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More on that wild 1000kW Ford Mustang Mach-E EV SUV

By Tim Robson, 24 Jul 2020 Motorsport

Ford spends big on electron-spitting, tyre-killing Mustang Mach-E

Spectacular Mustang Mach-E vid shows Ford is serious about EVs

We called it last week… Ford has built a one-off version of its forthcoming Mustang Mach-E electric SUV, debuting the 1000kW beast in a spectacular video release that featured the bulk of its racing stable.

With a claimed 10,000 hours of development time, and driven by drift ace Vaughn Gittin Jr, the bodykitted Mach-E is set up to emaciate tyres at a prodigious rate, with Gittin shown putting the car through a variety of tests.

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While elements of the video are demonstrably staged and polished for mass consumption, the drift shots with Ken Block and Hailie Deegan are true, and they are spectacular… as is the banshee wail of the twin-motor electric drivetrain.

A two-motor GT-badged version of the Mach-E is slated to pump up 346kW when released… but this one - known as the Mustang Mach-E 1400 - pumps in excess of 1000kW from SEVEN motors. Wow.

Three motors are attached to the front diff and four to the rear, with a single driveshaft connecting them in a row to their respective diffs.

That power can be sent in its entirety to the front or rear of the car, or any combination in between. It's even possible to have both axles turning in opposite directions!

Temperatures are kept under control by two separate cooling systems, one for each motor array. Those systems use oil and water cooling circuits in tandem, while air is directed to the motors via aerodynamic devices under the car.

There's an inverter for each motor, and they're housed under a plaxiglass shield  - nicknamed the flux capacitor - between the driver and passenger seats.

Torque, according to Gittin, is around 2000Nm before the diffs, which means that real total torque output is a large multiple of that.

The 56.8kWh battery weighs around 680kg, and is made of nickel manganese cobalt pouch cells, and it’s cooled during charging to allow quicker ‘refills’.

Gittin reckons it's good for 45min of run time and can be charged back up in the same timeframe.

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Everything that dresses the Mustang Mach-E body-in-white is styled for proper aerodynamics and made of carbon fibre - except for the experimental organic composite bonnet - while its customised cantilever-action multi-link suspension is widely adjustable to suit an array of motorsports.

Braking is handled by hydraulics, with Brembo calipers complemented by a hydraulic handbrake.

The whole shooting match weighs around 2270kg, which does dull that power-to-weight figure a bit. According to Gittin, though, the handling balance is great, thanks to the low centre of gravity afforded by the battery's mass being mounted on the floor between the axles. 

"It handles like an IndyCar," he said.

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“Now is the perfect time to leverage electric technology, learn from it, and apply it to our portfolio,” said Ron Heiser the chief program engineer, of the Mustang Mach-E.

“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 [Gittin's comapny] RTR.

"The Mustang Mach-E 1400 is the result of 10,000 hours of collaboration by Ford Performance and RTR aimed at bridging the gap between what an electric vehicle can do and what customers tend to believe it can do.”

A stripped interior, racing pedal box and seats and a huge roll cage frame a production dash stack and centre console screen, from which Gittin selects something called Unbridled mode.

“Getting behind the wheel of this car has completely changed my perspective on what power and torque can be,” said Gittin. “This experience is like nothing you’ve ever imagined, except for maybe a magnetic roller coaster.”

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The Mach-E 1400 will now go on tour, as Ford looks to change the hearts and minds of consumers about the electric vehicles it's spending almost $20 billion on in the next decade.

The Mexican-built Mustang Mach-E launches in the US later this year and will likely make it to Australia - when, though, no one's saying.

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