch readying other things (and ironing out some wrinkles). There is that token average miles/kWh display on the trip meter page so someone was thinking about it. Perhaps some of this will be added in one of the OTA updates.

This becomes even more glaring when you compare the Mach-E’s displays with Ford’s only other BEV: The Focus Electric. Its dash has a configurable portion that could display a myriad of options:

The above displays had several areas in which you could pick the meter you wanted displayed. In addition the middle one with the blue “cup” gamified driving efficiently. That one bar chart displays a target Wh/mile (blue cup), an average Wh/mile (white tick marks), and instant Wh/mile (white line at the top).

I don’t really need to see such configurability on the Mach-E (it would be nice but isn’t necessary). My thoughts would be a simple power meter on the dash below the % charge and distance to go (navigation) on the left. This could be a simple number: +/- kW (+ during charging and – while driving). In addition the power number while charging would be nice to see on a display somewhere when the car is plugged in and “off”. (Maybe the display would only light up when the driver is close by?)

Note that even Ford’s mass market vehicle, the Escape, allows the driver to show average miles/gallon (equivalent to miles/kWh) and instant miles/gallon (equvalent to kW).

As far as energy (kWh) displays the Mach-E has none. The obvious place for this display would be to include it in the trip meters: kWh consumed since the trip meter was reset. Something the Focus Electric also had:

The omission of these items is odd when you consider that the car is called a “Mustang”. Aren’t Mustangs for gear heads? How many Mustangs have you seen with additional gauges on the A-Pillar?

Having said that: An additional card/tile would be really great to have allowing the driver to pull up a bunch of gauges:

  • Motor RPM (maybe two for AWD models)
  • Motor Temperature(s)
  • HV Battery Voltage
  • HV Battery Temperature
  • LV Battery Voltage

If a driver doesn’t want to see these they don’t have to pull them up.

Some food for thought…

Whats missing?

Sync4a some basic info

The Mach-E comes with a new version of sync that Ford is calling “Sync4a” (The F-150 also has a verion of Sync simply dubbed “Sync4”). On the Mach-E this looks as follows: (Yeah the camera was at an angle so all the items at the top are a bit out of focus.)

Fingerprints and all ! LOL

The top two buttons access some deeper menus: The car one at the top left gives you access to all of the cars settings in two tabs: A “Control” one which shows some basic settings and a “Settings” on which lets you dive deep into tons and tons of settings for the car:

Along the left side are various subsections that you can change on the “Controls” menu. To make this menu disappear and return to the main display you would simply touch the car icon at the top again.

You can see here just a sampling of the myriad of settings available under the “Settings” tab. Each subsection at the left has a similar amount (it would take many many blog posts to go through them all!). Again simply tapping the car at the top left returns us to the main screen.

Now the center icon (not very clear in these pictures as the camera was at an angle to the screen) opens your profile info and allows access to the “apps” that show as cards at the bottom:

On the main screen at the top of this post you find “cards” for your most recent apps below the information display and above the fixed HVAC controls. Those apps are accessed here. If you don’t see a card for an app that simply means you haven’t launched it yet (or in a while as they will disappear from the card display after some time without being accessed).

Pressing the > arrow next to the profile name (“Guest” in this instance) allows you to change the current profile to something else. Typically the car will automatically select the profile of the user sitting in the drivers seat based on their phone as a key or if the key fob is present.

Similar to the settings key pressing the profile button at the top of the screen will return you to the main display.

Lets look at some of those apps. Starting with the basic tire pressure display:

This app basically shows you the current tire pressures. Moving on to the trip meter display:

Here you have your typical car trip meter–one of three: A “This Trip” which shows you information from this drive and trip meters 1 and 2 which are resettable. Note that you only really get distance, time, and a power consumption rate. Hopefully future updates to the car allow for more information to be displayed (like having the power consumed breakdown be in kWh instead of percentages and showing the total power consumed for that trip in kWh). (Just noticed the “How is my driving?” item at the bottom–will have to scroll up on this screen the next time I’m in the car to see what that is all about.)

Finally, at least for this blog post, I’ll show the car’s navigation app:

It does have a fairly comprehensive navigation system allowing for various routes with multiple stops including the ability to search for charge stations along the route (note in the above image the vertical blue line at the right of the display–this is part of a drive circle illustrating how far the car can drive from its current location based on the current charge level). Options for taking different routes are shown as buttons at the bottom there (also indicating if that route has tolls or other obstacles). More information can be obtained by scrolling that information screen upwards:

This additional information includes the phone number (off the image above at the top), the current weather at the location, a button to find a place to charge on the way, the ability to search for other items near that destination and even change how the route is calculated.

The more I explore in Sync4a the more I find some interesting hidden gems (like the above extra info). Clearly Sync has evolved quite a bit from the My Ford Touch that was included in the Focus Electric.

Sync4a some basic info

Where are the posts?

“You’ve had the Mach-E for a week now and you’ve only posted twice?? What gives??” LOL Yeah I did post a lot more, especially when I first got the Focus Electric. Back then there may be two or even three posts a day on it. Oh well, sufice it to say that I’ve been having fun driving it 😉

You can see in that video how the hood makes it look like you’re sitting in a Mustang. Further ways that it creates that illousion is a high side window rail combined with a low roof (making for a short front window).

I did take it to a fast charger (this one) but, of course, didn’t think to snap a photo for Plug Share. Oh well.

Well thats about it for now. Off to dig out some snow in preparation for…more snow (there I mentioned winter weather LOL).

Where are the posts?

Something showed up today

Yup its here. Here we have the California Route 1 version of the Mach-E. What this means is big battery (88kWh), rear wheel drive, and covered wheels. The idea is that this version is the longest ranged Mach-E rated at 305 miles EPA range.

Since I’ve only put 30 miles on it give or take I can’t attest to that or not (especially in the middle of winter when the cold temps take their bite out of the battery). The Guess-O-Meter is only reading about 180 miles or so based on the use of the heater and the cold affecting the battery.

Initial impressions: It drives like a heavy car but in a good way, it is quick (as expected), and lots of stuff to explore in the UI–there is a bazillion settings to play with and haven’t tried many at all.

One of the cooler things is the projection puddle lamps:

You see that walking up to the car at night.

Does this mean I’ll start back up with the endless winter driving posts? Who knows….

Something showed up today

Coming soon

Well apparently the delay was for some “quality inspections”. In my car’s case it appears it was next in line to get on a train at the plant and thus got its inspection right there before being shipped off. According to the tracking it is now on a train in Kansas City bound for Michigan.

Perhaps a pony will show up in a week or two.

(Yes that picture is the projection image from the rear view mirror as you approach the car.)

Coming soon

Mach-E Progress

Well today the Mach-E won the NACTOY Utility of the Year award which is kind of cool–don’t think I’ve ever owned a car that won an award.

As far as the Mach-E I ordered: From what I can tell with Ford’s online status updates its either still sitting in the lot at the plant or is on a train headed North. Ford does peg its ETA between January 21st and the 28th–a little over a week away. We’ll see…

Mach-E Progress