Don’t Be Fooled – The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is Just a Shelby GT350 With a Smaller Engine
Soon, you’ll be able to have Shelby GT350 looks for $10k lessby Robert Moore, on LISTEN 04:38
The good news is that the Mach 1 name is, in fact, returning after nearly two decades on the back burner. The even better news is that it’s returning for a track-capable Mustang, the very model it was always meant for. We don’t know much about the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 yet, but it will feature a powerful and naturally aspirated, 5.0-liter V-8, and it will sit at the top of the lineup if you exclude the Shelby GT350 and GT500, of course.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Looks a Lot Like the Shelby GT350
Looking at the “official spy shots” offered by Ford, we can make out a few things about the 2021 Mach 1.
The first and – as far as looks go – most important is that it’s far more aggressive than the Mustang GT but doesn’t have the fangs offered by the Shelby GT500.
In fact, the front fascia itself is practically a carbon copy of the fascia found on the GT350 with some minor changes. The only real difference is the missing louver over the front splitter. The Mach 1 also has those two large holes in the grill – a different design than what we’ve seen on other models. The Mach 1 does have a muscular hood, however, the size of the middle bulge is much larger than that of the GT350.
With that said, looking at the rear also yields a number of similarities, with the Mach 1 you see here sporting the same rear diffuser, same spoiler and same rear fascia as the GT350. We had a feeling that the Mach 1 would be, at least in part, based on the GT350, but we had no idea that Ford was going to make a carbon copy of the GT350, slap on a different hood, and throw in a 5.0-liter V-8.
How Much Power Will the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 Have?
Ford has remained silent on the Mach 1’s performance figures, but we can do a little bit of investigation and come up with a good idea. It’s powered by the same 5.0-liter V-8 found under the hood of the Mustang GT (the Shelby GT350 and GT500 are both powered by a 5.2-liter V-8).
The Mustang GT is good for 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, so the Mach 1 has to offer more power than that but can’t go beyond the 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque offered by the Shelby GT350.
So, in order to justify calling the Mach 1 “the most track-capable 5.0-liter Mustang ever,” Ford will probably pump output up to around 485 or 490 horsepower. That, paired with the GT350’s aerodynamics would make it the most capable 5.0-liter Mustang on the track.
How Much Will the Mustang Mach 1 Cost?
The current, range-topping Mustang Fastback is the Bullet, and it starts out at $47,705 as of the time of this writing. Meanwhile, the Shelby GT350 that this car is clearly based on starts out at $60,440. A smooth middle point for Mach 1 pricing would be right around $51,000. Why $51,000? Well, the Mach 1 is based on the GT350, but it won’t be as powerful.
Pricing it much higher than $51,000 would leave Mach 1 in a place where it would be cannibalized by the GT350.
At the current price point, it wouldn’t make sense not to spend a few extra thousand to get the Shelby nameplate. So, by keeping the Mach 1 price near and dear to the $50,000 mark, consumers will be able to trade off a little power for a $10K lower price tag while keeping the GT350 looks.
The Mustang Mach 1 is set to make its debut sometime “this spring” as Ford puts it. Considering the fact that it’s already June 1st, a debut is either imminent or Ford really meant to say “this summer.” Chances are the the Mach 1 was meant to make it’s debut at the 2020 Detroit Auto Show – you know the one that was canceled – so Ford will probably do a live stream event. Either way, stay tuned as we’ll be sure to update you and more information comes to light.