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Ford Built A Whole Rallycross Course When Developing Mach-E Rally

by | May 14, 2024

Ford pulled out all the stops when it was developing the Mustang Mach-E Rally. The trail-busting EV went through extensive testing during its development and that included the company building a special rallycross course to help push the EV to its limits.

Mach E Rally

Ford built an in-house rallycross track to push the Mach-E Rally to its limits

When a new vehicle undergoes development, an automaker puts it through a whole battery of tests to ensure that it can not only hold up in real-world use but also deliver what customers want including in adverse weather and driving situations. Sometimes, a model is so unique and innovative that it occasionally forces engineers to think outside the box when it comes to the rigors of vehicle testing.

The 2024 Mustang Mach-E Rally is a prominent example of this in action, with the EV’s trail-ready mission forcing Ford and their engineers to get creative when it came to putting through the paces. In addition to the usual battery of tests, Ford also revealed that it built an entire Rallycross course to help further hone the Rally’s unique attributes and show that it can indeed handle Rally-grade challenges.

Ford left no stone uncovered in the quest for performance

Mach E Rally interior view

Ford recieved input from rally drivers and visited other courses to gather ideas

The company explored every angle in its attempts to perfect the Mustang Mach-E Rally and that attention to detail even extended into the rallycross course that Ford made at its Michigan Proving Grounds facility in Romeo, Michigan. The brand interviewed rallycross drivers and visited other rallycross circuits to help create a blueprint for their homegrown course. The company then used computer simulations to create a layout that factored in timing, expected speeds, and other variables to help ensure that the course fell within the parameters of a real-life rallycross course. The course allowed Ford engineers to put the Mach-E Rally through a 500-mile combined torture test that simulated rally racing for every month through the course of an entire decade.

While Ford’s efforts are certainly unusual, it’s not the first time that an automaker has cobbled together a race track for vehicular testing purposes. General Motors embarked on a similar endeavor in the 2000s when it created the 2.9-mile Milford Road Course at its Milford Proving Grounds. Also known as the “Lutzring” by GM employees, the course was supposed to replicate certain sections of the Nurburgring, and while the track played a role in the development of the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, it has since proven its worth for other GM performance vehicles over the years including the C8 Corvette and later iterations of the Chevrolet Camaro.

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Mach-E Rally emerged as a potent rally warrior

Mach E Rally throwing dirt

Ford’s efforts helped the Mach-E make the transition from on-pavement appliance to trail-slaying racer

All of that testing allowed the 2024 Mach-E Rally to transform into a potent rally-ready offering with this version of the Mach-E getting several trail-focused modifications designed to help it handle the rigors of competition. They include a slight increase in ground clearance as well as the debut of the RallySport drive mode which allows the CUV to do bigger slides out on the track and also makes the throttle deliver a more linear response to the driver which helps improve power delivery. The dampers have also been reworked to provide better response in uneven terrain.

Thankfully, the Mach-E Rally’s performance hardware was not left out in the cold with all models getting a dual-motor electric powertrain that produces a combined system output of 480 hp which allows the CUV to make the sprint to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds while also getting 265 miles of range between charges.

The 2024 Mach-E Rally will be going on sale very soon with Ford saying a base model will start at over $61,000




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