We’ve decided which Mustang chassis we’d choose for an EV drivetrain—and it ain’t the Mustang-aping production Mach-E—but it’s time to set aside those qualms and marvel at the engineering stunt that is Ford’s 1400-hp one-off SUV. Ford decided to let drift master Ken Block loose with the tire-smoking demonstrator vehicle, but not before Vaughn Gittin, Jr. talks us through the details of the build.
Gittin, Jr.’s shop, RTR Vehicles, “dreamed up this project, and collaborated [with] Ford Performance.” Ten thousand man-hours (or about a year and a half) later, this wild contraption reached completion. “We can really demonstrate electric vehicle technology, and have fun with it,” he says.
Block, too, is impressed with how the project turned out: “For us, it’s like, wow, look at this next step that we can go out and do the things we love, but in a rad way that takes the performance to an even higher level.”
If you thought 1400 horsepower sounded fun, imagine how wild 4000 lb-ft of instantaneous torque would be at the provocation of your sneaker. Gittin, Jr., says that the Mach-E 1400 makes 1500 lb-ft at the motors, but, depending on the diff setup, it could make between 4000–6000 lb-ft.
Those absurd numbers come courtesy of seven motors—three in the front, four in the back—which get their juice from a 57-kWh battery pack mounted as low as possible between the two axles. Gittin, Jr. compares the Mach-E’s behavior, thanks to that extremely low center of gravity, to that of an an Indy car, but we also learn in this video that the Mach-E 1400 weighs five thousand pounds. The battery pack alone weighs 1500 pounds.
That power comes at the cost of weight … and heat. The Mach-E sports two cooling systems for each grouping of motors: oil and water, run through separate radiators. One pair cools the three motors in the front, and another pair is tasked with the four motors in the Mach-E’s (rather large) rear.
This monster EV can only run for 45 minutes at a time, but Gittin, Jr. says that giant battery takes only 45 minutes to charge. Gittin, Jr. didn’t mention what charging setup it uses, but we consider it likely his shop has access to much higher-capacity charging equipment than your average 120V garage outlet.
Does this video make us want a Mach-E? Not passionately, no. Does it get us excited about the future of electric tech? You bet.