“Getting behind the wheel of this car has completely changed my perspective on what power and torque can be,” said Vaughn Gittin Jr, RTR Vehicles founder and one of the creators of Ford’s unrestricted take on the Mach-E 1400.
Though not strictly a race car – this extreme take on the Mach-E is not built to a rule set – it is a technological demonstrator conceived by RTR Vehicles and Ford Performance. The Ford design team and RTR said they used many of the same tools that are used across its racing programs in the development.
The specs are impressive, it uses seven motors – five more than even the hottest-spec Mustang Mach-E GT – three attached to the front differential and four to the rear in a stack. Each set of motors is nested to a single driveshaft front and rear, feeding power to the diffs, which are fully adjustable plate type units in order to allow the setup to be varied to accommodate everything from road course to drifting.
The motors are fed by a 56.8kWh battery pack, which utilizes nickel manganese cobalt pouch cells to accommodate high discharge rates. The battery system is designed to be cooled during charging using a di-electric coolant, decreasing the time needed between runs.
An electronic brake booster is integrated to allow series regenerative braking combined with ABS and stability control. The hydraulic handbrake is also integrated with the powertrain controls to enable the ability to shut off power to the rear motors.
“The challenge was controlling the extreme levels of power provided by the seven motors,” said Mark Rushbrook, motorsports director, Ford Performance. “It is a showcase of the art of the possible with an electric vehicle.”
Ford said the chassis and powertrain are set up to allow the team to investigate different layouts and their effects on energy consumption and performance, including rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive.
Drift and track chassis setups have completely different front end configurations like control arms and steering changes to allow for extreme steering angles in drifting. Power delivery can be split evenly between front and rear, or completely to one or the other. Downforce from the visually impressive aero pack is in the region 2,300 lb at 160mph.
It is not just the drivetrain that is environmentally conscious and Ford said the car also serves as a testbed for new materials, for example, the hood is constructed from an organic fiber-based composite.
The car will be demonstrated at an upcoming NASCAR race and, with no series to race in, competition use is unlikely. However, provided it meets the safety requirements, it would seem to be an ideal candidate for an assault on Pikes Peak …