Ford Mustang Mach 1 review

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Perception

What is?

It’s been a long time since a Mach 1 has appeared in the Mustang lineup. And more than five decades since the huge original appeared. There were also several versions of land yachts in the early 70’s. But the mission of the Mach 1 has always been the same: to be a faster, better looking and more maneuverable version of the Mustang GT.

You might be tempted to think it’s a replacement for the now-dead Shelby GT350 in the US, but it’s not. It’s more the heir to the 2012 Boss 302 Mustang on steroids than the smaller Shelby, the latter being a special V8 with carbon wheels and a crossover crank. Look closely and you’ll see that the 2021 Mach 1 is one of the biggest hi-fi hits in the parts bin in the current Mustang lineup.

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So what do I get in a current generation Mach 1?

At its heart is a 5.0-liter V8-powered Mustang GT, but the Mach 1 features stiffer front and rear suspension stabilizer bars, a Torsen limited-slip differential, additional clamps, six-piston Brembo brakes and a high-performance radiator. flow. But it is far from everything.

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Ford engineers also added the rear subframe from the GT350 and GT500, which provides firmer, more precise handling with its stiffer frame and tighter bushings. They then fitted a set of awesome MagneRide active shocks as standard. Elsewhere, there’s also a differential cooler and rear diffuser from the GT500.

Sounds pretty serious…

This is where the key features of the standard Mach 1 end and the optional Handling Pack begins. Available only on the six-speed manual and not the automatic, this adds wider, lighter, offset 19-inch wheels, a rear spoiler with the GT500’s Gurney fin, adjustable upper strut mounts, and a more aggressive front splitter. Crucially, it also adds a set of Michelin Cup 2 tires, instead of the Pilot 4S.

However, tuners and wheel manufacturers take note that this package is not available on Mach 1 outside of the US, so we’re sure there’s demand for something similar. It makes a big difference in the handling and grip of the car.

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What about the engine?

The Mach 1 Coyote V8 continues the path best charted by the rest of the car. It uses the same upgraded engine from the Bullitt, which produces an additional 20bhp more than the standard GT, bringing the total to 480bhp using the GT350’s larger throttle body and intake manifold and an open airbox. Once again, this is in the United States. In the UK our cars are slightly out of tune. Although 454bhp is still nothing to sniff at.

Transmission choices are a ten-speed automatic or the GT350’s Tremec TR-3160 six-speed cue ball-actuated manual. The Mach 1 performs better than its Shelby sibling by also offering rev-matching and no-rise shifting.

Cosmetically, you can see a Mach 1 from afar thanks to its noticeably wider and deeper front side grilles and dual pop-out nostrils for aftermarket fog lights. Other telltale items are the five-spoke wheels and the offered Mach 1 Appearance Package and badging.

How much will it cost me?

There is a full purchase tab in this review for a reason, you know. But if you need an answer here, UK prices start from £57,075. That compares with the entry point of £47,075 for a V8-powered GT.

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What’s the verdict?

Quicker and better handling than the GT, but is it worth the high premium?

The Mach 1 was designed to fill the gap between the Mustang GT and the Shelby GT350 or GT500. And judging by this criterion, it is a success. It’s noticeably quicker, more maneuverable, and generally neater than the GT. And it’s not as exotic as the US-exclusive Shelbys.

But it’s a lot of change more expensive than the standard GT – £10,000 before you start adding options. Of course, you get the excellent MagneRide shocks, more power, and the option for that manual with rev-matching. But it doesn’t feel that different unless you actually do it, especially without the Track Pack features. However, it looks fantastic.

Our advice? Buy the standard GT and spend the savings on stickier tires and fuel for life. Or maybe even a compressor…

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