Here's How Ford Torture Tests The Mustang Mach-E

Electric Vehicles / 4 Comments

It involves robot butts, among other things.

Torture tests for pickup trucks and off-roaders are nothing new. Last year, Ford shared the durability testing procedures for the new F-150 hybrid and some of these tests were so extreme, robots had to replace humans behind the wheel.

These extreme tests are less often associated with road-going electric vehicles but that hasn't stopped Ford from subjecting the new Mustang Mach-E to conditions that the crossover will be unlikely to face in its lifetime. Ford says it used similarly harsh tests for the Mach-E as it did for its F-Series pickups.

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According to Ford, 27 percent of Americans are uncertain if EVs can get wet in a storm or successfully navigate a car wash. To erase these concerns, Ford put the Mach-E through a series of 60 passes in a car wash. This suds-free automatic conveyor has all the dryers, sprayers, and brushes you'd find in any other car wash. The team went further by blasting the door frames, exterior lights, badges, and other exterior panels with a high-pressure water sprayer at up to 1,700 PSI to test for potential leaks.

To test the integrity of the seats, Ford amusingly used a robotic "butt" form to simulate an actual person getting in and out of the crossover.

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This robotic derriere simulated people of varying body types getting in and out of the car at least 25,000 times. The ActiveX upholstery was flexed 100,000 times to test for cracking and it was subjected to chemical testing to ensure that common substances like hand sanitizer don't affect the finish for a simulated 10-year period.

While most infotainment screens are perceived as fragile, the 15.5-inch unit in the Mach-E uses highly durable Dragontrail glass and rests on a strong magnesium mounting to protect it from being pulled on or bumped by careless passengers or ill-intentioned kids.

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Finally, Ford put the Mustang Mach-E's maximum range to the test by putting the crossover through 300 miles of stone-chip testing across harsh gravel terrain to grade the effectiveness of the paint finish. Professional drivers even went as far as to fishtail the car across the gravel at 60 mph almost 200 times.

"We have gone to great lengths to subject Mustang Mach-E to extreme tests - stressing it much more than a typical customer would - to help ensure it is ready to face the rigor of the open road," said Donna Dickson, chief program engineer of the Mustang Mach-E.

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