Ford claims the reborn 2021 Mustang Mach 1 will offer the best track performance of any 5.0-liter Mustang in the car's history.
The Ford Mustang Mach 1 name dates back to 1969, when the then-new model split the difference between the standard GT and the Shelby models.
When it goes on sale next spring, the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 will be powered by the tweaked 5.0-liter V-8 used in the Mustang Bullitt, with the same 87-mm throttle body and same output ratings of 480 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 420 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. The 6-speed manual transmission and its oil cooler will come from the Shelby GT350, here with added rev-matching. The Mach 1 will also be offered with the Mustang GT's 10-speed automatic with an air-to-oil cooler. Additional heat exchangers for the engine oil and transmission oil, plus the rear axle cooling system from the GT500, will improve track endurance.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 and 1969 Mustang Mach 1
The car will benefit from suspension elements from the Shelby GT350 and GT500 Mustangs. The front and rear subframes and rear toe link will both come from the GT500. The front springs will be stiffer than the current GT Performance Pack 1 springs, and it will get 33 mm front and 24 mm rear hollow sway bars, which are 1 mm and 2 mm thicker, respectively. It will also have a stiffer steering shaft, a tweaked version of the MagneRide suspension to balance ride comfort with performance, the brake booster from the Mustang GT Performance Pack 2, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.
Exterior changes will improve the Mach 1's cooling capability and aerodynamic properties. Up front, the fascia shape boosts cooling by more than 50 percent from the current GT. The two-piece upper grille, lower grille, lower valance, and front splitter are all unique, and Ford adds side blanks in the outboard air intakes for better airflow.
At the rear, the Mach 1 will use the rear diffuser from the GT500, a standard rear spoiler will balance the front aero, and cars with the available Handling Package will cut through the wind with the "swing" spoiler and removable Gurney flap from the GT500. A new underbelly pan extends 20 inches farther rearward than on Mustang GT PP1 cars and adds underwings and airfoils, the latter to improve downforce and help cool the brakes.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Ford says overall downforce will be increased by 22% over the current PP1 Mustangs. The Handling Package will be offered only with the 6-speed manual transmission and come with a higher downforce front splitter, front wheel lip moldings, and the rear tire spats from the GT500, all to help increase downforce by 150 percent. The Handling Package will also get adjustable strut top mounts, stiffer rear springs and even stiffer front springs, a solid rear sway bar, and the Michelin Pilot Cup 2 tires from the GT350R.
The Mach 1 will also have cosmetic upgrades. The mirror caps and front Mustang badge will be flat black, and the car will come with satin black side and hood stripes outlined in red, white, or orange. The shaker hood scoop that became a signature of the car in the late 1960s and early '70s will not be offered. An optional Appearance Package will be available with a new Fighter Jet Gray color (as well as the orange stripes) and Ford will offer 10 colors in total. Two 19-inch wheel designs will be available as well; the standard car will come with 19x9.5- and 19x10-inch five-spoke dark aluminum wheels, and the Handling Package's 19x10.5- and 19x11-inch wheels will sport a dark spider web design.
Inside, the Mach 1 will have unique door panel inserts, a splash screen with model-specific graphics, a white cueball shift knob, a dash plate with the chassis number, and Mach 1 door sill plates.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 will be a limited-edition car, but Ford isn't saying how limited it will be. Pricing hasn't been released, but a Ford representative said it will fit between the GT and the Shelby models. There are hints that the Mach 1 could replace the roughly $45,000 Performance Pack 2 option. It also comes with the engine from the $48,900 Bullitt, though not its styling upgrades. With that extra power and performance, we expect the price to be around $50,000.
Look for full pricing as well as performance figures closer to the car's launch next spring.