From extreme car washes to gravel roads, the Ford team used a number of methods to put the Mustang Mach-E through tests designed to stress it beyond typical consumer use.
“We have gone to great lengths to subject Mustang Mach-E to extreme tests – stressing it much more than a typical consumer would – to help ensure it is ready to face the rigor of the open road,” said Donna Dickson, chief programme engineer, Mustang Mach-E.
Around 13 percent of Europeans are unsure if electric vehicles can get wet while being driven in the rain – much less be able to go through a full car wash. Ford subjected the Mustang Mach-E to 60 passes through a brutal, suds-free automatic conveyor wash complete with sprayers, brushes, and dryers – the equivalent of a wash every two weeks for more than two years.
To help test against leaks and other exterior damage that could be caused by water, the team blasted the door frames, trim, cowling, badges, headlamps, taillamps and adhesives of the Mustang Mach-E with a high-pressure water sprayer.
The sprayer is capable of pressures up to 1,700 PSI and a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius and is sprayed at about one foot away from the vehicle’s exterior. That kind of pressure can remove oil stains from driveways when used with detergents.
Ford is known for its slogan ‘Built Tough’ when creating an advertisement campaign for its rugged pickup trucks. The engineers made sure that the Mustang Mach-E was also tough enough to be part of the family. That is why the 15.5-inch touch screen in the 2021 Mustang Mach-E uses a special application of Dragontrail glass to ensure its durability. It sits on top of a high-strength magnesium mounting that is able to withstand being pulled or bumped.
“The screen in the Mustang Mach-E is so crucial to the driving experience. It’s the centrepiece of the interior and people’s eyes just naturally go right to it,” said Dickson. “We knew we had to go above and beyond to make sure it is durable enough to withstand daily customer interactions — think purses and bags hitting it, pets bumping into it, children playing with it and so on. You need that deep customer understanding to identify the potential issues and work to prevent them.”
Also, Ford engineers subjected the Mustang Mach-E to 300 miles of stone-chip testing on gravel roads to evaluate the damage caused to body paint by small rocks and cinder. Ford used two different grades of gravel stones to test as professional drivers fishtailed the Mustang Mach-E over a miles-long stretch of scattered gravel on pavement at 60 mph nearly 200 times.
Once the first test was completed, the team then swapped the gravel for an even sharper grade of stone and repeated the test all over again.
“Electric vehicles shouldn’t be limited to nicely paved city streets and suburbia,” said Dickson “We tested Mustang Mach-E so that customers can confidently live on or adventure down gravel roads and not worry about their paint easily chipping.”
The high-performance Mustang Mach-E is equipped with an extended-range battery and all-wheel drive that will deliver a 0-62mph acceleration in 5.1 seconds and a targeted WLTP pure electric driving range of up to 335 miles. In contrast, the rear-wheel drive Mustang Mach-E has a 379-mile WLTP range.