Drifting the all-electric 1,400bhp Ford Mach-E

Drifting the all-electric 1,400bhp Ford Mach-E

FineAuto

A 1,400bhp thoroughbred EV with seven electric motors, 1,000kg of downforce and a taste for drifting? Now that’s our kind of SUV. Ladies and Gents, this is the Ford Mach-E 1400… and it likes to smoke. So let Magazine’s Jack Rix be your guide around this incredible feat of engineering, before we strap ourselves behind the wheel and shred some tyres.

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[Applause] that is ridiculous this is the ford mustang mackie 1400 a one-off electric 1400 horsepower tech demonstrator a skunk works project between ford and vaughn gittin jr’s rtr vehicles and before we explain exactly what it is and take it for a proper smoke around the track once the weather improves a bit let’s explain why it exists ford is going big on electric cars it’s committed to investing more than 11 and a half billion dollars in the things over the next few years so the stakes are high to leverage its heritage it slapped the mustang badge on an electric suv the mustang mackie you’ll be able to buy one soon and ford wants to sell lots of them which is why they need something like this to blow the delta’s tiny little mines in ford’s words it’s designed to bridge the gap between what an electric vehicle can do and what customers tend to believe it can do translated into non-corporate speak that means this [Music] [Applause] [Applause] all right let’s talk about the tech spec because there is quite a lot of tech to talk about firstly this car has seven yes seven electric motors three on the front axle four on the rear axle 200 horsepower per motor that’s for your total of 1400 horsepower the battery it sits in the exact same space that you’ll find one in the normal road going mackey and pretty much every other electric car for that matter under the floor here in that skateboard configuration but it’s not a normal lithium-ion battery this one is a nickel manganese cobalt pouch cells i think i got that right and the difference is it’s designed to discharge its energy quickly and as a benefit charge up quickly as well the downside is that the energy density isn’t as good as that road-going lithium-ion battery so whereas a normal mackie uses that space for a 90 kilowatt hour battery in its 360 odd mile range this only has 57 kilowatt hours but still 1400 horsepower the really clever thing about this car is how configurable the setup is you’ve essentially got two separate powertrains one at the front end and one at the rear end and what that means is you can have three distinct setups the first one is a track mode so for that all the suspension is stiffened up the anti-roll bars are stiffened up they swap these wheels out for michelin slicks and that mode you’ve got 50 50 the full 1400 horsepower that’s designed to bang in the lap times and then if you’re feeling a bit friskier there’s gymkhana mode effectively a four wheel drive drift mode again you’ve got all the power at your disposal 1400 horsepower slight rear bias with the power of course because you’ve got the extra motor at the rear swap out the slicks for these shredded nitto tires soften it up a bit and away you go this thing will just slide all day and then if you’re really feeling brave there’s a third mode drift mode rear wheel drive only but because you’re shutting off the front axle you’re only getting about 800 horsepower to the rear wheels but as an added bonus they can change the geometry at the front end instead of 30 degrees of steering lock you get 60 degrees of steering lock for extra sideways fun let’s have a look inside the first thing you’ll notice is there’s no windows you don’t want windows in a drift car otherwise the cabin will fill up with smoke and you won’t be able to see where you’re going which is quite handy when you’ve got 1400 horsepower under your right foot lots of interesting things to look at in here the first i’ll point out is that it’s a four seater i wasn’t expecting that but of course when you’re building a tech demonstrator that’s designed to change people’s minds about electric cars well you want to bring as many people along for the ride as possible you’ll also notice that big piece of shiny metal sticking out at the dashboard that is the hydraulic handbrake which will lock up the rear tires but also shuts off the power to the rear motors so you can instigate that big smoky chem block style drift down here electric cars don’t really have transmission tunnels but here there’s quite a lot of stuff to pack in so in there there’s lots of orange cabling which is basically the cables to the seven inverters that run to each of the electric motors and if we come back through the rear window there are your passenger seats quite a snug fit you need snake hips to get in these and under that white box are the four electric motors to power the rear axle quite a lot to take in isn’t it and then there’s the way this thing looks pretty mad isn’t it i’m assured that under there is an actual body in white from a road legal mackie gt and to that they’ve added quite a lot of aero including this ridiculous boomerang of a rear wing here which you can adjust for angle if you want more or less downforce you’ve got this cartoonish diffuser at the back these mega box wheel arches and at the front these ridiculous dive planes and a surfboard of a front splitter the other thing the engineers can do with this car is flip around the gear ratios there’s two different options because in drift and gymkhana mode you want maximum acceleration maximum wheel spin but the top speed is only about 1995 miles on that in track configuration you want a higher top speed so it can go all the way up to 160 165 miles an hour and that top speed is producing over a ton of downforce i know i know it’s quite a lot of big numbers to take in what we need to do now probably is take this thing for a drive unfortunately i haven’t got the skills to pay the insurance bills but i know a man that has 1400 horsepower of electric car this is absolutely nuts on the wheel it says fun haver fun i’m gonna have fun are we good to go [Applause] that’s absolutely fantastic i can barely see where i’m going that is ridiculous what an absolutely unhinged hilarious device all i can smell is electrons and breaks it’s mad absolutely mad you

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