Musings on the Motoring World

1044kW Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV concept is an ‘all-purpose’ wonder

Nothing gets performance junkies excited over nothing than releasing a “motorsports concept”. Producing a motorsports concept is merely a “beer keg solution”. It is there for audiences to get its beer goggles on in hopes that its mundane product will be met with less apathy. Cynical writers such as yours truly are doubtful of its effectiveness, especially when applied to an SUV such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

What does one achieve with a motorsports-inspired SUV? It is certainly not going to get more Karens and their trust-fund backed brood into one. Unless it is going to kick start its own motorsports programme, these fanciful concepts are nothing but a vapid gush of short-lived publicity. However, when it comes to the Mustang Mach-E 1400 SUV concept, there is something to get excited over.

“1400” all-electric stallions

As the ‘1400’ figure implies, the Mach-E 1400 boasts a peak power output of 1400hp, or 1044kW. And in theme with the production Mach-E’s all-electric SUV, it still delivers an all-electric thrust.

Unlike the production model, its 56.8kWh battery comprises of manganese cobalt pouch cells. Fancy, but not as fancy as the concept’s use of seven electric motors to achieve its 1044kW boast. That is five more than the range-topping Mach-E.

Three of the seven motors are fitted to the front differential with the other four attached to the rear differential. As it is with any electric car, the SUV can be front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive, depending on the situation. And this is where the Mach-E 1400 takes on an interesting twist.

No just for pulling drags

Unlike Ford’s previous all-electric motorsports concept, the one-off Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 dragster, the Mach-E 1400 is built for track duties and gymkhana sessions well. Developed in collaboration between Ford Performance and aftermarket specialists RTR Vehicles, the SUV is no straight-line spearhead. Strange, coming from something based on an SUV, a body type isn’t wieldy or spritely by nature.

Nevertheless, RTR Vehicles, which was founded by a man famed for chucking an F-150 Raptor around the Nürburgring Nordschleife for the sh*ts and the giggles, certainly stretched the concept to be able to suit a broader palette of motorsports applications. As such, the Mach-E 1400’s front suspension can accommodate different track and drift setups.

To get the SUV good and sideways in a drift, the Mach-E 1400 features a hydraulic handbrake system. According to Ford, the handbrake system is integrated with the powertrain controls, which shuts off power to the rear motors.

To square off its capabilities on the track, the Mach-E 1400’s giant rear wing and aerodynamic panels are said to generate a “targeted” downforce of 1043kg at 260km/h. For something based on an SUV, the Mach-E 1400 looks remarkably fit for all purposes.

Plenty of go, that is all for show

Unfortunately, as it is with every “motorsports-inspired concept”, the Mach-E 1400 is a one-off and will likely stay that way. The electric SUV genre might be picking up pace with the recent launch of the Audi e-tron, BMW iX3, and Tesla Model Y, but it is far from being able to convince the traditional performance junkies – those full-on brand acolytes who wave flags and start pub brawls to defend its honour. Despite all the social media buzz over electric cars, it still has a long way to go before it arrives at that stage. If anything, the Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400 is proof that it won’t be boring when we get there.

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