Motoring News

Mighty Mustang: Seven electric motors, 1000+ kW on tap

PRETORIA, South Africa July 21 2020 – Mission accomplished: Ford introduces Mustang Mach-E 1400, an all-electric road rocket that shows just how much performance can be harnessed without using a drop of fuel.

Coming hot on the heels of the all-electric Mustang Cobra Jet 1400, this one-off Mustang Mach-E with its seven electric motors and high downforce is said to be ready for the track, drag strip, or gymkhana – anywhere it can show how electric propulsion promises extreme Mustang performance.

FORD’S BATTERY OF ELECTRIC CARS. Image: Supplied

The prototype, developed in collaboration with RTR and built off a Mustang Mach-E GT body-in-white, targets 1045 peak kiloWatts and the chassis and power train work together for a number of set-ups involving capability unlike any other vehicle.

Ron Heiser, chief programme engineer for the Mustang Mach-E, told The Corner in a media release: “Now is the perfect time to leverage electric technology, learn from it, and apply it to our portfolio.

SMOKE – BUT NO MIRRORS NEEDED: The electric Mustang goes drifting. Image: Supplied

“The Mach-E will be fun to drive – just like every other Mustang – but completely insane, thanks to the efforts of Ford Performance and RTR.”

The car, Ford adds, is the result of 10 000 hours of collaboration between Ford Performance and RTR ”intended to close the gap between what an electric vehicle can do and what customers tend to believe it can do”.

READ MORE Ford features on Carman’s Corner

Vaughn Gittin, RTR Vehicles founder, motorsport champion and professional fun-haver, explailned: “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.”

The Mustang Mach-E 1400 is said to have been developed without rules. Its creators say the design team used many of the tools Ford uses for its race cars and production programmes with aerodynamics optimised for shape and location but with focus on cooling ducts, front splitter, dive planes, and rear wing.

The monster Mustang has seven motors – five more than even the Mustang Mach-E GT. Three are attached to the front differential, four to the rear in pancake style. A single driveshaft connects them to the differentials, which have a huge range of adjustment for anything from drifting to track racing.

Mark Rushbrook, motorsports director with Ford Performance, said: “The challenge was controlling the extreme power. Mustang Mach-E 1400 is a showcase for the art of the possible with an electric vehicle.”

GREAT PLACE TO WORK: The ‘office’ of the monster electric Mustang. Image: Supplied

The chassis and power train are set up to allow the team to investigate various layouts and their effect on energy consumption and performance, among them rear-, all-wheel, and front-wheel drive.

Drift and track set-ups have completely different front end configurations = such as control arms and steering changes for extreme steering angles in drifting.

SUPER BATTERY SUPPLIED

Power delivery can be split evenly front and rear or completely to one or the other. Downforce is targeted at more than 1000kg at about 260km/h.

The 56.8kW-hour battery (installed) has nickel manganese cobalt pouch cells for ultra-high performance and high discharge and was designed to be cooled during charging.

An electronic brake booster is integrated to allow series regenerative braking combined with anti-lock and stability control. The car has Brembo brakes from the Mustang GT4 race car supported by an hydraulic handbrake intended for drifting that not only integrates with the power train but also allows power to be cut to the rear motors.

JUST FOR FUN: The notice board on the right tells the story. The Mustangs are the actors. Image: Supplied

The vehicle will debut later in 2020 at a Nascar race and become a test bed for new materials. The bonnet, for instance, is made of organic composite fibres instead of the carbon fibre used for the rest of the vehicle.

All this does not come cheap: Ford is investing more than $11.5-billion in electric vehicles worldwide and this Mustang is said to be perfect to start what Ford describes as ”this exciting chapter in electric vehicles”.

Exciting? Damn right!

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