Ford is planning to make a scene at NASCAR–one that needs to be made. The automaker is going to show off its Mustang Mach-E 1400 and flex those 7 motors in its debut at NASCAR. Well, it’s debuting as a new car. It’s not actually racing. It’s going to watch the show, but while there, will have its own buzz.
The style of the Mach-E 1400 follows that of the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 electric drag racing vehicle that was revealed earlier this spring. Mark Rushbrook, Global Director at Ford Performance Motorsport said that creating this Cobra Jet 1400 was a bit of a challenge but one that Ford Performance loved jumping into. “We saw the Cobra Jet 1400 project as an opportunity to start developing electric power trains in a race car package that we already had a lot of experience with, so we had performance benchmarks we wanted to match and beat right now. This has been a fantastic project to work on, and we hope the first of many coming from our team at Ford Performance Motorsports.
The Mustang Mach-E 1400 is designed around the upcoming 2021 Mach-E electric SUV and as with the Cobra Jet, will produce a projected 1,400 horsepower while doubling its peak torque to more than 2,300 pound-feet of peak torque. The Mach-E 1400 also has seven motors. Three are attached to the front differential and four are in a pancake stack in the back. All seven are connected by a single driveshaft that connects them with the differentials.
The Mach-E 1400 was developed in collaboration with RTR and built off a Mustang Mach-E GT body-in-white, the prototype targets 1,400 peak horsepower. Its chassis and powertrain work together and supports a multitude of setups. Ron Helser, chief program engineer of the Mustang Mach-E 1400 said that “Now is the perfect time to leverage electric technology, learn from it, and apply it to our lineup. “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.”
Ford noted in its press release that the Mustang Mach-E 1400 was the result of 10,000 hours of collaboration by Ford Performance and RTR with the goals of closing the gap between what an EV can do and what customers often think an EV can actually do. Vaughn Gittin Jr., founder of RTR Vehicles who is also a motorsports champion said, “Getting behind the wheel of this car has completely changed my perspective on what power and torque can be. This experience is like nothing you’ve ever imagined, except for maybe a magnetic roller coaster.”
One of the challenges was controlling power. The new Mustang has seven motors that provide a huge range of adjustability to set the car up for pretty much everything whether it’s high-speed track racing or drifting. The challenge was blending this extreme power with the presentation of EV.
“The challenge was controlling the extreme levels of power provided by the seven motors. Mustang Mach-E 1400 is a showcase of the art of the possible with an electric vehicle,” said Mark Rushbrook, motorsports director of Ford Performance.
The chassis and powertrain are designed to allow the team to explore different layouts as well as their effects on energy consumption and performance. These include rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and front-wheel drive. Drift and track setups have different front end configurations such as control arms and steering changes that allow for extreme steering angles in drifting. Power delivery can be evenly split between front and rear or completely–to one or the other. Downforce is targeted at more than 2,300 lb. at 160 mph.
The battery, which is installed, is a 56.8-kilowatt hour battery made up of nickel manganese cobalt pouch cells for very high performance and discharge rate. It’s designed to be cooled during charging by using a di-electric coolant and this decreases the time needed between runs.
Ford also integrated an electronic brake booster to allow regenerative braking along with ABS and stability control. The Mustang Mach-E 1400 has Brembo™ brakes as with the Mustang GT4 race car. It also has a hydraulic handbrake system that is made specifically for drifting and it integrates with the powertrain controls to enable the ability to cut off power to the rear motors.
Ford also noted that the Mustang Mach-E 1400 sill serves as a testbed for new materials. Its hood is made from organic composite fibers which is a lightweight alternative to the carbon fiber that comprises the rest of the vehicle. Ford is also investing billions into EVs worldwide–$11.5billion–with the first global vehicle, Mustang Mach-E. Ford said that the first of these will start hitting the U.S. streets by the end of this year.
As a Tesla fan, I would love to see this on the track with the Model S Plaid. It would be fun and thrilling to see as well as educational. Seeing Ford step up its game in the EV industry is vital–Tesla needs friends in this circle. Not only that, but racing EVs will bring more awareness that yes, EVs are cool, too.
Top photo courtesy Ford