The Journey of the Mustang Mach-E® Rally

A Mustang Mach-E doing early testing on a rally course for the Mach-E Rally.

Beginning as a mere idea in an engineering breakroom, the Mustang Mach-E® Rally embodies what can be achieved when passion meets design and engineering. The question, “Can we create a rally-inspired version of the Mustang Mach-E?” posed by product planners Peter Schultz and Craig Migliori, sparked a transformative journey for this iconic model. 

The Prototype Phase: Testing and Validation

In early 2022, Schultz and Migliori began by modifying a hand-me-down Mach-E GT, equipping it with new wheels and off-road tires. Their testing ground was Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds, where the SUV was subjected to rigorous laps on dirt tracks to assess its capabilities. The outcome? A resounding affirmation of the SUV’s potential in rallycross environments. 

Ford engineers around a Mustang Mach-E doing early tests for the Mach-E Rally.

Enhancing Off-Road Performance

Recognizing the need for both aesthetics and functionality, the team implemented several modifications: 

The suspension was lifted by 1 inch, utilizing RallyCross-tuned shocks and springs, optimizing it for rough terrains. 

Aesthetic enhancements included gloss-white 19-inch wheels clad in Michelin® CrossClimate2 tires, designed for superior traction on loose surfaces. 

Additional features such as underbody shielding, aggressive body moldings, a front splitter, rear spoiler, and rally-inspired fog lights were added to reinforce its high-performance persona. 

A professional driver doing early testing for the Mustang Mach-E Rally.

Engineering and Drive Testing

Further proving the SUV’s prowess, Ford engineers, including off-road attributes specialist Chris Berchin and vehicle engineering supervisor Jay Kistler, conducted a 500-mile torture test. This test simulated 10 years of rallycross racing, providing a thorough validation of its durability and performance under various weather conditions and on different dirt compositions. 

A Mustang Mach-E doing early testing on a rally course for the Mach-E Rally.

Building the Rallycross Testing Course

The team’s commitment extended beyond the vehicle to developing a dedicated rallycross testing course at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds. Before construction, they gathered insights from actual rallycross events and conducted extensive interviews with drivers. This research helped in designing a course that truly mimics the conditions of professional rallycross tracks, validated by comprehensive computer-aided engineering analysis. 

The Result: A Fully Realized Vision

This in-depth, in-house development not only optimized costs and maintained project secrecy but also led to Ford awarding the team with a Vehicle Engineering Validation award. Such recognition underscores the project’s success and the innovative spirit of the Mustang Mach-E® Rally team. 

The new Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally in a beautiful wooded setting.

Looking Forward: The Mustang Mach-E® Rally Hits the Tracks

The adjustments to the powertrain calibration, traction control, and MagneRide® suspension have culminated in the creation of Ford’s RallySport drive mode. This special setting is engineered for optimal dirt-track performance, enhancing handling and control for the most demanding of rally enthusiasts. 

A Triumph of Teamwork and Innovation

The Mustang Mach-E Rally began as a simple question and has evolved into a cutting-edge, rally-ready SUV that is set to conquer dirt tracks and thrill drivers worldwide. This journey from concept to reality showcases Ford’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of automotive engineering and design. 



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