Published on July 21st, 2020 |
by Steve Hanley
July 21st, 2020 by Steve Hanley
In April, Ford unveiled the mighty Mustang Cobra Jet 1400, a drag racing car with 1400 horsepower and 1100 foot pounds of torque — enough to sling it down the track at 170 mph in just 8 seconds. Now, the company has another rockin’, stompin’ electric race car that takes the torque of the Cobra Jet and doubles it.
That’s right. Ford has modified a Mustang Mach-E by stuffing it full of 7 electric motors — four for the rear axle and 3 for the front — with a total output of 1400 horsepower and a jaw dropping 2300 foot-pounds of torque. The beast is set up for road racing, not drag racing, and it can also be used as a gymkhana/drift car as well.
But the first place you are likely to see one is at a NASCAR track. According to Autoblog, Ford intends to bring the car to an as yet unnamed NASCAR venue this year to demonstrate the pure, unadulterated goodness of electric power. If you think the NASCAR crowd are the least likely folks to consider owning an electric car, that is exactly the point.
As Autoblog says, “While electric cars are traditionally associated with efficiency, the Mustang Mach-E serves as the perfect opportunity to exemplify performance in electric propulsion. The creation of something as aggressively potent as the Mach-E 1400 only helps to solidify this conception of electric cars as enthusiast or motorsport vehicles.” In other words, if Mohammed will not come to the mountain, the mountain will go to Mohammed, so to speak.
The Mach-E 1400 was created by Ford Performance and Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s RTR Vehicles, the same team that created the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400. “Getting behind the wheel of this car has completely changed my perspective on what power and torque can be,” Gittin says. “This experience is like nothing you’ve ever imagined, except for maybe a magnetic roller coaster.” Yet it doesn’t bellow like the gasoline powered V-8 engines that have been the mainstay at NASCAR tracks for generations and that will be a turn off for some fans, but is blazingly fast, which after all is what motorsports are all about.
Here are some technical details. The Mustang Mach-E is powered by a 56.8 kWh battery composed of old fashioned nickel-manganese-cobalt pouch cells, the same chemistry Toyota introduced us to in the first Prius. The battery is small because the car won’t run very long when in use. A di-electric coolant helps keep temperatures under control during rapid recharging. The reason the car uses NMC and not lithium-ion cells is because they are better at providing intense bursts of energy over a short period of time than lithium-ion cells. Short, intense bursts of energy are what the Mach-E 1400 is all about.
Ford says the car has regenerative breaking, big Brembo brakes, and can be optimized for front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or rear-wheel drive duty, depending on the task it is assigned. All that carbon fiber bodywork is not there just to look menacing, either. It adds 2300 pounds of downforce at 160 mph. There is also an hydraulic handbrake with an integrated controller that cuts power to the rear wheels when desired.
There are no production plans for the Mach-E 1400, but we all know that racing improves the breed. The lessons Ford learns from this project will be applied to the production electric cars it builds in the future, and that’s a very good thing. Enjoy the video. Yee Haw!
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