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Ford Built A Whole Dirt Track Just For Testing The Mustang Mach-E Rally

Key Takeaways

  • The Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally is designed to deliver true rally performance.
  • Extensive testing included a 500-mile torture test that mimicks real-world conditions in a controlled environment.
  • Engineers also attended rallycross events, and interviewed drivers to ensure the Mustang Mach-E lives up to its name.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E took the Mustang name in a new direction. Instead of a high-performance, gas-powered muscle car, it’s an EV. This caused much consternation among Mustang fans, but spend some time behind the wheel, and it’s easy to see the Mach-E hasn’t lost its performance roots.

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Ford, however, decided to go a step further with the Mustang Mach-E Rally. It wasn’t even a part of the original plan, but rather an idea Ford’s engineers thought might be kind of fun. Turns out, it was a stupid amount of fun in large part due to the rigorous testing it endured to make sure it actually drives like a rally car.

Mustang Mach-E Rally Drift
Ford

All The Right Stuff

The mechanical bits are all there with a 1-inch lift over the Mach-E GT along with Rallycross-tuned shocks and springs. There’s also underbody shielding for protection from off-road surfaces and tires designed for loose-surface traction. It also looks the part with aggressive accents, including a black-painted steel roof and rally-inspired fog lights.

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Testing, however, required a very specific environment, so Ford built one. The team constructed a 500-mile torture test at the company’s Michigan Proving Grounds and then drove the heck out of the Mach-E Rally. The carefully designed track let that testing put it through the equivalent of 10 years of rally driving.

Mustang Mach-E Rally Test Process
Ford

From Grass to Mud

The track started as nothing more than a grassy field before engineers plotted out the perfect test track. They used their existing expertise in off-road testing and vehicle development, but also went to rallycross events and interviewed drivers to be sure they were heading in the right direction.

They then used computer-aided design to account for everything from elevation to speed to timing before construction even started. The end result is a course that accurately mimics real world rally conditions, but in a far more controlled environment. It allowed the team to build the Mustang Rally Mach-E to exacting standards that make it worthy of the rally name.

Mustang Mach-E Rally Dirt Track Test
Ford

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