It’s been 17-years since we’ve seen a Mustang Mach 1 on dealer lots. That dry spell is about to change with the introduction of the 2021 Mustang Mach 1! With over 50-years of heritage, the Mach 1 has a lot to live up to.
The 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is a unique blend of performance and style. With a specially tuned V8 under the hood, top-spec suspension components underneath, and unique aerodynamic enhancements throughout. Ford says “the all-new Mustang Mach 1 is set to become the most track-capable 5.0-liter Mustang ever.” This unique performance-oriented V8 Mustang continues to slot in between the Mustang GT and Shelby Mustang models.
The 2021 Mach 1 is slated as a “limited-edition” model, but no word on exactly what kind of production numbers it will be limited to. Let’s dive into what we do know about this new pony car and find out what it’s really all about.
Mustang Mach 1 Heritage
It’s now been over 50-years since the first Mach 1 was delivered. In its first model year, 1969, the legendary car set 295 speed and endurance records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. It also managed to win back to back SCCA Manufacturer’s Rally Championships in ’69 and ’70. This legendary Mustang model has some serious pedigree!
The Most Track-Capable 5.0L Mustang Ever
The all-new Ford Mustang Mach 1 is set to be a true track day weapon. Not only does it get big power, but it also gets some serious handling upgrades.
Under the hood, you get a “specially calibrated” 5.0-liter V8. In production trim, the Mach 1 should be putting out about 480 hp and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine gets components off the Shelby GT350 for optimum performance. It gets the intake manifold, oil filter adapter, and engine oil cooler. This combo increases engine oil cooling by 50-percent.
In the handling department, the all-new Mustang Mach 1 also gets some help from its Shelby stablemates. It gets a redesigned more aerodynamic front end, Ford Performance parts off the GT350 and GT500 models, and an optional Handling Package upgrade as well. All 2021 Mustang Mach 1 will get the latest MagneRide suspension, “a stiffer steering I-shaft, new EPAS calibration, stiffer sway bars, and front springs, a brake booster from the Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2, a rear subframe with stiffer bushings and a rear toe-link from Shelby GT500.” Who else is itching to feel what all this adds up to through the seat of your pants?!?!
The Handling Package is only available with the standard manual transmission. The package “includes a larger unique higher downforce front splitter, new front wheel lip moldings, and a low-gloss Magnetic swing spoiler with a Gurney flap and rear tire spats from Shelby GT500.” No word on the pricing of this package, or the car, just yet.
Manual Trans Standard!
The Mach 1 is a true driver’s car. The standard transmission is a Tremec 3160 6-speed manual, the same found in the Shelby GT350. For the first time, it also offers a rev-matching system. No more heel-toe downshifts for you! The system also integrates the Mustang GT’s twin-disc clutch and a short-throw shifter. Might this be the crispest manual shifting Mustang ever?
If you sit in traffic often, or just don’t want that third pedal, a 10-speed automatic is also on offer. It is fully upgraded to handle and lay down the big torque that the Mach 1 produces. Cooling capacity is also increased 75-percent, by way of a second air-to-oil cooler.
2021 Mustang Mach 1 Styling
Just like the original the new 2021 Mach 1 has a deep mesh grill buried in its shark-nose. While the original has real driving lights in the grille, the new car only has “faux lamp elements.” While they look good, I’m not a fan of fake parts, especially on such a great looking vehicle.
The 2021 Mustang Mach 1 also gets some big unique wheels. Standard is 19″ x 9.5″ up front and 19″ x 10″ out back five-spoke “Tarnished Dark” painted aluminum wheels. On the Handling Package equipped cars you’ll get wider, 19″ x 10.5″ and 19″ x 11″, wheels. Both of these new Mach 1 specific wheels harken back to the classic Magnum 500 style wheels of the past.
Styling on the Mach 1 is defined by true aerodynamic and cooling upgrades throughout. These upgrades help keep the car planted and running cool on track, while also helping give it it’s unique aggressive looks. Up front you get a two-piece upper grille, lower grille and valance, front splitter, and new side grilles. Out back there is a unique rear spoiler and a lower diffuser of the Shelby GT500. Underneath, a new aerodynamically tuned underbelly pan runs most of the length of the car. It offers impressive downforce and brake cooling. The 2021 Mustang Mach 1 offers 22-percent more downforce than a top-spec Mustang GT, and nearly 150-percent more if you option the Handling Package.
Also on the outside, the new Mach 1 gets satin black side and hood stripes, with reflective accent stripes in either red, white, or orange. Under those stripes you can choose a host of body paint colors; Fighter Jet Gray (Mach 1 exclusive), Iconic Silver, Shadow Black, Oxford White, Velocity Blue, Twister Orange, Race Red, and Grabber Yellow. There is no doubt this is a Mach 1, as there is a logo that says so when you look at the car from any angle.
Inside the 2021 Mustang Mach 1
Inside the 2021 Mach 1 you get a host of unique touches that let you know this is no ordinary Mustang. A white cue ball shift knob, new door sill plates, and engraved badge displaying the car’s unique chassis number, and an updated splash screen on the LCD instrument cluster all let you know this is a special car. The instrument panel even features a unique “Dark Spindrift” paint with aluminum accents. If you choose the leather interior you also get an accent stripe on the Ebony seats, which is a throwback to the car’s heritage.
Sadly for now, we’ll just have to drool on these photos and specs. The 2021 Mustang Mach 1 won’t hit North American dealerships until Spring of 2021.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the Mach 1 was named in celebration of Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier? I didn’t either, but how cool!