Concept Cars

1,400-horsepower Ford Mustang Mach-E prototype developed by RTR took 10,000 hours to build

A new prototype shows what the Mustang Mach-E could be capable of.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

In the words of Tim "The Toolman" Taylor, "More power!" That's what the RTR Vehicles teamed with Ford Performance to achieve with its new Ford Mustang Mach-E prototype. RTR is an aftermarket company that has been responsible for creating the Mustang RTR-X and Ken Block's Mustang Hoonicorn RTR.

The Mustang Mach-E 1400 takes the performance of the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 a step further, using seven electric motors in the Mustang Mach-E to achieve 1,400 horsepower. That model, a one-off all-electric dragster prototype, delivered over 1,400 horsepower and over 1,100 pound-feet of torque. It was capable of getting down the strip in the low-8 second range at more than 170 mph.

Mustang Mach-E 1400: Build

Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Mustang Mach-E 1400: Track

Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Mustang Mach-E 1400: Reveal

Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

"Now is the perfect time to leverage electric technology, learn from it, and apply it to our lineup," said Ron Heiser, chief program engineer, Mustang Mach-E. "Mustang Mach-E is going to be fun to drive, just like every other Mustang before it, but Mustang Mach-E 1400 is completely insane, thanks to the efforts of Ford Performance and RTR."

Ford Performance and RTR collaborated for a total of 10,000 hours on the Mustang Mach-E 1400. They used many of the same tools Ford uses for its race cars and production programs to create the model with a focus on aerodynamics. This meant that the cooling ducts, splitter, dive planes, and rear wing all got special attention.

"Getting behind the wheel of this car has completely changed my perspective on what power and torque can be," said Vaughn Gittin Jr., RTR Vehicles founder, motorsports champion and professional fun-haver. "This experience is like nothing you've ever imagined, except for maybe a magnetic roller coaster."

The Mustang Mach-E 1400 has five motors more than what's in the Mustang Mach-E GT. Three are at the front, connected to the differential, while four are laid out pancake style at the rear. A driveshaft connects the them. The layout allows the car to have front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive capabilities.

The car can be set up for drifting or a track day. Power delivery can be evenly split between the front and rear, or completely one to the other. Designers are targeting more than 2,300 pounds of downforce at 160 mph.

In other words, it's primed for hooning.

The Mustang Mach-E has a 56.8-kilowatt-hour battery under its floor made up of nickel manganese cobalt pouch cells. The battery system is designed to be cooled during charging using a di-electric coolant, decreasing the time needed between runs. Ford considers this an ultra-high performance battery.

There's also an electronic brake booster that allows regenerative braking capability combined with ABS and stability control. It has Brembo brakes, like the Mustang GT4 race car and a hydraulic handbrake system purposefully designed for driving, that integrates with the powertrain to allow the driver to completely shut off the rear motors.

The companies also took the opportunity to try out new materials on the Mustang Mach-E's body. The hood is made of organic composite fibers, a lightweight alternative to the carbon fiber that comprises the rest of the vehicle.

Ford will debut the model at a NASCAR race "soon".

Ford Mustang Mach-E 1400: One-Of-A-Kind Prototype | Mustang | Ford Performancewww.youtube.com

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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