The Shelby Mustang Mach-E GT concept was showcased during the SEMA show in Las Vegas. The high performance Mach-E was made by Ford Motor Company in collaboration with Shelby American using the Mustang Mach-E GT as a donor.
First up, the donor Mach-E is a 2021 spec model with eAWD and the Performance Edition Extended Range Battery. The Shelby team focused on reducing weight while adding strength and increasing performance using new materials and technologies.
Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American, said that the company leveraged lessons learned while secretly testing many leading EV’s on the market over the past several years, and that the Shelby Mach-E concept was a glimpse into their new generation vehicles planned for 2022.
Exterior & Interior
On the outside, engineers went to work to reduce the weight of the 2.2 tonne Mach-E GT. The Shelby Mach-E GT concept uses carbon fiber for its hood, front fascia assembly (which was necessary to manage air for optimum cooling of the batteries), lower front splitter, front and rear fenders. Shelby has also chosen Graphene infused composites to shave off precious kilos in these carbon fiber parts, and even the suspension components, stating that performance is improved in all aspects. Graphene is lighter than paper yet stronger than steel, and its infusion with carbon gives these components ‘extreme’ strength and thermal properties while being lighter than the standard components in the Mach-E.
In addition to the parts, the Shelby Mustang Mach-E is immediately identifiable as a Shelby thanks to the LeMans racing stripes in Blue with the ‘Shelby’ badging on the side, and the new hood which takes inspiration from the Shelby Series1 and provides more cooling and downforce. In fact, Shelby says that the entire concept takes design inspiration from previous Shelby classics, and go against the ethos of “stickers and scoops” which Carroll Shelby disliked.
The Shelby Mustang Mach-E concept rides on custom 20-inch one-piece forged monoblock wheels with EV specific lightweight tires in the form of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.
Inside, Shelby has partnered with Recaro to develop a one-of-a-kind seat for the Shelby Mach-E concept inspired by the Mustang GT500.
On the performance front, Shelby say they are teaming up with “industry leaders” to delve into enhancements for powertrain, power delivery and range for the potential production version of the Shelby Mach-E concept. The concept shown at SEMA will be used to gauge public interest and serve as a test bed for the production version, Shelby American said.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition is the quickest Mach-E you can buy today. With 480 hp, the electric SUV accelerates from 0-60 mph (0-96 kmh) in 3.5 seconds while achieving an EPA targeted 260 miles (416 km). A 91 kWh battery and eAWD are standard on the GT range of the Mach-E, which has its price starting from USD 59,995.
The challenge for the Shelby Mustang Mach-E will definitely hinge on the battery-vs-range equation: adding batteries defeats the purpose of lightening the vehicle, and at the same time, buyers of the Shelby Mach-E will expect decent range during high performance track visits. The advancements in battery technology combined with power management is a developing story in the EV world, and Shelby would be looking to find the ideal balance between light weight and sufficient range.
Price & Release Date
Speaking of the production intent of the Shelby Mach-E, in all likelihood, Shelby will give the greenlight for such a version given its dedicated audience. In an article from November 2019 on Motor1.com, a Ford spokesperson told the publication that with the Mustang nameplate there is “always opportunity for performance variants”. The spokesperson was referring to comments made by Ford Performance Chief Program Engineer, Edwin Krenz, who stated that he was looking forward to the “challenge of applying the Shelby characteristics to an electric car.”
With the expensive carbon fiber and graphene parts in tow, we would not be surprised if the price of the production Shelby Mustang Mach-E exceeded the USD 80,000 mark. If the project does run more expensive, Ford and Shelby could also explore the option of limiting volumes to maintain a high level of exclusivity which can help the manufacturers ask for a higher price to offset the development costs. We expect to hear more about the project next year.
All images in the story are from Ford newsroom/American Shelby News section