Ford will use an upcoming NASCAR race to show its one-off Mustang Mach-E 1400 prototype. The battery-electric crossover is designed to prove to doubters that electric vehicles can have crazy power and drift with the best around.
Ford was criticized for christening its long-range electric vehicle with the Mustang name. This project with Vaughn Gittin Jr., complete with a smoke-filled drifting video, is designed to change hearts and minds about the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which goes on sale later this year.
The Mustang Mach-E prototype a project of Ford Performance and RTR Vehicles. The point of the project is in the numbers: The 1400 is so named for its projected 1,400 hp. If the name sounds familiar, then that’s because it comes on the heels of the electric Mustang Cobra Jet 1400.
The latest Ford 1400 vehicle started life as a Mach-E GT body-in-white. Ten-thousand hours later, Ford and RTR had created something outrageous to send a message: This isn’t a boring electric car.
1,400-HP and Seven Electric Motors
The source of the 1400’s power: Seven electric motors –by comparison the Mach-E GT has two—and a 59-kWh high-performance battery with nickel manganese cobalt cells. Three of the motors are attached to the front differential and four are piled and attached to the rear with a single driveshaft connecting each to the differential. Ford Performance Motorsports director Mark Rushbrook said the challenge was controlling the power from the seven motors.
To build excitement for the Mach-E, Ford produced a video that pits the crossover against a 2019 Ford Mustang NASCAR, a 2020 Mustang Shelby GT350R, a 2020 Mustang RTR, and the 1965 Mustang Hoonicorn RTR V2. Vaughn Gittin Jr. is behind the wheel of the Mach-E and spends many minutes racing, drifting, doing donuts, and performing Gymkana stunts in the high-horsepower EV. In addition to his roles as a stunt driver and motorsports champion, Gittin is also the founder of RTR. Predictably, he praises the vehicle his company helped build. “This experience is like nothing you’ve ever imagined, except for maybe a magnetic roller coaster,” Gittin exclaims.
The Mustang Mach-E 1400 Is Insane
The Mach-E 1400 was a chance to take Ford’s electric vehicle tech, experiment with it, learn from it, and then apply it to the Ford lineup, Ron Heiser, chief program engineer for the Mustang Mach-E, said. “Mustang Mach-E is going to be fun to drive, just like every other Mustang before it, but Mustang Mach-E 1400 is completely insane, thanks to the efforts of Ford Performance and RTR,” he said.
Designers played with the cooling ducts, front splitter, dive planes, and the big wing on the back. The team also fit a composite fiber hood to the car, while many of the vehicle’s other pieces are made of carbon fiber. Engineers played with chassis and powertrain layouts (front-, rear- and all-wheel drive) to see how each configuration affected performance and how much juice each ate up. For example, the car’s drift and track setups utilize a different front-end configuration (one allows the driver to engage in the extreme steering angles required to drift this machine).
An electronic brake booster allows series regenerative braking and the crossover has Brembo brakes similar to the ones used by the Mustang GT4 race car. A hydraulic handbrake system for drifting also makes it possible to shut off power to the rear motors.
Ford is not sharing which NASCAR race was chosen to serve as the Mustang Mach-E 1400’s first public showing, however, the company claims we’ll know “soon.”
The post Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Ford Turn the Mach-E Into an Epic Drift Machine appeared first on MotorTrend.