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2021 Mustang Mach 1: The Legend Returns With V8 Power

Mach 1 will return to the Mustang lineup for 2021 model year. Will feature 5.0-liter V8, and be most track-capable Mustang ever, according to Ford.

As I first reported late last year, the Mach 1 will make its glorious return to the Mustang stable after a 17-year hiatus. The last time Ford had a Mach 1 was in the 2003-2004 model year.

When the official press release showed up in my inbox, I was very excited to find out that despite having a brutal 2020 financially, that plans for the Mach 1 have not been scrapped. And from the press release, the Mustang legend Dave Pericak, director of Ford Icons, said it so well.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 grille

“Mach 1 has a special place in Mustang history, and it’s time for this special edition to claim the top spot in our 5.0-liter V8 performance lineup and reward our most hardcore Mustang enthusiasts who demand that next level of power, precision and collectability.”

It’s outstanding to see such respect paid to Mustang heritage since Ford seems to have gone off the rails a little regarding Mustang heritage, watering down the brand by putting the pony logo on the Mach E and discontinuing the GT350 and the Bullitt.

Pericak clearly wants to assure Mustang enthusiasts that true pony car performance is alive and well at the Blue Oval.

“Like the original, the all-new Mustang Mach 1 will be true to its heritage, delivering great looks and as the most track-capable 5.0-liter Mustang ever,” Pericak said.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 fastbackMach 1 Heritage
Mach 1 debuted for the 1969 model year and immediately carved out its place in the Mustang lineup, delivering performance and improved dynamics with its GT handling suspension. In the years that followed, Mach 1 saw improved performance versus Mustang GT and was more attainable than Shelby and Boss variants.

“Mach 1 has always been that bridge between base Mustangs and the Shelby models,” said Ted Ryan, heritage brand manager, Ford Archives. “From a style and handling perspective, the original Mach 1 managed to stand out as unique, even in the Mustang lineup – and as the name implies, it could really move.”

Two years after its debut, Mach 1 with its competition suspension hit the streets in 1971 longer and larger than the original, with an assortment of powerful engine options. In 1974, Mach 1 again saw major changes, reimagined for the first time as a hatchback. This Mach 1 generation enjoyed a five-year run and beefed up its handling capabilities more with an optional Rallye Suspension Package.

Brembo brakes on 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 12021 Ford Mach 1 details
No details of actual horsepower or pricing is available, but we do know it will have Brembo front-disc brakes to help with on-road performance. Ford’s press release about the Mach 1 ended perfectly by saying:

“The all-new 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is set to return as the most track-ready 5.0-liter Mustang ever, once again delivering design magic while adding to its performance legacy.”

This is music to the ears of all Mustang enthusiasts. The Mustang is the longest-running nameplate on the road today. That’s a crown it wears proudly. Recently, the Mustang was named world’s best-selling sports car and best-selling sports coupe.

Surely, this will be something that drives excitement within the Mustang community. There are some exciting things happening with the Mustang brand, that don’t involve an all-electric crossover. There’s talk of a an all-wheel drive, V8 hybrid coming in 2022 and Ford Performance created a one-off all-electric Cobra Jet that makes 1,400 horsepower.

It’s great to see Mustang heritage still embraced and supported by Ford. The pony is still running wild!

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.