With bags of power and torque, the Ford Mustang Mach-E packs a real punch in terms of performance.

It also boasts eye-catching good looks and a smart interior – traditional assets you’d look for in any vehicle.

But there’s something else about this car, something a little less traditional, that might make you sit up and take notice, or rather sit back and relax.

All new Mach-E cars come with BlueCruise hardware – a system activated by subscription.

The Mail: The Ford Mach E pictured with a rainbow in the background in Kirklees

Ford’s new ‘hands-free’ driving system has certainly been a talking point in the industry.

The system is a progression of the company’s adaptive cruise control and lane-assist technology.

Unlike similar set-ups used by other manufacturers, BlueCruise doesn’t demand that the driver holds the steering wheel at all times.

It has been in use in the US since 2021, but is now available on these shores since the Department of Transport gave it the go-ahead, classing it as a Level Two autonomous driving assistant.

Once you activate adaptive cruise, the BlueCruise system remains dormant until the sat-nav detects it is on a section of the 2,300 miles of Blue Zone highways that are mapped for the system to use.

The Mail: The Ford Mach E pictured with a rainbow in the background in Kirklees

The Mach-E’s digital display then turns blue and a message appears to inform you that the hands-free system is now available to use.

Then comes to counter-intuitive bit. Against anything you’ve ever been told about driving, you can take your hands off the wheel while the car is travelling at 70mph. A strange sensation maybe, but this is a system that’s been well-tested and seems to work well.

You still need to concentrate, as there are eyeball sensors on the steering column that give you warnings if you look away.

Like any tech though, it’s not as good as a human at anticipating the likely behaviour of other traffic, so it can over-react to things that are little danger, or react a bit more slowly to scenarios a human might see developing, such as a lane change from another vehicle.

The Mail: The Ford Mach E

There’s no doubt it’s a system you’d have to use for several months before learning to fully trust it. At it’s best, it can unburden you from a task and aid relaxation.

It’s certainly a technically impressive step on the road to autonomous driving.

Once off the motorway, I was able to enjoy the Mach-E’s driving characteristics on some B-roads, finding that the 351PS and 580Nm was enough to bring a smile to the face.

Steering is sharp and the body roll in corners is relatively well-contained.

The Mail: The Ford Mach E

The all-wheel drive system, combined with that whopping amount of torque, creates the sensation that the car is eating up corners.

In terms of looks, it’s a handsome EV with dynamic lines and a distinctive front end and rear end that take design cues from the conventionally-powered Mustang, especially where the rear light signature is concerned.

In a rather striking blue lively, my test car really looked the part, not least when the recent variable weather produced a vivid rainbow for these pictures.

The range of 341 miles is excellent, while a charge time of 45 minutes from 10 per cent to 80 per cent is easy enough to live with.

With a cost of £66,555, this is a pricey machine, but it has enough appeal to tempt those who like something a bit different to give it serious consideration.

Ford Mach-E

MAX POWER: 351PS and 580Nm

MAX SPEED: 111mph

0-62 MPH: 5.8 secs

RANGE: 341 miles combined

10-80% CHARGE : 45 mins

TRANSMISSION: Automatic, all-wheel drive

PRICE: £66,555