Car-Losophy: Are the Mustang Mach-E and the Charger two sides of the same coin?
Never thought I'd be answering this one...
Remember when I said it had been a while since I wrote something directly addressing something I disagreed with? Well, that seems to be changing quite rapidly. At the time I'm writing this (5:23 PM on the 25th of November), I have just came across a tweet that I find a bit perplexing. I'm going to paraphrase how the conversation went:
Person B (the commenter): They explain that Ford adding “Mustang” to the Mach-E has everything to do with marketing and nothing more.
Person A (the author of the tweet): They reply by saying that this situation isn't much different from Dodge calling their four-door sedan the Charger.
Person B: They then said that Ford isn't doing that. The Charger had been gone for decades before the four-door came [not sure how that relates to Person A's comment].
Person A: Time frame doesn't change the crime. No matter the decade the Charger should always be a 2-door.
Don't get me wrong, Person A isn't incorrect. The crime IS the same, Ford and Dodge both used popular names to prop up the marketability and appeal of their new models (formally new in the case of the Charger). However, the gravity of the crime doesn't scale equally. Here's the most important reason why...
Photo Credits: Ford (left), Dodge (right)
If you were to count the similarities between the Mach-E and proper Mustangs, you'd probably struggle after counting the badges and the taillights. There just isn't much the two have in common and trying any further would probably require you to grasp at straws. By contrast, LX Chargers have much more –and much more significant things– in common with their classic counterparts. Both have V8s, both are RWD, both are Muscle cars, and both are technically cars (*cough* Mach-E is a crossover whereas the Mustang is a pony car cough). You're probably thinking “that's not a very long” and you'd be absolutely right, but it doesn't need to be. What are the core attributes of the old Charger? It has some kickin' V8s, it's RWD, it's a muscle car (emphasis on car), and it's a gorgeous coupe. The only attribute the LX Charger is missing is the coupe part. Not an unimportant part by any means, but the rest of the values that make a Charger a Charger are there in spades.
Both are (relatively speaking) affordable too. It wasn't easy to find the original MSRP for a '69 Charger, but I have found two sources that are somewhat close to each other. ConceptCarz says the original MSRP for a 1969 Charger with a 318 V8 was $3,600 dollars (or $25K and a bit today). NADA Guides (a site I've used once in the past) says a '69 Charger with the same engine was $3,126 dollars (or $21K and a bit today). How much is a 2019 Charger? The least expensive model (the SXT) is $29,470 dollars. As you can see, the '69 Charger is cheaper than the '19 Charger no matter which source you decide is more accurate.
What similarities does the Mach-E have to proper Mustangs? Outside of the name, badges, and taillights, I struggle to think of anything further without seriously grasping at straws. The two aren't even in the same category! Proper Mustangs fall in the muscle car category (or pony car/sports car category depending on your perspective), whereas the Mach-E is a crossover. Further more, the Mach-E doesn't have RWD at all, it doesn't have a V8, it's electric, and it doesn't seem to be all that sporty. What I mean by that last part is that the Mach-E is an electric crossover first and a Mustang second. Not a bad thing on the surface, but it is a sin when you have the audacity to bestow the Mustang name on a vehicle like the Mach-E.
Don't think I'm giving the Charger a pass just because it's a Mopar either, it'd be saying the exact same thing if Chevrolet made a Blazer-like electric SUV and called it the Camaro Trans-Amp. Despite my general apathy to GM, if they went through with a “Camaro Trans-Amp” without giving it any meaningful similarities to tie it into the Camaro lineage –beyond the obvious problem of such a vehicle also likely being an SUV– I'd still be mad. If you INSIST on tarnishing a nameplate, at least do the least amount of damage you can...
The important part of all that is this: The Charger still retains the most important parts of what makes a Charger a Charger (save for the extra doors). The Mach-E doesn't. Instead, it's a bit like an rFactor mod of Yas Marina I once tried. Not terrible on its own merit, but appalling at what it was trying to be.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below! Have a good day.