The Mustang Mach-E® Rally: From Concept to Rally Ready

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

The creation of the Mustang Mach-E® Rally began with a simple question posed in an engineering breakroom: “Can we make a rally-inspired version of the Mustang Mach-E?” This question set the stage for a groundbreaking project led by Ford’s product planners, Peter Schultz and Craig Migliori. Their initial experiment involved retrofitting a standard Mach-E GT with off-road wheels and tires and testing its capabilities at the Ford Michigan Proving Grounds. The results were unequivocally positive, affirming their vision for a rally-ready vehicle. 

Engineering for the Rally Track

Understanding that the Mach-E Rally needed to live up to its nameplate in both appearance and functionality, the team embarked on a series of enhancements. These modifications included a 1-inch lift over the standard Mach-E GT, RallyCross-tuned shocks and springs, and robust Michelin® CrossClimate2 tires. The vehicle was also equipped with protective underbody shielding and styled with distinctive rally-inspired features such as a black painted steel roof, aggressive moldings, a front splitter, a rear spoiler, and integrated fog lights. 

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

Testing and Validation

To convincingly demonstrate the vehicle’s rally prowess, Ford’s engineering team, led by off-road attributes engineer Chris Berchin and vehicle engineering supervisor Jay Kistler, conducted rigorous testing. This included a comprehensive 500-mile torture test designed to simulate a decade of monthly rallycross races. The test track, specifically constructed for this purpose, mimicked real-world rallycross conditions, incorporating varied weather scenarios and dirt compositions to test traction and handling. 

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

Developing the RallyCross Course

The transformation of a grassy field at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds into a full-fledged rallycross testing course was pivotal. Prior to construction, the team engaged with rallycross events and drivers to ensure authenticity. Through detailed computer-aided engineering analysis, they meticulously planned every turn and elevation of the course, validating it with advanced sensors and measuring equipment to capture the true essence of rallycross racing. 

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

Innovations and Achievements

The project’s in-house approach not only streamlined costs and development time but also maintained the secrecy of the Mustang Mach-E Rally’s development. This strategic initiative earned the team the Vehicle Engineering Validation award from Ford, celebrating their innovative and self-contained project management. Furthermore, the vehicle was equipped with a specialized RallySport drive mode, enhancing performance on dirt tracks with features like adjusted yaw control, linear throttle responses, and aggressive damping. 

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

The Mustang Mach-E Rally, birthed from a moment of curiosity, has evolved into a robust rally-inspired vehicle ready to tackle the dirt tracks. With its advanced engineering and dedicated testing, the Mach-E Rally is poised to bring thrilling rally performance to customers and enthusiasts alike, marking a new chapter in Ford’s legacy of innovation and adventure on the rally scene. 



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