Ford has brought back the Mustang Mach 1 nameplate for the range topper of the new MY2021 line-up. It’s been 17 years since the last Mach 1, and Ford says this new one is the ‘pinnacle of style, handling and 5.0-litre V-8 pony car performance’.
The Mach 1 is said to bridge the gap between the regular GT and the Shelby models with Ford saying this will be the most ‘track-capable 5.0-litre Mustang ever’. That’s thanks to enhanced aerodynamics and pilfering parts from the Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT500. And there’s an optional ‘Handling Package’ for what Ford calls ‘greater at-limit handling’.
The V8 gets a re-cal, the 5.0-litre with a ‘projected’ 480hp rating (357kW), peak power arriving at 7000rpm. There should be 569Nm of torque too. It gains a few bits from the GT350 like the intake manifold, oil filter adapter and engine oil cooler, which is said to increase engine oil cooling capability by 50 per cent.
The Mach 1 will come standard with a Tremec 3160 six-speed manual from the Shelby GT350 but gains rev-matching here. It also has the trans oil cooler from the 350, a short-throw shifter and the GT’s twin-disc clutch. However, you can still get your Mach 1 with an auto if you must, the ten speeder gaining an upgraded torque converter and a unique calibration.
The car wears styling reminiscent of the original, seen up front with the retro-inspired grille. The new 19-inch five-spoke alloys are said to be a modern interpretation of the Magnum 500 style wheels, though we can’t quite see it ourselves. Opt for the Handling Package and you’ll get wider 19-inch x 10.5-inch front, and 19-inch x 11-inch rear wheels, while the body styling mimics that of the RTR cars with a higher downforce front splitter, front wheel lip moldings, and the Gurney flap spoiler and rear tyre spats from the Shelby GT500.
Ford says the Mach 1 features 22 per cent more downforce than a Mustang GT with a Performance Pack while the downforce improvement jumps to approximately 150 per cent with the Handling Package. The underbody gets an extended belly pan to increase air flow under the car and also helps channel air to the brakes.
With track work in mind, there are two additional heat exchangers up front – one for the engine oil, the other for the transmission oil – while the rear axle gets the same cooling system as the GT 500. Suspension enhancements include stiffer sway bars and front springs, the latest tune for the MagneRide adaptive dampers, stiffer rear subframe bushes and rear toe-links from the Shelby GT500. The steering has been retuned to suit, the brake booster improved and it rolls on Michelin PS4 rubber.
The interior features unique colours and trim, including a white cue ball shift knob and badging that displays the vehicle’s chassis number. Ford is calling it a limited edition model, and will be available in the US in Q2 of 2021. No word yet how many will make it here just yet.