- Ford Performance has worked with RTR Vehicles to create a Mustang Mach-E that cranks out 1,400 all-electric horsepower.
- The Mustang Mach-E 1400 is a one-off prototype that has seven motors and can drift as well as it drag races.
- Mark Rushbrook, Motorsports Director for Ford Performance, talked to Business Insider about the insane machine.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
"It's big number," Mark Rushbrook, the Motorsports Director for Ford's Performance division, said.
You could accuse him of understatement. He was talking about a one-off prototype of the Mustang Mach-E. When the all-electric vehicle was revealed last year, extending the Mustang brand for the first time since 1965, models started at 266 horsepower and moved up to 459 horsepower, depending in configuration.
The Mustang Mach-E 1400, however, lives up to its name: it generates a staggering 1,400 horsepower.
A big number, indeed.
"We wanted to push the boundaries of engineering," Rushbrook said in an interview with Insider.
The all-electric Mustang Mach-E arrived in 2019
The vehicle was launched with much fanfare in late 2019, with plans to bring it to market in late 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has threatened Ford's scheduling, but consumers have still been placing $500 order reservations.
The Mach-E will be available in three trim levels, with both rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive choices.
The Mustang Mach-E takes the basic Mach-E to a whole new level
"As it sits right now, it's a one off," Rushbrook said. "We built it without considering a specific racing series."
He added that the Mach-E 1400 is "more of a blank canvas — to show what the new platform is capable of."
Engineers were impressed with the basics that they started with, as they developed a bespoke powertrain. For example, while the top-spec GT trim level (due to arrive in 2021) has two electric motors, the 1400 has ... seven.
"The battery is nice and low, and that helps handling," Rushbrook said. "The architecture and the car's bones are very much performance-oriented. We wanted to take that to the next level."
The Mach-E 1400 wasn't designed to be simply a straight-line-fast drag racer
According to Rushbrook, Ford Performance decided to make the car an all-around athlete, able to blast down a drag strip, but also drift in a plume of tire smoke — and tackle something like the road course at Daytona International Speedway in Florida, host of the annual Rolex 24 endurance race.
"Performing at all levels required the powertrain to [produce] high torque, and the tires had to have grip," he added.
Enter the team that developed the wizardly aerodynamics on the Ford GT supercar, the racing version of which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in its class in 2016. These engineers were able to reduce drag and create 2,300 lbs. of downforce, to keep the Mach-E 1400 stuck to the tarmac — at 160 mph!
10,000 hours of collaborative work to develop an electric beast that can do it all
Ford said that Mach-E 1400 could be used for drifting and for competition on different track setups.
"Power delivery can be split evenly between front and rear, or completely to one or the other," the carmaker revealed in a statement.
Ford added that the car has a "56.8-kilowatt-hour battery made up of nickel manganese cobalt pouch cells for ultra-high performance and high discharge rate."
Heat is the enemy of electric cars, and high-performance EVs are notorious for giving out after brief stints of speed. But Ford said the Mach-E 1400's "battery system is designed to be cooled during charging, decreasing the time needed between runs."
Ford Performance developed the Mustang Mach-E 1400 with RTR Vehicles, known for its Mustang mods
Rushbrook is no stranger to Mustangs. He oversaw the 2005 redesign of the icon, its fifth generation.
"I thought that was the pinnacle," Rushbrook said of a job that tends to be extremely coveted at Ford.
Little did he know that fresh challenges were ahead. Not to mention opportunities for understatement, like what he has here with the Mach-E 1400.
"I'm a very fortunate person," he said.