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First Drive: 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally

by | May 30, 2024

The Ford Mustang Mach-E gets some welcome updates this year, including a big boost in performance. But, most notably, it also gets a new trim package and, as its name implies, the new Mach-E Rally edition is ready for those who’d like to do some serious off-road racing.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally - yellow pavement skid marks

The 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally.

It’s a cold, blustery day in the Pacific Northwest. But that’s the sort of day I was hoping for as I head out for my first drive at the Dirtfish Rally School in Snoqualmie, Washington. Several days of rain have turned the school’s serpentine track into a soupy mix of mud and gravel. That’s the perfect formula for testing out the new, 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally.

First launched nearly four years ago, the Mach-E was Ford’s first long-range all-electric vehicle. In GT trim, with the optional performance pack, it delivered solid on-road performance. This year, the EV gets an upgrade in power, but it also adds a new trim package and the Rally edition is designed to go where only a handful of battery-electric vehicles have gone before: off pavement.

No, you won’t take it rock crawling. It’s not designed for Moab or the Rubicon Trail. But it’s precisely what you need if you want to see the mud fly on a rally course, like the one Dirtfish has set up in the deep woods of Washington.

What’s new

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT - side

A 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT shows off its new paint package and its Sinister Bronze 20-inch wheels.

Ford gets off to a late start for the 2024 model year with the Mach-E, but it’s worth the wait. There are the usual mid-cycle tweaks to the body and interior, though most are subtle enough to be easily missed. The most noticeable include the optional 20-inch Sinister Bronze wheels paired with a bronze mesh grille shield.

The automaker’s product development team chose to focus on what Mach-E buyers were likely to appreciate most. “We heard we needed better acceleration,” said Donna Dixon, Mach-E’s chief engineer, and you’ll get it with the twin-motor GT model which swaps out its original rear power pack for the one currently used in the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup. It takes the GT’s combined power up to 480 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque.

Get behind the wheel, as I did during a several-hour drive in Seattle the day before, and the difference is obvious. All the more so with the Performance Upgrade that is available as a 2024 option. It adds yet another 100 pound-feet of torque, cutting 0-60 times from 3.8 seconds to a neck-snapping 3.3.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally - yellow in slide front

The 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally comes standard with the new Performance Upgrade.

Introducing the Rally edition

The 2024 Mustang Mach-E Rally project “came about through some enthusiasts on our team,” Darren Palmer, the head of Ford’s EV program, told me recently, describing them as “autocross fanatics.” The idea was to develop a version of the all-electric crossover that could deliver serious thrills, whether running an autocross or rallying.

Unlike the updated 2024 Mach-E GT, the Rally package comes standard with the new Performance Upgrade. And it then takes things to the next level, at least for those who don’t want their racing to be limited to pavement. Designed for wet and muddy conditions, on-road and off, it gets a variety of unique upgrades, starting with a 0.8-inch increase in ride height.

Like the GT, the new Mach-E Rally uses Magneride dampers which allow each corner to go anywhere from soft to rock solid in the time it takes to travel about an inch at 60 mph. That’s a significant plus in ragged off-road conditions. The whole suspension has been retuned, of course.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally - in car on track

You don’t spend much time driving straight lines on a rally track.

There are a handful of visual updates, including the black roof and twin stripes running down the hood and tailgate. Rally gets new fog lamps integrated into the front fascia, as well as a new front splitter and tailgate-mounted spoiler. And new 19-unch wheels are now shod in Michelin CrossClimate2 rubber. Out of sight, Ford has added new underbody protection to prevent damage from rocks and debris to the twin motor drive units.

Also new: a RallySport setting for driver’s mode selector. It instantly changes key settings – including throttle, transmission shifts and the Magneride dampers – to optimize them for off-road racing.

More Ford EV News

Getting dirty at Dirtfish

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally - yellow side slide

You spend much of your time driving sideways on a rally track like Dirtfish.

There’s nothing subtle about rally racing. Blasting out of the starting gate I floor the throttle and immediately find myself sinking deep into the Rally’s well-bolstered sport seat. That’s one of my favorite things about EVs, the way torque comes on instantly. No waiting for an internal combustion engine to rev up.

You don’t spend much time driving in straight lines at a track like Dirtfish. As I approach the end of the short straight I squeeze the brake pedal and feel the Brembo calipers grab the new, 15.8-inch front rotors. At the same time, my instructor tells me to yank the steering wheel hard right, sending us into the first corner sideways. A tap on the accelerator and the Rally miraculously follows the line, emerging, nose-forward, for the next straight.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time auto-crossing on dry pavement. Rallying off-road is an entirely different experience. It requires a mix of experience, trust and the occasional hail-Mary prayer. Yet, with each lap, I find myself feeling more comfortable with the idea that I’ll spend much of my time driving sideways, the Mach-E kicking up huge rooster tails of mud and gravel. The biggest challenge is keeping the dirt-caked windshield clean enough to see where I’m going.

Back on pavement

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally - white front 3-4 street

A Mustang Mach-E Rally out for a (slightly) more leisurely drive on public roads.

Perhaps the biggest surprise about the new Mach-E Rally is how predictable it is – and how easy it is to correct mistakes, off-pavement or on.

The reality is that, for most buyers, the new EV will primarily serve as the daily driver. And Rally is more than up to the task, as I discovered during a couple hours of driving through the verdant Washington State woods.

As on track, the upgraded drivetrain provides plenty of thrills. But what’s equally impressive is how Rally effortlessly and surefootedly carved through corners, little deterred by the water-soaked asphalt.

Give much of the credit to the new Michelin CrossClimate2 tires which remained as sure-footed on pavement as they did in the mud. Equally commendable, despite the revised tuning of the Rally’s suspension, the Magneride suspension help smooth out the dips and bumps on the rough local pavement, especially after switching to Comfort Mode.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally - mud-spattered Rally decal

Contrasting rocker panels and the Rally decal help distinguish the new package from other Mach-E models.

As on track, the upgraded drivetrain provides plenty of thrills. Despite the added mass, Rally launches from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, only a tenth slower than the GT. And it’s still faster than the similarly sized Tesla Model Y Performance package.

What proved equally impressive was how Rally effortlessly and surefootedly carves through corners, little deterred by the water-soaked asphalt.

Other notable features

As we’ve come to expect of modern EVs, the new Rally edition is loaded with high-tech features, including Ford’s latest update of the Sync 4 infotainment system. It works through a vertically oriented, 15.5-inch touchscreen, a second digital display replacing conventional gauges visible through the steering wheel. The infotainment system – which is also voice operated – offers a variety of apps and wireless versions of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Mustang Mach-E Rally - interior

The interior of the 2024 Mustang Mach-E Rally is all but identical to the GT package – and largely unchanged for 2024.

There are plenty of advanced driver assistance systems – ADAS in industry-speak – included in the standard Rally package, some normally sold as options on competing products. These include useful features like Blind-Spot detection and Reverse Brake Assist.

Rally also comes with a 90-day trial package for hands-free Ford’s BlueCruise system. Able to operate on over 100,000 miles of U.S. and Canadian roadways, the latest update adds functions such as the ability to execute a  pass simply by tapping the turn signal stalk. Version 1.4 is a big improvement – though, from personal experience, I found it still not quite up to General Motors’ similar Super Cruise technology.


The 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally clearly isn’t for everyone. If speed is what you want, the updated GT is a wee bit faster, as long as you opt for the Performance Upgrade that’s standard in the Rally edition. And its lower ride height and street-tuned suspension offers advantages in day-to-day driving.

But if you’re looking for new adventures that include flinging dirt and mud in every direction, there’s a lot to like about the Rally package. Either model, in my mind, would be a more appealing option for performance-minded buyers than comparable EVs from brands such as Volkswagen and Tesla.

The Rally model starts at $59,995. Add $1,300 for delivery fees. Ford is now taking advance orders, the first Rally models set to roll into U.S. showrooms over the summer.

If you do go for a Mach-E Rally you might consider one option: a discount package at your local car wash.



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