The 2021 model year sees the return of the Mach 1 nameplate to Ford’s Mustang family. The modern Mustang Mach 1 is due in showrooms next spring with a starting price of $52,915, including destination.
Ford announced pricing on Wednesday. The day is significant as it’s 73 years to the day that Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier, i.e. went beyond Mach 1, in the Bell X-1.
The new 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 won’t be able to reach the speed of sound, which is about 767 mph in case you were wondering, but Ford claims the car will offer the best track performance of any 5.0-liter Mustang in the car’s history.
Ford’s Mach 1 nameplate dates back to 1969, when the then-new model split the difference between the Mustang GT and the Shelby Mustangs. That’s also true today, though sadly there’s only the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 for 2021 as the GT350 and GT350R are being discontinued after 2020.
So, what are looking at with the Mach 1? The car is powered by the tweaked 5.0-liter V-8 used in the Mustang Bullitt, with the same 87-millimeter 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 come from the GT350, here with added rev-matching, and buyers also have the option of 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, should improve track endurance.
The Mach 1 also benefits from suspension elements from the GT350 and GT500. The front and rear subframes and rear toe link both come from the GT500. The front springs are stiffer than the current GT Performance Pack 1 springs, and it gets 33 mm front and 24 mm rear hollow sway bars, which are 1 mm and 2 mm thicker, respectively. It also has 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.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 and 1969 Mustang Mach 1
Exterior changes improve the Mach 1’s cooling capability and aerodynamic properties. Up front, the fascia shape boosts cooling by more than 50% from the current Mustang 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 uses 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.
Ford said overall downforce is increased by 22% over the current PP1 Mustangs. The Handling Package is offered only with the 6-speed manual transmission and comes 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%. The Handling Package also gets 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.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
The Mach 1 also has cosmetic upgrades to help set it apart from other Mustangs. The mirror caps and front Mustang badge are flat black, and the car comes 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 isn’t offered. An optional Appearance Package is available with a new Fighter Jet Gray color (as well as the orange stripes) and Ford offers 10 colors in total. Two 19-inch wheel designs are available as well; the standard car comes with 19×9.5- and 19×10-inch five-spoke dark aluminum wheels, and the Handling Package’s 19×10.5- and 19×11-inch wheels sport a dark spider web design.
Inside, the Mach 1 has 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.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is a limited-edition car, and even though it won’t be in showrooms until next spring the order books are already open, meaning you may want to act fast in order to secure one.