The Ford Mustang stable gains a new, but familiar face as the Mach 1 will return for the 2021 model year. This isn’t breaking news, as we’ve known since December that this was happening, as I first reported.
But little else, outside of speculation had been known regarding the Mach 1, until now. Ford released many of the details regarding the 2021 Mach 1. And the details should brighten the hearts and offer excitement for Mustang enthusiasts as the Mach 1 will have a V8 and also come with a manual transmission option.
In Ford’s press release they claim that the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is the most track-capable 5.0-liter Mustang ever. That’s a bold prediction. Some speculation thought the Mach 1 might exceed 500 horsepower, so while the 480 hp offered from the 5.0-liter V8 is a good number, it falls short of that magic 500 horsepower number.
“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.”
Let’s take a look at the power and performance numbers of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1.
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 Some Of the Mach 1 Styling
Some enthusiasts were disappointed to see a lack of a shaker hood or the rear louvers, that were synonymous with the Mach 1. But the special grille for the 2021 will surely help add personality, along with performance, to the Mach 1.
Ford nailed it with the styling (minus the hood and louvers).
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 Grille Engineered, Designed For Performance
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.
When Will The 2021 Mustang Mach 1 Be Available?
According to Ford, the 2021 Mach 1 will arrive in the U.S. and Canada in the spring of 2021. As of now, there are no production delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How Much Will The 2021 Mustang Mach 1 Cost?
This information, of course, is not available. It’s expected that the Mach 1 will start around the $50,000 price level.
It’s exciting to see Ford push a true performance muscle car again, rather than the Mach-E stealing all the Mustang limelight. Getting the Mach 1 back in the stable is exciting and I think there will be a great deal of consumer excitement for this in the Mustang community, I believe.
But let’s hear from you. What is your level of excitement over the Mach 1? Leave me a comment and tell me what you like about it.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.