It’s been 17 years since Ford found it fitting to use their Mach 1 titles on a Mustang. After all that time, they’ve brought the term our of retirement for a new track-focused muscle car. The 2021 Mach 1 adds some Shelby flavor to the standard Mustang GT, and it looks to be like what patient fans deserve.
The 5.0lL Coyote V8 gets a 20 horespower upgrade and a whole lot of cooling to handle 480 horsepower at 7,500 rpm. The standard transmission, a six-speed Tremec manual with added rev matching, comes from the Shelby GT350. Although they also will option a 10-speed automatic with some new calibration and torque converter.
Shelby also lend DNA from the GT350 and GT500. Namely, their higher-flowing intake manifold, oil cooler, oil filter adapter, and rear-axle oil-cooler with a second air-to-oil cooler. Thanks to these juiced-up cooling components, the Mach 1 will get %50 better oil-cooling over the normal GT, and a %75 bump in cooling capacity.
As far as appearances go, the Mach 1’s got a lot of aerodynamic improvements from the design and engineering team, that shape its style. Redesigned grilles all around, including a two-piece upper, lower, and even side grilles.
For the Performance 1 Package, Ford’s fitted matching splitters on the front and spoilers on the rear which contribute a %22 downforce improvement. On the (manual-only) Handling Package, they pushed the downforce to a %150 improvements, with even more aggressive front splitter, and new front wheel lip moldings, rear tire spats, and swing spoiler with Gurney flap.
The GT500 also lends its rear toe link to a growing list of Mach 1 upgrades that include calibrated electric power steering and MagneRide magnetorheological dampers, as well as stiffer sway bars and rear bushings.
As for wheels and tires, the Mach 1 will come with Tarnished Dark 19-by-9.5-inch five-spoke alloy wheels up front, and 19-by-10-inch wheels at the rear. They’ll ship with Michelin Pilot Sport 4s. If you opt for that six-speed Handling Package, you’ll get 10.5- and 11-inch-wide wheels instead.
All the upgrades and calibration aside, it will be up to the fans whether or not this incarnation of the Mach 1 deserves their praise.