The founder of RTR Vehicles claims that it's the "greatest thing they've ever completed."
Our experience riding with Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the mighty Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400 was like absolutely nothing else. That's because a 1,400-horsepower electric SUV with a quartet of Recaro seats and five-point harnesses is like nothing else. And as we finished our time with the ultimate form of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, we had the opportunity to question its pilot about the finer details that went into building it. Not just that, but what the Mach-E 1400 could mean down the road, what it could evolve into, and what it could mean for you, the car buyer.
"Mach-E is our halo project," said Gittin. I'd say before it was Ken Block's Hoonicorn, but we build a lot of great cars as a team… it's the greatest thing we've ever completed."
Aside from the happy look on his face, it's easy to understand why Vaughn would make such a claim. It brought Ford and RTR closer than ever to create something truly unique, truly amazing, and truly a demonstration of what's possible with electric vehicle performance. It's unlike anything else.
"We've been at RTR looking at electrification for a while. We had some concepts and through a meeting with Ford Performance it was very clear that there were parallels… I said we need to show electrification in a fun, unique and exciting way, and Ford wanted to do that as well but needed to develop something that we can continue to learn from and something that's going to have a life and help us evolve and continue the learnings and transfer of knowledge and technical abilities for production… I've been with Ford for 13 years now and this project unlocked vaults and doors within Ford that I never even knew existed."
It would seem that the relationship between Ford Performance and Vaughn Gittin Jr. is now much more than just about brand awareness and marketing. Now, he and his team are helping to take things to the bleeding edge of research and development for the 117-year-old company.
"The process of it was a true collaboration between RTR and Ford Performance. Our team has no business building this - on paper. This is our first electric vehicle and was dreamed up of passion and people who just have a can-do attitude."
As wild as it is, Vaughn says that the Mustang Mach-E 1400 isn't really built for competition. But purely an example of what's possible.
"Most of what you see is modular so we have the ability to change and try new things out," said Gittin. "Everything is latest and greatest right now."
In other words, as technology improves, RTR and Ford Performance will be able to update their electric guinea pig to match the present possibilities. It could have quite a long life cycle, but don't expect it in any Formula D events anytime soon.
"This vehicle is not built to any rule book," he said. "The only rule it was built to was safety… we wanted to build it to FIA safety standards, but when was the last time you've seen a four-door, four-occupant safety roll cage?"
We can't think of any.
Does this all point to RTR selling Mustang Mach-E 1400 parts down the road? Suppose on a long enough timeline, but Gittin Jr. wasn't quite ready to detail that out.
"The competitor and fun-haver in me wants everybody to be able to buy an inverter and a motor and have a bolt-in kit to be able to convert to electrification because it is just so phenomenal," he said. "That's not necessarily what our current goal is, but could be a side effect later."
It's hard not to see a Mustang Mach-E RTR for sale at Ford dealerships in the not-too-distant future.
"For us it's about learning and our vision is to be able to increase performance of electric vehicles as they come out and enhance them just like we do with our current videos... collaborate with Ford Performance, create some products, and make them available at the dealer level."
Cheers to that.