From Broncos to Raptors, Ford vehicles made themselves at home far beyond the highway. In a surprising move, there is another Ford vehicle that’s prepped for running on any surface, and this one is ready to compete in rally racing, where the surface constantly changes. That machine is the Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally.
"Just a year ago, this was merely an idea, and what you see today is a testament to the passion and intense creativity of our Model e team, "said Donna Dickson, chief engineer, Mustang Mach-E. "We have always explored new areas of performance, and the combination of a rally-tuned suspension, dual motor electric powertrain, and wicked styling makes the Mustang Mach-E Rally a different kind of performance vehicle that will excite customers chasing their next adventure.”
That’s right, this electric pony is ready to race through the wilderness thanks to a high-output, dual-motor powertrain and a suspension tuned to take on a variety of surfaces and still connect the 480 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque with terra firma. That suspension offers a 20 increase in ride height, tuned springs, and a unique MagneRide calibration. Grip is courtesy of 19-inch rally-style alloy wheels wearing 235/55 R19 Michelin CrossClimate2 engineered for enhanced traction on loose surfaces. Meanwhile, 385mm front brake rotors with red Brembo calipers slow the hard-charging ride.
While the Mach-E Rally will include all the features of its street-oriented cousins, it also carries a new drive mode called RallySport. Engineered specifically for off-road action, its stability control offers increased yaw for sliding through corners, a more linear throttle response for enhanced driver control, and more responsive damping from the MagneRide. In total, this mode will improve traction in loose conditions on and off-road, including on snowy or wet streets.
“Mustang Mach-E Rally puts Ford’s decades of passion for rally championships around the world right in the hands of our customers.’ said Jim Farley, chief executive officer. “It takes Mustang where it hasn’t been before – to gravel and dirt roads. Inspired by true driving enthusiasts, a driving experience like never before for the pure joy of driving.”
The Mach-E Rally will be sold and available early next year for $65,000,but it will show off its prowess next month as it competes in the Ford-sponsored Rebelle Rally, the first women’s off-road navigation rally raid held in the United States. The event challenges the driver, navigator, and vehicle while traversing a 1,500-mile course during without the benefit of GPS or smartphones. They race during the day and camp at night during the event, which launches at Mammoth Mountain on October 12 and wraps up at Imperial Sand Dunes on October 21.
Immediately standing out from other electric Mustangs, the Mustang Mach-E Rally features rally-inspired foglights in the front fascia, which also wears a recovery tow hook should things go awry. Other unique elements are upper and lower body moldings, a unique front splitter, and a black painted steel roof that contrasts with the available paint options that include Grabber Blue, Shadow Black, Eruption Green, and Grabber Yellow as well as extra-cost optional hues Star White or Glacier Gray.
Inspired by the hottest of hatches, the Focus RS, the wing on the Mach-E Rally, and the 19-inch wheels inspired by rally cars from Ford’s past team up to make the car look the part. The tires are wrapped in 235/55R19 Michelin CrossClimate2 tires engineered to improve loose-surface travel.
Ford engineers didn’t take the task of making the electric Mustang rally-ready. They created a rallycross course and the company’s Michigan Proving Ground. They then put the prototypes to 500-mile tests to ensure their performance and durability. Along those lines, the Mach-E Rally’s underside shields protect the front and rear motors, while paint protection film on the doors and fender arches helps prevent rock chips, as do dealer-installed mud flaps.
Inside, performance seats emblazoned with Mach-E Rally keep the driver and passenger in place when things get slideways. Those seats feature gloss-white backs, which match the accents on the dash, door stitching, and the lower spokes of the steering wheel.
Ford is sponsoring several Rebelle Rally teams this year and the duo piloting a Mustang Mach-E Rally have experience competing at several previous events. Kaleigh Miller, who triumphed in the 4x4 class at three prior events, and Bailey Campbell, who has competed twice before.