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Mustang Mach-E Rally on Track to Impress

by Ron CoganMay 30, 2024
You wouldn’t necessarily want to take your Mustang off-pavement since rugged roads are not its forte. Unless, of course, it’s the Mustang Mach-E Rally.
Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally driving on a dirt track.

We’ve driven plenty of Mustangs over the years and have owned several, including a 1966 Mustang back in the day and a pristine 2005 Grand Am Cup-themed Mustang GT that resides in the garage now. The latter combustion pony car shares garage space with a charging electric car  most of the time, representing a scenario that’s likely to become a fixture of life for many multi-car households in our unfolding mobility future – an EV for most daily driving and a combustion car or hybrid available for good measure.

Playing to this, electrification strategies have varied among the world’s major automakers, from a bit of dabbling with EVs to going all-in with battery electric models. Time will tell which strategy works out best in an era where electrification’s benefits and challenges are often still weighed intently before buyers make their move to go electric, though buyers in growing numbers are doing so these days.

Xray diagram of 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally.

Ford Mustang, Electrified

Ford is solidly positioned in the ‘all-in’ category. Along with its electric F-150 Lightning pickup and E-Transit commercial van, perhaps its most high-profile move has been its evolutionary – or perhaps revolutionary – Mustang Mach-E that debuted in late 2020,  the electrified stable mate of the legendary gas-powered Mustang.

The Mach-E successfully trades on the Mustang nameplate and carries on distinct Mustang design cues like a long hood and tri-bar taillights, though it is decidedly different with a unique sweeping roofline and coupe/liftback design. While some Mustang afficionados might take issue with the nameplate being applied to a crossover model, it’s really a moot point. The fun factor is there and it’s a Mustang in spirit if not in silhouette.

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally exterior.

All New Mach-E Rally

As expected, the Mach-E continues to evolve with an expanding number of model choices and battery options, including the new dual motor Mach-E GT that we recently drove in the Pacific Northwest. What really got our attention, though, was Ford’s Mustang Mach-E Rally we piloted around the track at the Dirtfish Rally School in Snoqualmie, Washington, just outside of Seattle.

The Rally gets all the content and performance attributes of the GT with additional benefits and features added for its mission. This adventurous model is a departure from the norm for Mach-E, literally, with that departure focused on off-pavement action far from stoplights, traffic, and the hustle of daily life. Our experience test driving for 4 Wheel & Off-Road magazine many years ago means we have a deep appreciation for that kind of opportunity.

Chargeport on a 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally electric car.

Special RallyCross Features

The all-wheel drive Mach-E Rally comes specially prepared for the job, with MagneRide suspension featuring an inch higher riding height than the standard Mach-E, RallyCross-tuned shocks and springs, and powertrain calibration and traction control tuned for the rugged and uneven surfaces of dirt-track and rallycross driving. Aluminum underbody shielding provides protection from the hazards and grime inherent in this kind of off-pavement driving.

Power is abundant with the Mach-E Rally’s 480 horsepower delivered by front and rear motors, with an available RallySport drive mode enhancing linear throttle response. Selecting this mode also sets more aggressive damping for improved handling and enables additional yaw for bigger slides, all important in dirt-track driving. Acceleration is impressive with the Rally’s 700 lb-ft torque enabling a 0-60 mph sprint is just 3.4 seconds. Its 91 kWh lithium-ion battery delivers an estimated 265 mile range.

Rear detail of 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally electric car.

Distinct Mach-E Rally Look

Form follows function with the Mach-E Rally, as it is also distinguished with special body moldings,  an aggressive rear liftback spoiler, rally-style fog lights, black painted roof, and eye catching graphics that add to its appeal. Power is delivered to the road via 19-inch gloss-white wheels equipped with Michelin CrossClimate 2 tires ideal for navigating loose surfaces. All this comes at a cost of $59,995, some $20,000 over the base model and six grand more than the Mach-E GT.

Driving the Mach-E Rally at Dirtfish was exhilarating. This specially equipped model exhibited exceptional capabilities and a seriously fun-to-drive nature at speed, which was expected given its rallycross nature. What’s really impressive is the degree to which the Mach-E Rally accomplishes this without sacrificing comfort or capabilities on the street, where most drivers will likely spend most of their time behind the wheel.

Display with driving modes.

Off Roading in a Mustang?

So, let’s just share a fundamental: There’s no circumstance in which either of our personal Mustangs would have ventured off-pavement, at least not willingly and not for an extended drive, unless we happened upon a washed-out road and it was our only way home. But the 2024 Mustang Mach-E Rally? Well, that’s another story…and it’s a really good one.

Now that we’ve been behind the wheel of a Mach-E Rally on Dirtfish Rally School’s dirt, gravel, and wet course, our Mustang horizons have expanded. We can say with confidence that heading off the beaten path in a Mach-E Rally is not only a reasonable option, it’s one likely to be calling out to Rally owners with some regularity. After all, while the road ahead may be straight and true, often enough there will be a new adventure awaiting on dirt roads less traveled just a turn of the wheel away.

Green Car Journal publisher Ron Cogan with a Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally electric car.