This car proves electricity can be exciting.
It was a beautiful Thursday morning at the Ford Motor Company Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo, Michigan - a rural town 45 minutes or so north of Detroit, depending on how you drive. It's always a treat when an automaker invites media into the confines of where some of their most confidential programs are developed. A look behind the curtain, so to speak.
However, that morning, you'd assume that everybody just took the day off. What's likely a facility normally buzzing with camouflaged test mules moving to and fro, Ford's MPG was eerily still. As if they knew curious journalists have infiltrated the grounds with cameras and microphones. Yet just outside of a massive garage, next to an even more massive vehicle dynamics skidpad, stood two vehicles. A 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, and a special version of it that looked like it just graduated Navy SEAL training: The seven-motor Mustang Mach-E 1400.
Greenlit by Ford Performance with the help of Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR tuning company - which specializes in hopped-up versions of The Ford Mustang, Ranger and F-Series - the Mustang Mach-E 1400 is purpose-built from the ground up to do one thing: kill tires more effectively than any electric vehicle that came before it.
The Mach-E 1400 is also too extreme to conform to any specifications of any motorsport, featuring an absurdly large rear wing that's primarily responsible for this four-door electric utility vehicle generating 2,300 lbs of downforce at 160 miles per hour. In case you need a refresher, here are some specifics for you: it features a 56.8 kWh battery pumped with a di-electric coolant to keep things at optimum temperature run after run. This power is sent through seven, yes, seven motors that are stacked on top of each other in the front of the vehicle.
Based on the settings, the power can be sent through the rear, the front, or all of the wheels. And speaking of power, this monstrous Mach-E manages a monumental 1,400 mechanical horses. In turn, it has a superior power-to-weight ratio over the mighty Ford GT supercar. However, even with these impressive statistics, the stigma remains: electric vehicles possess little drama and are less fun to drive than their combustion-engine-powered counterparts.
When it comes to the Mustang Mach-E 1400, this couldn't be farther from the truth. To prove this, Ford gave us a helmet, pointed to the plug-in powerhouse, and told us to get into one of its three passenger seats. In the driver's seat was none other than Ford Performance ambassador Vaughn Gittin Jr., of Formula D fame. Maybe you've already seen him ripping this mega Mustang around the tarmac in a video or two. It was now our opportunity to understand just how much of a face melter the Mach-E 1400 really is.
Maneuvering around the roll cage, barely fitting into the Recaro racing seat, we clipped on the five point harness, and watched Gittin Jr. commence the start up sequence. This consisted of the turning of some dials and some flipping of some switchgear located where the rearview mirror once was. The ritual of starting this thing up only helped build the anticipation of what was about to come next: a test run on a massive expanse of asphalt.
The Mustang Mach-E doesn't roar to life. It activates. There's a very futuristic soundtrack to its startup sequence that could be pulled from either the Halo or Metroid video game franchises, and in a sense feels like unlocking a power adder. Like, if the production Mustang Mach-E is Samus Aran at the beginning of Metroid Prime, the Mach-E 1400 is her power suit equipped with a all of the cannons, all of the super missiles, and all of the health packs. The ultimate form.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. began to slowly creep the Mach-E 1400 to the skid pad. We small talked a bit as to whether or not we've had experience with electric vehicles, the answer being a yes. When given the all clear, we took off in a straight line with such force and inertia that my whole body practically became one with the racing seat. The motors were emitting a sound that reminded us of industrial grade power tools. But more than anything, the tortured screams of freshly mounted tires rang loud and clear, ebbing to the command of Vaughn's right foot. There was drama. There was smoke. There were smiles.
Perhaps the most mind boggling statistic of the Mustang Mach-E 1400 isn't the horsepower, or that there's room for four people. But that it weighs 5,000 pounds. Five thousand. And it moves like... that! Ford Performance could have simply said that it weighed something like 2,500 lbs, and it would have been completely believable. That's the advantage of having all of that heft of the battery beneath the seats. The return is an unrivaled center of gravity, and it completely throws off the conceptions of weight. It's hard to imagine any 5,000 pound gasoline-powered performance car dancing, darting and twirling around the pavement with such agility. And since Ford Performance is using this incredible machine as a test bed, we may soon see this high performance technology in a production car in the near future.
At the end of our all-too-brief experience with the Mustang Mach-E 1400, we're convinced on a very important point. Electric vehicles can be fun, and electric vehicles will be fun.