If you’ve spent any time in the brand-new 2021 Mustang Mach-E electric SUV or at least perused images of its interior, you may have noticed a cool design detail on its touchscreen infotainment system: the volume knob that pokes through the panel. Well, truthfully, that knob isn’t poking through anything at all—it’s an illusion, Michael.
That’s because rather than Ford going through the costly process of developing a touchscreen with a hole punched through it—and all the attendant fit and finish and function issues that could bring—the Blue Oval and its supplier opted for a less difficult but no less cool solution. You see, that big, glorious vertical touchscreen is a full, unbroken panel and the knob doesn’t work mechanically like a traditional volume control; rather, the knob is adhered to the front of the screen and its backside is fitted with capacitive “fingers” that work the display below. Essentially, the knob is acting like your own human digits, if they were twirling circles on the screen to crank up the AC/DC or turn down the Lions game once they’ve given up their third touchdown of the third quarter. It’s a clever, creative approach to saving bucks in a model that needed every development dollar possible to deliver a competitive electric alternative to Tesla’s Model Y crossover.
The 2021 Mach-E starts at $44,995 before any available federal or local incentives; that amount nets 230 miles of range (per the recently confirmed EPA numbers), 266 hp, and rear-wheel drive. The longest-range Mach-E is the California Route 1, which is claimed to deliver 300 miles on a charge per Ford, while the GT sacrifices some range on the altar of fun, as it packs 480 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque.
Customers can order a Mach-E now, with the Select and Premium trims the first on offer. Ford is hoping to have the first few hundred units delivered by the end of the year.