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In the fall of 2023, Ford introduced the Mustang Mach-E Rally crossover with off-road mode, dual-motor all-wheel drive, MagneRide shock absorbers with special settings and increased ground clearance by 20 millimeters. Like any other model, the new product underwent a large-scale testing program before going into production. For the new modification of the electric car, the manufacturer even built a separate racing track at its test site!

The idea for a new version of the crossover came from Ford engineers Peter Schultz and Craig Migliori in 2022 – they took a used Mach-E GT, some wheels and off-road tires, and headed to the brand’s Michigan Proving Ground to see if it could handle a few laps on a dirt track. . The car performed well, so Ford off-road performance engineer Chris Burchin and vehicle development manager Jay Kistler joined the project.

Video: Formula 1 pilots tested the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric crossover

The team worked together to develop a testing program based on the Ford team’s rallycross experience, which included 800 kilometers of track time – the equivalent of 10 years of monthly rally racing. A section of the proving ground was specially turned into a full-fledged rallycross track for this purpose. Ford engineers performed a full computer analysis of the site, mapping elevation, expected speed, timing and more.

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Armed with sensors and measuring equipment, the team used this technology to ensure that the track not only looked like a rallycross circuit, but also performed like one. The proprietary track helped reduce development costs and time, and also helped maintain the secrecy of the Mustang Mach-E Rally project. The team received Ford’s Vehicle Engineering Validation award, an internal award recognizing a successful project designed and built entirely in-house.

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