The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s big bet in the electric vehicle world, and to make sure it’s suitably futuristic, the designers chose not to add traditional door handles. It’s a classic show car trick that makes vehicles look sleek, but the designers still have to find a way to let people get into the car.
Ford’s solution are little buttons on the B and C pillars that pop the front and rear doors open, respectively. And while the front door has a little handle to help you pull it open, the rear doesn’t. As Doug DeMuro explains in his latest video, that’s because Ford’s research showed people just grab the door around its perimeter to open it.
They’re so certain that people will just grab the door that they even added a little rubber section on the inside to make sure you don’t have to touch bare metal in case it’s very hot or cold out.
But requiring passengers to reach between the door and the car means that there’s a risk, even if it’s a small one, that the door will close on their fingers. So how did Ford stop that from happening? With a little kickstand.
When you press the open door button, the kickstand pops out to prevent the door from closing on your fingers. That allows you to safely open the door, at which point the kickstand retracts and the door can close. The front door also has this function, presumably because Ford thinks front-seat passengers will also be reaching around the door’s edge to pull it open.
The lack of door handles comes with another benefit, besides looks, though. It allows the side of the vehicle to be perfectly smooth, improving its drag coefficient and, thus, its range. With up to 300 miles of range, the Mach-E is not far off the slightly more expensive Tesla Model Y, which can go up to 316 miles per charge.
The door handles — or lack thereof — are just one of the many quirks that Demuro covers in his review of the Mach-E. Of course he also took it out for a spin and found it sporty and likable. Maybe Ford’s onto something here.