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    Trading ‘Roar’ for ‘Whir’: The Alan Mann Racing eMustang’s First Impressions

    Unbelievable Transformation: Mustang Muscle Car Goes Electric and Confounds Expectations

    In a stunning turn of events, the iconic 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1, known for its powerful V8 engine and rebellious nature, is making way for an electrified version of its 1965 counterpart. This bold move is being spearheaded by Alan Mann Racing (AMR), a British team renowned for its dominance in motorsport during the 1960s. The decision to electrify a classic muscle car may seem perplexing at first, but upon closer examination, it becomes clear that this transformation represents a new era of automotive innovation.

    The workshop at Alan Mann Racing is buzzing with excitement as the electrified Mustang, known as the Alan Mann Legacy ePower Mustang, emerges. Onlookers are stunned by the absence of the roaring V8 and the distinct aroma of burning fuel. Instead, the faint hum of electrical systems can be heard as the car comes to life. This is a new breed of Mustang, one that combines the nostalgia of the past with the promise of a sustainable future.

    Alan Mann Racing, founded in 1964 by its namesake after impressing Ford with his racing success, quickly became a formidable force in motorsport. The team achieved numerous championship victories, solidifying their status among the racing elite. However, Ford’s strategic shift away from performance-focused vehicles in 1969 led to the discontinuation of AMR’s operations. Alan Mann himself turned his attention to aviation, leaving behind a legacy that would remain dormant for several decades.

    It wasn’t until 2003 that the spark of racing ignited once again for AMR. Reviving their operations for historic motorsport, the team found themselves drawn to the concept of a Mustang restomod. With their expertise in racing Mustangs and a desire to explore new frontiers, the idea of electrifying a classic muscle car seemed like the perfect challenge.

    The journey towards the electrified Mustang began when Henry and Tom Mann, sons of Alan Mann, were invited by Ford to witness the unveiling of the Ford GT Alan Mann Heritage Edition. During this event, they encountered a modified 1978 F-100 pickup fitted with an electric powertrain from a 2021 Mustang Mach-E GT. The overwhelming interest in this electrified vehicle sparked an idea in the Mann brothers’ minds – they could create an electrified Mustang that bore the Alan Mann Racing name.

    Working in partnership with Nick Mason, a former Ford engineer and founder of EcoClassics, AMR embarked on a year-long development process to bring their vision to life. The result is a prototype that retains the classic appearance of a 1965 Mustang while harboring an electric heart. Beneath the surface lies an off-the-shelf inverter, motor, and battery management system, all sourced from China. The batteries, designed specifically to fit the Mustang, are strategically placed for optimal weight distribution.

    With a 77kWh battery and the capability for AC and DC charging, the Alan Mann Legacy ePower Mustang boasts a touring range of up to 220 miles. Rapid DC charging allows the battery to charge from 20 to 80 percent in just 40 minutes. The electric powertrain delivers an impressive 300bhp and 310Nm of torque, propelling the Mustang from 0 to 60mph in 5.2 seconds and reaching a top speed of 97mph.

    Taking the electrified Mustang for a spin on rain-soaked roads, the absence of engine noise is striking. However, the Mustang’s performance is far from lackluster. Thanks to AMR’s expertise in building racing Mustangs, the electric version exhibits impressive traction and delivers a brisk acceleration. The suspension has been upgraded to independent double wishbones with coilover dampers, resulting in a smoother and more controlled ride. The modern rack-and-pinion steering provides a precise and confident feel, even if it may be considered slightly heavy for some drivers.

    As I navigate a roundabout, the Mustang’s limits of grip are put to the test. Surprisingly, the electric muscle car handles exceptionally well, defying expectations. The changes made during the conversion, including additional structural bracing, result in a robust and stable driving experience. However, there is a slight resonance issue from the propshaft between 40 and 60mph, an aspect AMR is diligently working to resolve.

    Beyond its impressive performance, the electrified Mustang embraces modern conveniences. The updated instrument cluster displays vital EV information, while the touchscreen infotainment system features CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The inclusion of modern front seats, integrated seatbelts, and a charging port hidden behind the front number plate adds a touch of contemporary refinement to this vintage vehicle.

    While the retro-fit electrification of classic cars raises questions about legality and preservation of their original heritage, AMR remains committed to pushing the boundaries of automotive innovation. In the United Kingdom, extensive modifications result in the loss of the car’s original registration number, necessitating further changes to comply with regulations. However, in the United States, Alan Mann Racing’s partner, Mann ePower Cars, offers the complete conversion process for interested buyers.

    The retro-fit electrified Mustang is undeniably a curious creation that challenges the status quo of classic muscle cars. It may not appeal to purists seeking the roar of a mighty V8 engine, but it represents a step forward in sustainable transportation. With over 1.3 million Mustangs produced in the first two years alone, the conversion of a select few to electric power poses little threat to the species. It is a testament to the adaptability and enduring legacy of the Mustang that it can embrace this transformation while maintaining its unmistakable spirit.

    As the rain continues to fall and I contemplate the future of automotive technology, I am reminded that progress often comes at a price. The electrified Mustang may lack the thunderous soundtrack of its predecessors, but it opens doors to new possibilities and challenges our preconceived notions of what a classic muscle car can be. While the ePower Mustang may not be for everyone, it is undeniably an innovative and thought-provoking vehicle that paves the way for a more sustainable and exciting future.

    As I bid farewell to the electrified Mustang and reflect on the journey that led to its creation, one thing becomes clear – the Sixties may have been simpler and noisier, but the allure of progress and innovation knows no bounds.

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