The Making of the Mustang Mach-E Rally

A Ford Mustang Mach-E doing early testing on a rally course for the Mach-E Rally.

The story of the Mustang Mach-E® Rally begins in an unlikely place: an engineering breakroom at Ford. It was here that a simple question was posed to product planners Peter Schultz and Craig Migliori: “Can we make a rally-inspired version of the Mustang Mach-E?” This question ignited a project that would push the boundaries of electric SUV performance. 

Initial Testing and Development

In early 2022, Schultz and Migliori began their journey by modifying a Mach-E GT. They equipped the vehicle with off-road tires and new wheels, then headed to Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds. Their goal was to see if the vehicle could handle the rigorous demands of dirt-track driving. The tests were successful, affirming that the Mach-E could indeed be transformed into a rallycross-ready machine. 

Ford engineers around a Mustang Mach-E doing early tests for the Mach-E Rally.

Engineering for Rallycross

Understanding that the vehicle not only needed to perform but also look the part, the team introduced several modifications. They raised the suspension by an inch, fine-tuned with RallyCross-specific shocks and springs, and fitted the SUV with gloss-white 19-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin® CrossClimate2 tires. Additional features included underbody shielding to protect against dirt and grime, and aesthetic enhancements like a black painted steel roof and built-in fog lights for a more aggressive look. 

A professional driver doing early testing for the Mustang Mach-E Rally.

Proving Rallycross Capability

To truly test the Mach-E Rally’s capabilities, Ford’s engineers, including off-road attributes expert Chris Berchin and vehicle engineering supervisor Jay Kistler, conducted a rigorous 500-mile torture test. This simulation was designed to replicate 10 years of monthly rallycross racing, putting the vehicle through scenarios with varying weather conditions and dirt compositions, mirroring real rallycross challenges. 

A Mustang Mach-E doing early testing on a rally course for the Mach-E Rally.

Building the Testing Course

What once was a grassy field at the proving grounds was transformed into a state-of-the-art rallycross testing course. The team meticulously planned the course’s layout, attending actual rallycross events and consulting with professional drivers. They conducted a comprehensive computer-aided engineering analysis to map out the course’s elevation changes, expected speeds, and more, ensuring its accuracy and effectiveness. 

Vehicle and Drive Mode Enhancements

The Mustang Mach-E Rally features a specially tuned powertrain, traction control, and MagneRide® suspension tailored for dirt-track resilience. These modifications support the newly developed RallySport drive mode, which optimizes the vehicle for dirt roads by enhancing control and handling, allowing for bigger slides and a more aggressive damping profile. 

The new Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally in a beautiful, wooded setting.

The journey from a casual brainstorming question to a fully realized rallycross vehicle took just over two years. The Mustang Mach-E Rally is not only a testament to Ford’s innovation in electric vehicle technology but also showcases the company’s internal capabilities in bringing such a dynamic project to life. Soon, this high-performance SUV will make its way to customers, ready to conquer both the roads and the dirt tracks. 

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