New Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally is electric trail toy

2023 Ford MustangMach E Rally 007

Electric crossover gets rallycross-inspired makeover in pursuit of off-Tarmac thrills; due on sale soon

The new Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally is an off-road-ready version of the sporting crossover, created to show off Ford‘s commitment to enthusiasts in the EV era.

Revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed by Ford’s electric vehicles programme boss, Darren Palmer, the stage-prepped SUV has yet to be fully detailed – but it will enter production and the first examples are due in the UK in the coming months.

Palmer told Autocar the original idea came from a rallycross enthusiast in Ford’s new ‘Always On’ team – created to constantly monitor feedback from customers and social media, which informs the development of over-the-air updates and model line additions.

“One of them does rallycross and he seeded the idea: ‘Hey, we have heritage in this car. What if we do a rallycross version, because it fits with what we’ve done in the past’.

“Our attitude is: if you’ve got an idea, bring it forward and try it out. So they created a model for the car with pure passion. They put the wheels on and lifted it. They styled what it could be. We gave them the freedom to make it.

“And the minute I showed that model to our leadership, they said it fits so well with what we’ve done in the past, and what people might love.”

Palmer explained that the project reached fruition quicker than is often expected because it was one of Ford’s ‘go-fast’ programmes, meaning the period from conception to unveiling was only around 18 months. “It was crazy fast,” he said. 

The Mach-E Rally is based on the standard, 346bhp all-wheel-drive car, and while the powertrain is understood to be little changed, the 4×4-inspired modifications are believed to be extensive enough to greatly enhance the EV’s capability on the rough stuff.

Prototypes have been tested against what Palmer called “legendary heroes” from the off-roading sphere, on “rally surfaces”.

He stopped short of outlining precise specifications and capabilities, but said “we have enough ride height” and that “it’s super-stable on both Tarmac and other surfaces” because of the extremely precise acceleration control, and the low weight of the underfloor battery – which is given extra protection by a new bashplate.

“To throw it around, you have to change a few things,” said Palmer. “We were blown away by the things you can do. It’s amazing.”

Source: Autocar

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