Some people laugh at the “Built Ford Tough” slogan, but the Ford Motor Company prides itself on its extensive, bizarre stress tests. In fact, Ford may be a little too proud of these tests. The company is telling everyone that it’s put the Mustang Mach-E, its first mass market electric car, through several weeks of robotic butt torture … including the sweaty bottom test.
Most electric vehicle manufacturers grab headlines with beautiful photos and stunning vehicle specs. But Ford is taking a very different approach with the Mach-E. Last month, the company debuted a disgusting gasoline-scented perfume to try and garner attention. Now, it’s talking about robot butts.
Ford’s robotic butt machine, called Robutt, is actually several years old. And the idea behind Robutt is pretty simple—a big robot arm repeatedly pushes a big robot buttocks onto a car seat, simulating years of use and abuse.
The above video from 2017 shows Ford’s Robutt in action. The company says that its robotic butt stress test takes several weeks to complete and provides insight into both durability and comfort. Ford takes things a bit further with its disgusting “sweaty bottom test,” which is exactly what it sounds like.
Along with its Robutt torture tests, Ford puts its cars through intense pressure washers to simulate years of bi-weekly washing. The company also barrels its cars down gravel roads at 60 MPH to see how much paint will chip off.
Orders for the Mustang Mach-E opened in April 2021, and Ford says that units will start shipping this fall. You can order a Mustang Mach-E on Ford’s website (there’s a $7,500 federal tax credit, by the way) or learn more about the company’s stress tests at its blog.