First Drive | Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400: A 1,400-HP ELECTRIC FRANKENHORSE

An Ev Track Shredder Was Created By Ford Performance And Drift Ace Vaughn Gittin Jr.'S Rtr.

The passenger, Vaughn Gittin Jr., is excellent. He is a peer to hard-charging, energy-drink hawking drift champions like Tanner Foust, Ken Block, and Travis Pastrana, and you may be more familiar with him as a superb driver. Gittin is as calm as a cucumber, so if you ever discover him in your passenger seat, just let him be. I discovered this after spinning his seven-motor, 1,400-hp electric mutant Ford Mustang Mach-E on the Charlotte Motor Speedway infield circuit.

Although Gittin had previously informed me that there was a serious chance of lift-off oversteer, I nevertheless skidded off the track and onto the lawn in the tight left bend over a hill. He assured me to not worry about it, which lessened my shame. "Earlier, I did the same thing." He most likely learned that his monster might do it from this.

For those who prefer paper over the web, here is the 10,000-foot perspective of the Mach-E 1400 prototype: Ford Performance and Gittin's Ford tuning company, RTR Vehicles, worked together to create an outrageous, all-purpose hooning machine. The Mach-E 1400 features seven motors total—three up front and four in back—instead of the two east/west motors found in a standard Mustang Mach-E. The Mustang Mach-E 1400's motors are located on a driveshaft and face north and south, unlike the majority of electric cars.

Why? It turns out that you need to put all of your power and torque via a differential if you want to drift. Furthermore, changing the gear ratios is simple with a diff.

 Because of this, the automobile is more versatile than a one-trick drift pony. For instance, the rear differential on the track I drove had gears set to 130 mph, while the front differential was set to 150 mph. Gittin exclusively uses the rear motors while drifting, shifting through an 85 mph gear set. The 1400 also has an 800-volt electric design as opposed to a 400-volt system in pedestrian Mach- Es Performance EVs face two significant issues. For starters, batteries are weighty.

Batteries run out of power quite rapidly when driving at full throttle, and they take too long to recharge, which is the other main fault. The latter hurdle has yet to be overcome, but RTR and Ford Performance developed an innovative solution to the weight problem.

Because the nickel-metal battery chemistry in the 1400 discharges as soon as possible, it was chosen. A battery's electrical discharge produces a negligibly small quantity of heat. However, a lot of heat is produced when power is returned to a group of cells, thus the battery usually has to be cooled, especially when we're talking about quick charging at a high voltage.

How is the battery pack of an electric automobile cooled? Gatorade included! Water that is salty and mineral-rich is OK, with electrolytes. But why bother bringing the water and its weight on board if you just need to cool the battery while the automobile is charging? RTR and Ford Performance, on the other hand, connect a pump while charging. In this manner, the cooling fluid is never inside the car while it is moving. However, the 1400 still weighs roughly 5,000 pounds even with a relatively tiny (and liquid-free) 57-kWh battery.

Have you ever operated anything similar? Gittin questioned when I initially approached his automobile. Yes, I answered. I've driven Bugattis, Koenigseggs, and the 1,050- and 1,111-hp Lucid Airs, all of which have roughly this much power. He appeared a little surprised. But never on a track," I said, attempting to avoid sounding too arrogant.

Perhaps the Mustang Mach-E 1400's only genuine benefit from being based on a crossover SUV is how spacious it is for a race vehicle. The visibility is excellent, and once it is in drive (achieved by adjusting several knobs over your head), the controls for the throttle, brakes, and steering could not be more easier. I'm done now. There was a large, antique, and alluring dorifto handbrake, but I didn't dare touch it because I would be driving on a racetrack rather than a deserted parking lot.

First Drive: Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400

On my first lap, I drove a little cautiously because, well, 1,400 horsepower is a large figure. With a vehicle this powerful, I never would have thought that the Mustang Mach-E 1400 was more remarkable while turning than when travelling straight. The 1400 was a touch tail happy due to the rear differential's slightly slower gearing than the front, but enough power still reached the front wheels to help it exit an apex skillfully.

On following laps, I exerted greater effort, but I had never previously driven the infield road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway or even given it much attention. So instead of analysing the automobile, I spent too much time wondering "Where the heck am I?" There were a few spots where I could slam on the gas and experience all seven motors' full might. The acceleration may have been much more powerful if the shorter, 85 mph gearset had been in use. Even yet, the 1400 demonstrated absurd speed, quickly reducing the distance between sites A and B. However, you'd think 1,400 horsepower would feel faster. Maybe I'm a little jaded.

However, not entirely because the car's hold knocked me to the ground. On slick tyres, I've never driven anything this strong. The grip levels were exceptional, so I wish I had had more courage (and more circuit knowledge). The 1400 suddenly brought to mind the wild Nissan Juke-R, another really ludicrous car I had driven in the past. There's something peculiar about both vehicles' elevated sitting positions and sparse interiors.

One peculiarity of the Ford is that as you lose power, the steering gets thicker because of subpar power steering. The effort seems to rise by a factor of at least three. The power steering system restarts the moment you step back on the pedal. Since the 1400 is operating in unexplored region, Gittin informed me that RTR is searching for a better solution. Unfortunately, as I accumulated more laps, the steering became heavier when I let off the gas.

What a crazy machine, though. Gittin wanted to demonstrate to the racing community that EVs are everything but dull. He, his staff, and Ford Performance were incredibly successful in that area. Is there anything else I'd modify except the steering problem? Yes, I'd return to Charlotte with a track vehicle that was far less powerful and spend a day or two becoming familiar with the course. I'd want to take advantage of the fact that the Mustang Mach-E 1400 has a lot more potential. That's a sophisticated way of expressing, "Again! Again! Again!"

Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400

BASE PRICE                                $3,000,000 (est)

VEHICLE LAYOUT                     Front- and rear-motor,

FWD/RWD/AWD                          4-pass, 4-door SUV

MOTORS                                       Fr: 3 x 215-hp/273-lb-ft
                                                        permanent-magnettype electric; Rr: 4 x
                                                        215-hp/273-lb-ft permanent-magnet-type 
                                                        electric; 1,400 hp (est)/1,900 lb-ft (est) comb*
TRANSMISSIONS                       1-speed auto

CURB WEIGHT                           5,300 lb (est)

WHEELBASE                               117.5 in

L X W X H                                     186.0 x 74.1 x 63.9 in

0-60 MPH                                       1.8 sec (MT est, 85-mph gearing)

EPA CITY/HWY/                          Not rated
COMB ECON                               

EPA RANGE,                                 45 minutes of thrill-ride lapping (est)

ON SALE                                       Never

Article Source: MOTORTREND.COM

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