Pore over the details of the incredible Ford Mach-E 1400 | Top Gear
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Thursday 5th October

Pore over the details of the incredible Ford Mach-E 1400

Speed Week 2020: seven electric motors, four seats and a 'Fun Haver' at the wheel

  • Say hi, cautiously, to the Ford Mach-E 1400. Actually you can give it a pat. It might roll over and let you rub its tummy. I know it looks ferocious, and actually this really isn’t one of those where its bark is worse than its bite. Quite the opposite in fact. Still friendly, though. 

    Electric motors, as we all well know, don’t shout about their performance, they just settle for supplying huge amounts of twist in a very small timeframe. Like 4,500lb ft from zero. Built as a joint project by Ford Performance and RTR Vehicles (the people that made Ken Block’s Hoonigan), it’s what happens when Ford decides its new Mach-E electric SUV needs a bit of a promotional boost, and turns it into a skid monster, complete with seven e-motors and a rear wing that literally over-shadowed everything else at Speed Week 2020. 

    But there’s plenty more to it than that. Have a flick through the gallery to see the best shots and coolest details of the monster that is the Mach-E 1400.

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  • It's a mobile smoke machine

    It was, entirely unsurprisingly, the best smoke machine at Speed Week. Four fat slicks thoroughly overwhelmed by colossal and instant torque from the three front and four rear electric motors meant that the moment you clogged it, the tyres lit up and away you went. 

  • It doubles up as a dirt-kicker

    It weighs a little over two tonnes, which means that it has momentum. Begin to tun wide at a corner, and with all four wheels spinning, you would carry on running wide. Right up to the point that smoke-creator became dirt chucker. And possibly into a ploughing competition if you got it very wrong. 

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  • There's a... *unique* central logo on the steering wheel

    Because of course it’s got a blue camo' steering wheel. No Ford logo in the centre either, just a reminder of who’s sitting in the driver’s seat right now. That’ll be you, Mr F. Haver. 

  • There are four full seats so you can terrify passengers

    It’s got back seats! Of all the things that make a 1,400bhp electric car great, this is the greatest. Nothing to do with the power or skids, but the fact you can strap three others into great big buckets and bring them along for the ride. Let the whooping commence.

  • It'll tandem drift with an M3-powered Aston DB5

    Alternatively, four seats could provide you with room for your henchmen as you pursue James Bond. There are no windows to get in the way of them waving their Uzis around, so why the hell not? However, just be aware that should Bond, James Bond deploy his DB5 oil slick, your slicks will find precisely nothing to grip on and you’ll be off the nearest cliff before you can shout “we’ll meet again, Mr Bond”.

    In all seriousness, this shot was as cool as it looks. The DB5 is the stunt car from the forthcoming No Time To Die film and we wanted to see how the two cars would slide together. The fear was that the skinny-tyred Aston would be slow through a corner, the Mach-E fast and so vastly smokey that you wouldn’t even see the Aston.

    Actually, half the weight of the Mach-E, the Aston was actually substantially quicker into and out of corners unless the Mach-E was driven slightly less… flamboyantly. Big shout out to precision driver Andre d’Cruze in the DB5 for manning up and agreeing to have me, in a bellowing Mach-E, chase him around Anglesey at close quarters.

  • There are many buttons

    No Bond gadgets up here on the overhead console. But this is where all the Mach-E’s best buttons live. The twist knobs are the important ones. The top one switches the car on, first to engage the 12v system and turn the ignition on, and then to arouse the drive motors. 

    Below that is the drive selector – basically just forwards and reverse – and to the right of that is the best control of them all, the Knob That Controls Where The Power Goes. Although the power is basically split 43:57 front:rear simply because there are three motors for the front and four for the back, this controller allows you to alter the power balance. A little bit rear seemed the best position, but given this is a one-off prototype, it was tricky to master and occasionally disobedient.

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  • It requires some light fettling

    It also needed occasional fettling. Carbon bonnet lifts off, laptop gets placed on the ground and men dive underneath. 

  • It has fancy Ohlins dampers

    Here’s what they’re looking at under there. The inboard Ohlins dampers of the front suspension, mainly. The motors are tucked away under these. Fact: the chassis itself is shared with the standard Mach-E production car. Not much else is.

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  • WING!

    Gratuitous wing shot. Notice also the illuminated Mustang badge. 

  • It has a literal tonne of downforce

    Here’s the wing on the move, dragging its shadow around with it. Now, the Mach-E’s aero does actually produce heaps of downforce – a literal tonne of it, to be precise – however, we had it set up in 4WD Drift mode, which gave it a top speed of 95mph. Not much for the wing to work with. 

    Track mode would have allowed for a much higher top speed and brought the wing into play, but answer me this: which mode is more fun? Exactly.

  • You need to be a good long-jumper

    The clear Perspex case over the centre console allows you to watch every electron fizz past under your elbow. Kidding. Electrons move too fast. But you do notice them. 

    Seriously. Occasionally you feel a tenseness in the atmosphere, like standing under powerlines. On these occasions it’s important to remember the advice from the the mechanics and engineers that you should jump clear from the car, not step out of it. The human body is a very effective earthing conduit. Don’t be the earthing conduit.

  • Of course it's got a massive brake lever

    This hydraulic brake lever did need the mother and father of all sharp tugs to bring into action, though.

  • At the wheel

    A gratuitous cockpit shot.

  • One last skid

    And one last gratuitous skid shot.

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