1 2
Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/24/19 3:49 p.m.

Published on Jalopnik, it's a pretty good tech dive on the vehicle.

https://jalopnik.com/a-look-at-the-engineering-behind-the-2021-ford-mustang-1839911078

A few things that pop out at me.

That coaxial gearbox is pretty cool, and really good packaging. That's one compact drive unit when you realize you can relocate the electronics. Who's going to package one of these things in a live axle housing? C'mon! Do it!

Big batteries can deliver more power faster which means more horsepower. Can we run supercaps to give a really hard hit when required?

Using the motor waste heat to warm the batteries is excellent.

There's so much power being shuffled around that all the electronics are water cooled.

Aero is even more important with EVs than it is with ICE cars, and there are new options available.

The thing doesn't really have door handles, it has poppers triggered by a button like a hot rod. There's stored power in the doors in case of main power failure. Ford says this is to remind people how cool the car is and it helps with packaging. I'm hoping the electric door release thing is a fad.

 

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed UltraDork
11/24/19 4:07 p.m.

Pretty cool. I for one really embrace the EV advancement.  Looking forward to the coupling of solar cells on that flat surfaces to recharge the batteries as you drive around or as the car sits outside. I know it's a cost/weight thing but things are moving along quite nicely. Hoping my next vehicle will be an EV. 

Shadeux
Shadeux Reader
11/24/19 5:10 p.m.

I'm impressed with Ford bringing it with such an advanced product to the market. I think GM threw all of it's brain cells at the C8 (may be totally a home run) but I'm wondering if GM is going to be caught out on the EV front.  Once people are offered from the big three a real EV then I think people are going to go for it. The Mach-E may be the catalyst. 

Jay_W
Jay_W Dork
11/24/19 5:55 p.m.

If John B. Goodenough, who invented RAM and the lithium ion bettery, is right, then his next gig, the solid state glass battery, is gonna be a game changer. Watching with interest. 

buzzboy
buzzboy HalfDork
11/24/19 6:13 p.m.

You could extend the range of an EV by having as few electric nannies and automation as possible, right? Maybe give us manual mirrors, manual windows, no central locking.... wait a minute I'm falling into a cliche again aren't I?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/24/19 6:37 p.m.

I think there will be a Next Big Thing coming for batteries for a long time. We'll see if that one pans out. We know for sure the Ford is happening :)

The problem with solar cell recharging is simple real estate. Based on the size of the 100W panel on the roof of my VW, there's room for maybe 400W of panels at most on a big car. Meanwhile, the best EVs use about 250W to travel a mile. So if you're moving at more than 3 mph, you're outrunning the solar cells. At 60 mph, you're sucking down 15 kWh while the cells are producing 0.4 kWh. If you're driving a Jaguar I-Pace, your consumption is more like 28 kWh.

Parked, you've got that 0.4 kWh recharging rate which is better than nothing. If you park for 8 hours, that means you can recover a 13 mile drive (that's pretty cool). But that's assuming you're parked in full sun with clean panels, a single shadow from a tree branch will drop the output of the complete panel fairly dramatically.

GM has thrown some brain cells at the Bolt, but I don't think that's the car that's going to bring EVs (further) into the mainstream. If you want to do that, you need to sell on more than just compact and efficient. 

I think I'm most excited about that coaxial transmission motor/trans combo. Love the packaging.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/24/19 6:38 p.m.
buzzboy said:

You could extend the range of an EV by having as few electric nannies and automation as possible, right? Maybe give us manual mirrors, manual windows, no central locking.... wait a minute I'm falling into a cliche again aren't I?

None of those things use power continually, so you're probably better off railing against in-car WiFi and loud stereos :)

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
11/24/19 7:47 p.m.

I kinda feel like someone at ford was quietly watching the electric change occur before making a move, unlike Nissan trying to jump into the market second to get ahead as fast as possible.

Having door poppers is interesting, though I admit I too am a little put off by it.

buzzboy said:

You could extend the range of an EV by having as few electric nannies and automation as possible, right? Maybe give us manual mirrors, manual windows, no central locking.... wait a minute I'm falling into a cliche again aren't I?

Keith Tanner said :

None of those things use power continually, so you're probably better off railing against in-car WiFi and loud stereos :)

 No, but they do WEIGH more than the standard, and that eats up my mileage! Which is why each EV I own will have no carpet, no paint and all my windows will be pulled up with a belt laugh

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/24/19 8:08 p.m.

IIRC the Lotus Elan went with power windows because they were lighter :P 

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
11/25/19 6:01 a.m.
Shadeux said:

I'm impressed with Ford bringing it with such an advanced product to the market. I think GM threw all of it's brain cells at the C8 (may be totally a home run) but I'm wondering if GM is going to be caught out on the EV front.  Once people are offered from the big three a real EV then I think people are going to go for it. The Mach-E may be the catalyst. 

The base Mach E has specs similar to the Chevy Bolt, which has been on sale since 2017 model year. So GM has been selling an EV wtih competitive specs and tech for a few years already. Where they screwed up, is that they brought that EV tech to market in a small, FWD hatchback that's kind of dorky looking. And they haven't spread that EV tech into anything else for the US market yet that might sell better.

The Mach E is basically what the Bolt should have been as far as vehicle type and layout. It's got better styling, better performance, the option of AWD and a CUV bodystyle that should appeal to more people than a small hatchback does.

Dave M
Dave M HalfDork
11/25/19 6:36 a.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

I kinda feel like someone at ford was quietly watching the electric change occur before making a move, unlike Nissan trying to jump into the market second to get ahead as fast as possible.

Having door poppers is interesting, though I admit I too am a little put off by it.

buzzboy said:

You could extend the range of an EV by having as few electric nannies and automation as possible, right? Maybe give us manual mirrors, manual windows, no central locking.... wait a minute I'm falling into a cliche again aren't I?

Keith Tanner said :

None of those things use power continually, so you're probably better off railing against in-car WiFi and loud stereos :)

 No, but they do WEIGH more than the standard, and that eats up my mileage! Which is why each EV I own will have no carpet, no paint and all my windows will be pulled up with a belt laugh

Yeah no, Ford had no EV plans and then they fired the CEO and the new one was all like, mobility EV future buzzwords buzzwords....

Dave M
Dave M HalfDork
11/25/19 6:40 a.m.

In reply to STM317 :

This. People want their cars to have some style! Everyone took the wrong message away from the Prius. People bought Priuses despite the looks because it was the only game in town. The Bolt, yes, it had the range for the price but literally nothing else.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
11/25/19 7:22 a.m.

Even with the power electronics package, these look like they've got a very low profile. This looks small enough that if you put the larger drive unit under the hood of your typical FWD econobox, you could make a platform on top it and use the hood as an extra trunk.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
11/25/19 7:43 a.m.

Is the Bolt built on a similar rollerskate or is it conventional unibody? I was just reading a VW article and they said they they can reduce assembly costs of EV's something like 40% by going with a common skate rather than  putting electronics in a conventional unibody. I've wondered why they haven't done a second small SUV on the Bolt platform. 

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
11/25/19 7:55 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

There is a CUV, Bolt platform mate, it's just for the Chinese market right now.

 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
11/25/19 7:59 a.m.

In reply to STM317 :

What?  Why isn't Chevy selling that here? 

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
11/25/19 8:02 a.m.

The Menlo in the pic is built in China, so perhaps some tariffs and things come into play. Supposedly GM will have a new Bolt-based vehicle built in Michigan soon, but GM is gonna GM

mtn
mtn MegaDork
11/25/19 8:38 a.m.

Ugh. If there is one thing I'll be a Luddite about, it is simple door handles to get in and out in an emergency. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/25/19 9:41 a.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

Even with the power electronics package, these look like they've got a very low profile. This looks small enough that if you put the larger drive unit under the hood of your typical FWD econobox, you could make a platform on top it and use the hood as an extra trunk.

Those are 19" wheels with a decent sidewall on them. Figure roughly a 28-30" tire diameter. I'm going to guess the height of the package is in the range of a typical 2.0 four cylinder. It looks like the Mach-E has a cooler-depth frunk that is completely in front of the motor. I'd love to see the packaging of the heat exchangers.

  But slide those electronics off and put them beside the drive unit, and now it's about as tall as a strong differential.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
11/25/19 10:16 a.m.

So, doesn't ever automatic transmission have a coaxial gearbox? So this has just the gearset without the bands and drums. I mean, it's a good thing to do, but it's not novel.

 

Third (or fourth) against the weird doorhandles. Solving a problem that nobody has. You can make them aerodynamic without making them dangerous. AMC did it a few years back.

Rons
Rons Reader
11/25/19 10:16 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I believe I read in the bumpf that Mach E has cooler drains and a seating set up so one can "front bumper."

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/25/19 10:23 a.m.

Not everything has to be invented out of thin air. Maybe automatics have a coaxial design, I don't know. I know they're big and are full of black magic and voodoo. This is using the design to make a small and very compact setup, taking advantages of attributes that aren't available in an ICE like the ability to run a driveshaft through the middle of the motor. IIRC the Bolt uses this setup as well. I like seeing engineers trying to figure out how to use electric motors well instead of "just like an ICE, but electric".

The flush door handles on the Model 3 are basically the same as those on the original GT40 (and undoubtedly others, but I saw them on a GT40 a couple of weeks ago). Flush and mechanical. It's not new at all. Ford going on record saying they did it for the cool factor is disappointing. Also, with that emergency power supercap in the door, there is the potential for some real excitement if you're working inside that door.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
11/25/19 10:27 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Don't misunderstand, a planetary gearset at the end of a motor is the obvious right choice for packaging and efficiency. Touting it as a new design feature is disingenuous.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/25/19 10:38 a.m.

I don't think anyone's touting it as new, it's a feature of the thing that was mentioned in the Jalopnik article. Jalop noted that this setup is shared with the Taycan and the I-Pace (not the Bolt, my apologies). I have not trolled through all the Ford press releases to see if they're announcing it as groundbreaking. I personally like it, and I've said so. But I'm not touting it as a new feature either.

engiekev
engiekev Reader
11/25/19 11:06 a.m.
STM317 said:
Shadeux said:

I'm impressed with Ford bringing it with such an advanced product to the market. I think GM threw all of it's brain cells at the C8 (may be totally a home run) but I'm wondering if GM is going to be caught out on the EV front.  Once people are offered from the big three a real EV then I think people are going to go for it. The Mach-E may be the catalyst. 

The base Mach E has specs similar to the Chevy Bolt, which has been on sale since 2017 model year. So GM has been selling an EV wtih competitive specs and tech for a few years already. Where they screwed up, is that they brought that EV tech to market in a small, FWD hatchback that's kind of dorky looking. And they haven't spread that EV tech into anything else for the US market yet that might sell better.

The Mach E is basically what the Bolt should have been as far as vehicle type and layout. It's got better styling, better performance, the option of AWD and a CUV bodystyle that should appeal to more people than a small hatchback does.

Well said.  If GM instead offered a vehicle package more akin to the MachE and styling similar to the Blazer (call it an eBlazer?) it would have hit the mark much better. 

From other reads, it sounds like Ford was going in a similar direction with the MachE by push of the beancounters to make it more of a "prius fighter" but luckily some soul got put back in it.  It still seems the MachE is a weird compromise of styling and platform to appease the SUV trendy market.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
lXqeSZTninSHMzKLnc0lO1iCJSP6uGDbKtgofJp8R98IOtp0NsWAeHyn60d4z7YO