DETROIT — While Tesla Inc. helped popularize the notion that electric vehicles can be fun to drive, Ford Motor Co. is trying to take that idea a step further.
The automaker unwrapped a one-off racing prototype called the Mustang Mach-E 1400, featuring seven motors and 1,400 peak horsepower. The vehicle, not intended for production, comes on the heels of a Cobra Jet 1400 electric prototype released this year.
Ford plans to use the Mach-E 1400 as an example of what an electric vehicle can do on the track as it tries to build excitement for the launch of the Mach-E crossover this year. The company said it will introduce the Mach-E 1400 prototype at a NASCAR race "soon" and equipped the vehicle with passenger seats that hint at the ability to offer test rides.
The prototype comes with three motors attached to the front differential and four attached to the rear. Ford says the design lends itself to drifting or high-speed racing.
"The challenge was controlling the extreme levels of power provided by the seven motors," Mark Rushbrook, motorsports director at Ford Performance, said in a statement. "Mustang Mach-E 1400 is a showcase of the art of the possible with an electric vehicle."
The vehicle is powered by a 56.8-kWh battery made of nickel manganese cobalt pouch cells. Ford did not disclose top horsepower or torque figures.
The automaker partnered on the prototype with RTR Vehicles, a tuning shop founded by racer Vaughn Gittin.