Bored of EV SUVs already? Try one with a RallySport drive mode…
By Matt Bird / Thursday, 7 September 2023 / Loading comments
Ford can always be relied on for a bit of fun. This is the company, don’t forget, that put Drift Mode in a Focus, Line Lock in a Mustang, and still sells a pick-up with a supercharged 700hp V8. Plus it has a wealth of motorsport heritage to draw upon. Bring both those factors together and a vehicle like the Mach-E Rally should come as no surprise at all. They’re even going to make it.
Jim Farley, exactly the kind of CEO you’d imagine would be right behind this project, said of the Rally: “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.” That last bit feels really important, conspicuously absent as it so often can be from otherwise worthy EVs.
The Rally plunders, appropriately enough, Ford’s special stage back catalogue for its overhaul, from white wheels like an Escort Cossie to a rear spoiler said to be inspired by the old Focus RS and spotlights in the front fascia. There’s even the option of dealer-fit mudflaps for the full effect. Real rally nerds might see the Grabber Yellow here and remember the old Rapid Fit Puma S1600 cars (a livery shared with the Mondeo Super Tourer in the good old days), but that might be stretching things a tad. The Rally will also be offered in Eruption Green, Glacier Grey, Shadow Black, Grabber Blue or Star White, which might go nicely with the wheels. Told you they really were going to make it…
The Rally is much more than just a cosmetic makeover, too. It rides 20mm higher than standard on special springs, with Magneride dampers coming as standard as well as big 385mm front brakes. There’s shielding underneath to protect the motors from off-road scrapes, plus protective film applied from factory – so the Rally is very definitely designed to be used off the beaten track. Those funky rims sit on Michelin CrossClimate 2 tyres.
Further encouraging some rough and tumble is a new RallySport drive mode. It’s designed specifically for off-road driving (though sounds like a right hoot for anywhere, really), offering up ‘added yaw for bigger slides, a linear throttle response for better control, and more aggressive damping for better handling in loose corners’. Apparently, the test programme has included hundreds of miles at Ford’s Michigan Proving Ground on an off-road course designed by rallycross veterans, so let’s hope RallySport mode lives up to the hype.
There’ll be plenty of power to play with, at least, the Rally using the Mach E GT’s twin motor, 4WD set-up but aiming to improve on it with more torque. The US-specific release states that the aim is for 480hp and 650lb ft, compared to 487hp and 634lb ft for a standard GT over here. It should also get 250 EPA miles from the 91kWh battery. There’s no mention yet of any augmented sound for the Rally, but if ever there was an opportunity to pipe in sweet BDA Escort music through the speakers, surely it’s now…
“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, Mustang Mach E chief engineer. “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.”
This really will happen, too, with a US launch due in early 2024 and a predicted price of $65,000 (£52,000) over there. We have it on good authority that the Rally will make it to the UK next year as well Camping trips with the kids will never be the same again.
- 2021 Ford Mustang Mach E GT | PH Review
- MST Mk2 | PH Review
Source: Read Full Article