Ken Block appeared in the launch video for the Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400, the 1,400-horsepower electric crossover built by tuner RTR Vehicles. It turns out he also got to drive it, as seen in a video posted to Block's YouTube channel Thursday.
On a trip to Ford's Arizona proving grounds, Block traded his 1965 Mustang "Hoonicorn" (which RTR also helped build) for this very different kind of horse.
The Mach-E 1400 is a one-off prototype built to show off the performance potential of electric powertrains, and to demonstrate some new ideas. The hood, for example, is made from organic composite fibers that Ford believes could be an alternative to carbon fiber.
The Mach-E 1400 is powered by seven electric motors—three in front, four in back. Differentials vary how much torque goes to each wheel, and can be set up for different types of driving, such as drifting or racing. The vehicle can also switch between front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive.
The many motors are powered by a 56.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack with nickel manganese cobalt cells that Ford says deliver a higher discharge rate. The pack is mounted low in the chassis within the wheelbase to keep the center of gravity as low as possible. While the vehicle is heavy, that low center of gravity still makes it fairly agile, RTR's Vaugh Gittin Jr. told Block in the video.
Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400
Other upgrades include Brembo brakes from the Mustang GT4 race car, a hydraulic handbrake for drifting, and an aerodynamics package that Ford says will generate more than 2,300 pounds of downforce at 160 mph.
The interior was stripped to make room for a roll cage, while clear shielding displays the high-voltage cables and electronics. The SUV's massive central touchscreen was kept, however.
Production versions of the single- or dual-motor Mach-E electric crossover are scheduled to start shipping later this year, with a base price of $44,995 including destination.
Block's next project is a Fox-body Mustang dubbed "Hoonifox." He hasn't chosen a powertrain, but is rumored to be considering an all-electric setup from the Mach-E.