autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Sandy Munro Thinks Ford Beat Tesla in Mach-E's Front Motor Design

Some people accuse Sandy Munro of being a Tesla puppet for praising Tesla's solutions most of the time. His new video shows that the engineer only tells things as he sees them, something he has repeated over and over again. The Ford Mustang Mach-E’s front motor is a good example. According to Munro, it is a much better design than that created by Tesla.
Sandy Munro Praises Ford Mustang Mach-E Front Motor Design 6 photos
Tesla Model Y Front Motor GearboxFord Mustang Mach-E Front Motor GearboxFord Mustang Mach-E Front Motor DifferentialFord Mustang Mach-E Front Motor Case With Cooling SlotsSandy Munro Praises Ford Mustang Mach-E Front Motor Design
To be fair, Munro is not sure that it was a Ford design. It seems to have come from Magna, the world’s largest supplier. Magna will produce the Ocean for Fisker and is a reputable contract manufacturer.

The first point that makes him say the front motor module is brilliant relates to its gearbox’s number of ball bearings. While the Model Y’s front motor gearbox had six, the Mach-E’s has only four. That’s 33% fewer such parts in a gearbox, which translates into lower manufacturing costs.

Most of the gears inside Ford's gearbox are one-piece forgings, which make them very robust parts “that will last forever,” according to Munro. He is also impressed with how compact and elegant the differential is. It is at least half of the size of Tesla’s differential, which shows that manufacturing innovation is not exclusive to the electric carmaker.

Analyzing the electric motor itself, Munro was glad that the stator is not bolted. It is pressed inside the case, which spares some bolts, makes manufacturing faster, and ensures a robust component. The case also has cooling slots that avoid using oil to cool it: the front motor uses the same coolant that goes into the battery pack.

Another element that really made Munro happy about the Mach-E was its front inverter. He would only have the capacitors inside it be a single component instead of the eight different parts he found, but the engineer concedes that this was probably the best they could do. The cable joining the inverter and the front motor would have also been inevitable.

The video shows that a single car can have brilliant engineering in some components and modules and really lousy solutions in other parts, such as the cooling system on the Mach-E. That happens because legacy automakers have different teams taking care of each system, and they seem not to talk to each other but rather to compete among themselves.

If the Mach-E’s front motor really came from Magna, it shows that the competition is even more extensive: it may happen between suppliers and the company’s own teams. In this case, the supplier offered the vehicle a better solution. If it was better for the front, we wonder why Ford didn’t also use it in the rear axle.

If verticalization can offer cars more homogeneous solutions, this case may show that automakers may also benefit from suppliers. If the front motor really came from Magna, it proves that it could offer something better than the carmaker’s teams could come up with. For the sake of the product and consumers, all that matters is a better, lighter, safer, and more affordable car. Sound engineering can deliver that and make guys like Munro – and us – glad to witness when it is really there.

Video thumbnail


 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories