Mustang Mach-E Rally: Rigorous Testing

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The Mustang Mach-E® Rally showcases the powerful synergy of passion, design, and engineering. This rally-inspired version of the Mustang Mach-E® began as a bold idea in an engineering breakroom and has since undergone extensive testing to prove its capabilities on rough terrain. Here’s a look at the impressive testing behind this innovative SUV.

Key Highlights:

  • 1-inch lift and RallyCross-tuned shocks and springs
  • Gloss-white 19-inch wheels with Michelin® CrossClimate2 rubber
  • Unique contrasting accents and rally-inspired fog lights
  • 500-combined mile torture test at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds
  • Development of a rallycross testing course at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds
  • RallySport drive mode for enhanced dirt-track performance
Mustang Mach-E Rally: Rigorous Testing

The journey of the Mustang Mach-E® Rally began in early 2022, when product planners Peter Schultz and Craig Migliori received a challenge: “Can we make a rally-inspired version of the Mustang Mach-E?” Taking a hand-me-down Mach-E GT, they added off-road wheels and tires, and tested it at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds. The result was a resounding success.

Design and Engineering Excellence

The team knew that the Mach-E Rally needed not only a striking appearance but also real rallycross-inspired capability. They achieved this with a 1-inch lift from the normal Mustang Mach-E GT suspension height, combined with RallyCross-tuned shocks and springs. The SUV is equipped with gloss-white 19-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin® CrossClimate2 rubber for superior traction and strength. Additional underbody shielding protects the vehicle from grime typical in rallycross driving.

To emphasize its high-performance personality, the team added unique contrasting accents, including upper and lower body moldings, a unique front splitter, a unique rear spoiler, a black painted steel roof, and built-in rally-inspired fog lights.

Rigorous Testing and Validation

Ford off-road attributes engineer Chris Berchin and vehicle engineering supervisor Jay Kistler played crucial roles in validating the Mach-E Rally’s rallycross capabilities. The team conducted a new 500-combined mile torture test at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds, simulating the equivalent of 10 years of monthly rallycross racing. The testing included various weather scenarios and temperatures, ranging from muddy to dry conditions.

Chris’s rallycross racing experience and Jay’s engineering expertise allowed for quick ideation and success. The team transformed an unused field into a fully built rallycross testing course. They attended rallycross events and interviewed drivers to ensure the course accurately reflected real rallycross environments.

Mustang Mach-E Rally: Rigorous Testing

Advanced Engineering and Secrecy

Ford’s engineers completed a full computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis of the course, mapping elevation, expected speeds, timing, and more. Advanced sensors and measuring equipment ensured that the course had the look and feel of a rallycross race, with data to back it up.

The in-house development of both the course and vehicle helped keep costs and development time down, while maintaining the secrecy of the Mach-E Rally project. This success earned the team a Vehicle Engineering Validation award from Ford.

Performance Enhancements

The Mustang Mach-E Rally team modified the existing Mustang Mach-E vehicle for enhanced performance on dirt roads. The powertrain calibration, traction control, and MagneRide® suspension are tuned for dirt-track and rallycross capability. Raised suspension ensures improved performance on rough terrain.

The RallySport drive mode from Ford is designed specifically for dirt-track driving, allowing for added yaw for bigger slides, a linear throttle response for better control, and more aggressive damping for better handling in loose corners.

The Mustang Mach-E Rally, which started as a single question just over two years ago, is now ready to hit the dirt track, bringing incredible performance and engineering excellence to rally enthusiasts.

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