Watching a talented driver push the limits of any car is really cool, but watching them pit ridiculously capable gas-powered cars against an electric vehicle -- and seeing the EV more than keep up -- is just pure awesome.
Case in point: This video Ford released Tuesday, featuring professional fun-haver Vaughn Gittin Jr. behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400 prototype going head-to-head with the likes of Hailie Deegan in a , Joey Logano in a and Chelsea Denofa in the . Each gas-car driver demonstrates his or her specialty, be it stunts, handling, flat-out speed or drifting, and the Mustang Mach-E 1400 answers back, proving this EV has some major electric boogaloo moves.in his ,
The 1400 in the name refers to the horsepower -- as in, 1,400 hp. This Mach-E is powered by seven -- yes, seven -- electric motors. Three power the front axle, while four are attached to the rear. Everything in the car is adjustable. It can default to front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and it's full of little tricks to help it succeed in any form.
For example, drift cars are usually manual transmission, allowing the driver to push in the clutch while utilizing the handbrake when getting the car into that sweet drift. This disconnects the driveline so nothing is overwhelmed during this crucial moment. The Mach-E 1400 doesn't have a traditional transmission, so it's outfitted with a powertrain control that disconnects the power to those rear wheels while Gittin engages the hydraulic handbrake. In this manner, he can set up for the drift without any exploding axles.
With the extreme aerodynamic bits and wide Nitto NT555 G2 tires, this prototype looks pretty sick. The almost comically large, adjustable wing in the rear helps the car produce 2,300 pounds of downforce at 160 mph. The front splitter and dive planes bring an aggressive look to the front of the electric crossover SUV, as well. Sure, it's much taller than the other cars on screen, but it doesn't look out of place.
Also, take note of the incredible sound the Mach-E produces. We had a chance to speak with Gittin over a video conference and he said the prototype really is that loud, and as a guy who's used to V8s, he wasn't sure he'd like it. In the end, though, he came around. "Is it really weird that I don't even want to hear the V8s anymore?" he asked. Strong words, Mr. Gittin.
Gittin had to modify his driving style to go from gas-powered car to EV. Not only did he have to get his ear tuned to the aforementioned electric motor whine, he also had to adjust his right foot to get used to all that instant torque. Gittin also said that the battery location pushes the Mach-E 1400's center of gravity so low that it's like driving a go-kart, despite its crossover proportions.
"It drives like it's inches from the ground. ... Where my natural reaction is to throw the car super hard, it doesn't need that. It was getting used to how the car likes to rotate," he said.
The Mach-E 1400 stores its electricity in a 56.8-kilowatt-hour battery with nickel-manganese-cobalt pouch cells, resulting in a high discharge rate. Gittin Jr. said the car can handle 20 to 30 minutes of aggressive driving depending on variables like weather and track conditions, and that it takes 45 minutes to charge completely.
No word when we'll get to see the Mach-E 1400 prototype in person, but thewill be available at the end of the year.