Called the Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400, the car follows closely in the footsteps of the all-electric Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 dragster which we featured back in April. It shares the same peak power output of 1400bhp (and we assume 1100lb-ft of torque) as the Cobra Jet, but rather than fat rear tyres for hooking up launch after launch, it has wings – and lots of them – to produce the downforce required for track work.
Beneath the wings is a standard Mustang Mach-E GT body shell, but that's about the only standard part to speak of. Ford and RTR spent over 10,000 hours on the project with no rules to adhere to – since this particular prototype isn't being entered into any racing series. Instead, like the Cobra Jet 1400 the Mach-E 1400 is a test bed for new components and materials.
Chief among the components on test is the drive and powertrain. It uses seven motors (yes, seven) to generate that prodigious power output. Three are attached to the front differential and four to the rear. These motors are combined in a 'pancake' style – essentially in series – with the front and rear motors each connected to a common driveshaft which runs into the differential. This offers the adjustability to set the car up for track, gymkhana-style drifting, or even the drag strip.
“The challenge was controlling the extreme levels of power provided by the seven motors,” said Mark Rushbrook, motorsports director, Ford Performance. “Mustang Mach-E 1400 is a showcase of the art of the possible with an electric vehicle.”
Being a test bed vehicle, the Mach-E 1400 can be configured to be front, rear- or four-wheel drive. The chassis can also be altered depending on what the car is being used for – for example, control arms and steering can be swapped out so that bigger angles of camber and steering lock can be achieved for drifting.
The wings aren't just for show, either. They are optimised for shape and location, providing cooling and peak downforce of more than 1000kg at the car's predicted top speed of 160mph. Suffice to say, that should keep the Mach-E 1400 welded to the road!
It seems to have worked, according to Vaugh Gittin Jr., RTR Vehicles founder and 'professional fun-haver': “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.”
Powering everything is a 56.8kWh battery made up of nickel manganese cobalt pouch cells, providing high charge and discharge rates. To minimise the time spent charging, it is cooled during charging using di-electric coolant, enabling the Mustang Mach-E 1400 to be juiced up and ready to go more speedily.
The 1400 uses a pumped-up version of the standard car's regenerative braking alongside fairly whopping Brembo brakes to slow things down from high speeds. It even has a hydraulic handbrake system designed for drifting which has been cleverly integrated to mimic dipping the clutch by cutting rear motor power when it is pulled.
Ford is planning to début the Mustang Mach-E 1400 at a NASCAR race soon, but if you can't wait for that check out the video that Ford has put together to demonstrate just what a hooligan the electric car is alongside petrol-driven counterparts.
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