• 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 less

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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

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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.

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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?

Don't Be Fooled – The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is Just a Shelby GT350 With a Smaller Engine
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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?

Don't Be Fooled – The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is Just a Shelby GT350 With a Smaller Engine
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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.

Final Thoughts

Don't Be Fooled – The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is Just a Shelby GT350 With a Smaller Engine
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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.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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