The Mustang Mach 1 returns after 17 years with cool looks and Bullitt power

It’s been 17 years since Ford last offered a Mach 1 version of the Mustang, and the iconic nameplate finally returned. After it skipped the fifth-generation pony car, Ford revived the Mach 1 for the sixth-gen model, almost seven years after it debuted in late 2013. A bit late, we would say, but it’s better late than never. Just like its predecessors, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 combines a bold styling package with a beefed-up V-8 engine borrowed from the regular GT. Let’s see what it’s all about below.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Reveal Video

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 looks just as cool as the original

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Has Arrived To Make Everything Right In the World Exterior
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Styling-wise, we could say that the Mach 1 bridges the gap between the GT and the Shelby GT350. Although it retains the familiar looks of the Mustang GT, it boasts a more aggressive stance that reminds of Shelby-badged Mustang. And it combines all of the above with a few unique features. Ford revised the front end for the Mach 1. New elements include a grille with a deep 3D mesh, a shark-nosed section, and faux lamp elements that harken back to the original Mach 1. It also includes new side grilles, a unique splitter, and a pony badge finished in Magnetic (that’s Ford talk for grey). The Magnetic accents extend to other elements of the body, including the mirror caps, the rear spoiler, and the "Mach 1" badges on the front fenders.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Has Arrived To Make Everything Right In the World Exterior
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The Mach 1 rides on 19-inch wheels specifically developed for this model. They’re finished in Tarnished Black and feature a five-spoke design that harkens back to the iconic Magnum 500 wheels. Opt for the Handling Package and the Mach 1 comes with a larger front splitter for enhanced downforce, a rear wing spoiler with a Gurney flap, and rear tire spats from the Shelby GT500.

Overall, the aero upgrade of the Mach 1 improves downforce by 22 percent compared to the Mustang GT with the Performance Pack Level 1.

With the Handling Package, the Mach 1 benefits from 150 percent more downforce. Impressive!

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Has Arrived To Make Everything Right In the World Exterior
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This new muscle car is available in eight colors. While seven are shared with the regular Mustang, Ford offers a Mach 1 exclusive Fighter Jet Gray hue. However, this color only comes with the Appearance Package. As far as go-fast stripes go, they’re in Satin Black only, but you can combine them with accent stripes in red, white, or orange.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1’s interior is more of the same with some unique features

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Has Arrived To Make Everything Right In the World Interior
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Interior upgrades aren’t as extensive but include aluminum accents on a dashboard finished in Dark Spindrift. There’s an ebony finish with accent stripes for the seats, a white cue ball shift knob, and an engraved badge with the vehicle’s chassis number. Other Mach 1 goodies include new sill plates and a splash screen for the infotainment display. Not as exciting as the Shelby GT350, but at least it’s not as dull as the regular Mustang GT.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 comes with Bullitt power and Shelby components

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Has Arrived To Make Everything Right In the World Exterior
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Just like its predecessor, the modern Mach 1 packs more punch than the Mustang GT, however, it doesn't come with a unique power rating.

Ford says the 5.0-liter V-8 has been updated to deliver 480 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque and that’s identical to the Mustang Bullitt. However, the Mach 1 pumps an extra 20 horses and compared to the Mustang GT, while torque remains the same. Compared to the Shelby GT350, the Mach 1 lags behind by 46 horsepower and just nine pound-feet of twist.

But that’s not to say that the Mach 1 is a Bullitt model under the shell. While the Bullitt is restricted to the six-speed manual transmission, you can buy the Mach 1 with the 10-speed automatic as well. The six-speed comes from the GT350, and, for the first time, it’s paired with a rev-matching system. The optional 10-speed automatic features an upgraded torque converter, unique calibration, and a second air-to-oil cooler that increases cooling capacity by 75 percent.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Has Arrived To Make Everything Right In the World Exterior
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The list of performance components borrowed from the Shelby GT350 includes the intake manifold, oil filter adapter, and engine oil cooler, while the rear axle cooling system and diffuser come from the Shelby GT500. The Mach 1 also features a new underbelly pan that extends 20 inches further rearward than on a Mustang GT Performance Pack. This upgrade improves aerodynamics by increasing the airflow under the front of the car.

The Mach 1 is also more dynamic on twisty roads thanks to a revised MagneRide calibration, a stiffer steering I-shaft, new EPAS calibration, and stiffer sway bars and front springs. Ford also added a brake booster from the Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2, a rear subframe with stiffer bushings, and a rear toe-link from the Shelby GT500.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Has Arrived To Make Everything Right In the World Exterior
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So how quick is the 2021 Mustang Mach 1? Well, Ford hasn’t released performance figures yet, but it’s safe to assume that it’s at least as quick as the Mustang Bullitt. The latter needs 4.6 seconds to hit 60 mph, so the Mach 1 could do it in 4.5 ticks. The automatic transmission could reduce that to 4.4 seconds. Top speed should be similar to the Bullitt at 163 mph.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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480 horsepower limited-edition Mach 1 sets a new standard of 5.0-liter V8 track-ready performance in the Mustang lineup while celebrating original model’s aggressive aerodynamic and handling enhancements
Six-speed manual transmission from Ford Performance and an available 10-speed automatic transmission provides capability on and off the track; available Handling Package delivers even more on-track
Exterior styling cues include a new front fascia and grilles for both improved cooling and aerodynamics; low-gloss magnetic and black accents as well as hood and side-body stripes with reflective surfaces celebrate Mach 1 heritage dating back more than five decades
DEARBORN, Mich., June 16, 2020 – After a 17-year hiatus, the all-new Mustang Mach 1 fastback coupe makes its world premiere – becoming the modern pinnacle of style, handling and 5.0-liter V-8 pony car performance.
“Bold styling, great acceleration and speed – Mach 1 says it all,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s chief operating officer. “This is one of those special Mustangs that truly brings a smile to the faces of our owners, enthusiasts and fans – including me – so there’s never been a better time to bring back Mach 1 and have it go global too.”

Ford’s quest for speed began with Henry Ford in 1901 and the company’s roots within aerospace only furthered its desire to deliver quicker, faster and more powerful vehicles. Calling back Chuck Yeager’s feat becoming the first to break the sound barrier – Mach 1 – Ford delivered its original Mach 1 in 1969, setting 295 speed and endurance records in its first model year at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Thanks to its added handling capability, Mach 1 teams earned back-to-back SCCA Manufacturer’s Rally Championships in 1969 and 1970.

Like the original, the all-new Mach 1 bridges the gap between Mustang GT and Shelby® models, delivering V-8 power, unique functional aerodynamic enhancements, competition-capable suspension upgrades and a driver-focused cockpit.

All-new Mach 1 muscle

The all-new Mustang Mach 1 is set to become the most track-capable 5.0-liter Mustang ever, courtesy of a newly designed front end, plus Ford Performance parts from Mustang Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500 models and an available Handling Package for greater at-limit handling.

Packing a specially calibrated 5.0-liter V8 engine that has a projected 480 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm, Mach 1 is a fitting celebration of a nameplate born more than 50 years ago.

Integrated into the Mach 1 engine are revised Shelby GT350 components including the intake manifold, oil filter adapter and engine oil cooler, increasing engine oil cooling capability by 50 percent.

The all-new version leans on decades of Ford Performance learnings, wearing a uniquely crafted front end for aerodynamic efficiency and a host of Ford Performance parts that help celebrate its iconic heritage. Mach 1 comes standard with a Tremec™ 3160 6-speed manual transmission from the Shelby GT350. For the first time, Ford has outfitted the system with rev-matching and the transmission is paired with the GT350 oil cooler system and Mustang GT’s twin-disc clutch and short-throw shifter.

Drivers can also opt for an available 10-speed SelectShift™ automatic transmission with an upgraded torque converter and unique calibration that enables optimizing torque capability, shift character and overall enhanced performance. A second air-to-oil cooler increases cooling capacity by 75 percent.

Recapturing Mach 1 style

The all-new Mach 1’s grille harkens back to the original with a deep 3-D mesh, shark-nosed section and faux lamp elements. Flanking the fascia are new side grilles below each turn signal lamp. A low-gloss Magnetic pony badge is centered on the grille. Low-gloss magnetic and black accents throughout the vehicle provide a premium look while staying true to Mach 1’s bold, muscular heritage, including low-gloss Magnetic mirror caps and rear spoiler.

New 19-inch x 9.5-inch, and 19-inch x 10-inch five-spoke Tarnished Dark-painted aluminum wheels are a modern version of the classic Magnum 500 style wheels. Handling Package vehicles come standard with unique, wider 19-inch x 10.5-inch front, and 19-inch x 11-inch rear Tarnished Dark-painted aluminum wheels.

The Handling Package – exclusively available with the Tremec™ 3160 6-speed manual transmission – also 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.

Satin Black side and hood stripes are included with reflective accent stripes in any of three colors: Red, White and Orange (Appearance Package only). Exterior color options include the Mach 1 exclusive Fighter Jet Gray (Appearance Package only), as well as Iconic Silver, Shadow Black, Oxford White, Velocity Blue, Twister Orange, Race Red and Grabber Yellow.

The interior features a unique Dark Spindrift instrument panel with aluminum accents. Ebony seats with an accent stripe hint at Mach 1 heritage in cars equipped with a leather interior. Other interior upgrades include new door sill plates, an updated splash screen on the 12.3-inch all-LCD instrument cluster, a white cue ball shift knob, and engraved badging that displays the vehicle’s unique chassis number.

Mach 1: Built to perform

The Mach 1 engineering and design teams worked in tandem to develop a front end unique to the Mach 1 persona that also meets the high aerodynamic demands of the engine, transmission and braking systems.

A new two-piece upper grille, lower grille and valance, and new side grilles, all contribute to Mach 1’s signature look and more demanding aero and cooling performance requirements.

A front splitter optimized to the fascia shape improves track performance and provides a more aggressive appearance, while a matched rear spoiler works in concert to create ideal lift balance. Mach 1 features 22 percent more downforce than a Mustang GT with Performance Pack Level 1 and the downforce improvement jumps to approximately 150 percent with the Handling Package.

To enhance track endurance, the team added two side heat exchangers – one to cool engine oil, the other transmission oil – as well as a rear axle cooling system and lower diffuser from Shelby GT500.

A new underbelly pan, the vehicle’s most aerodynamically important upgrade, extends 20 inches further rearward than on a Mustang GT Performance Pack to smooth and increase the airflow under the front of the car. Large underwing features in the belly pan increase downforce, while special belly pan airfoils in the brake cooling ramps improve downforce and assist the brake cooling flow – a first for Mustang.

To improve ride and handling, Mach 1 features the latest MagneRide calibration, 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, 9.5-inch/10-inch split fitment wheels with Michelin PS4 tires, a rear subframe with stiffer bushings and a rear toe-link from Shelby GT500.

The all-new and limited-edition 2021 Mustang Mach 1 will arrive in U.S. and Canadian Ford dealerships in the spring of 2021.

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