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It’s an era of firsts for electric vehicles, as automakers introduce battery powered versions of everything they offer: and here comes Ford Motor Co., with the all-electric 2024 Mustang Mach-E Rally, aimed at off-highway road rally enthusiasts.
In an online press introduction, Ford says the 2024 Mustang Mach-E Rally is the first EV with a trim and equipment package aimed at the road rally performance niche, which until now has been dominated by the internal-combustion driven Subaru WRX.
“We definitely see departure from the pavement, and an entry onto the dirt road, as one of those areas where the EV will be expanding in the near term,” said Michael Sego, group marketing manager, Mustang Mach-E.
Sales are expected to begin in early 2024, likely as a 2024 model.
Separately, in speeches to investors, Wall Street analysts and the press, Ford President and CEO Jim Farley has been making the case that as EVs occupy more product segments, it’s impossible to lump together all EVs just because they’re battery-driven.
When everything is an EV, electric vehicles have to differentiate themselves by something other than the battery powered powertrain, and compete on their own merits, Farley says.
For example, he cites the fact that Ford’s battery-driven full-size pickup, the Ford F-150 Lightning, can be used to run power tools, or as a backup power source for the owner’s home, during power outages.
For the 2024 Mustang Mach-E Rally, one of its particular virtues for the road rally crowd is that electric motors produce more torque than a comparable internal-combustion engine. Torque is the twisting power that launches a vehicle from a standing start.
The 2024 Mustang Mach-E Rally also has higher ground clearance than the non-Rally version, underbody protection from flying stones, and an oversized rear spoiler.
Sego said the 2024 Mustang Mach-E Rally is expected to have a range on a single charge of around 250 miles. That’s plenty for most drivers, since the median daily distance we all drive is around 30 miles, and the median individual trip is only about five miles.
Donna Dickson, Mustang Mach-E chief engineer, said the powertrain in the 2024 Mustang Mach-E Rally is a two-motor setup closely based on the powertrain in the Mustang Mach-E GT powertrain.
Official specifications haven’t been announced yet, but she said Ford is targeting torque of at least 650 ft.-lbs., and 480 horsepower.
Volume is expected to be limited, and distribution will probably be limited to markets where road rallying in popular, Sego said. Historically, that tends to be Snowbelt markets.
Sego said, “We will prioritize production for where the customer demand is.”