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Designers Paid Close Attention To Every Detail To Make 2021 Mustang Mach 1 Special

After 17-year absence, Mustang Mach 1 needed to be special, so says Mustang design team. Modernizing a classic like Mach 1 was an immense challenge.

I absolutely love car design. It’s such a vital part of today’s automobiles. While others obsesses over the engineering or the performance (and that’s cool too), I love the entire design process of today’s vehicles from sketch to clay to camouflaged model to final product.

Part of that is due to my friendship with the late Gale Halderman, principle designer of the original Ford Mustang and most of the 1960s-era Mustangs. Gale and I had a special friendship and I even wrote about his 40 years in the Ford design studio called Mustang by Design.

I learned a lot about how cars are designed and what goes into that process. While I’m sure today’s design is more modernized with computers, much of it is the same still.

So when I saw the team at Ford Performance send out a neat story about how the Mustang Design Team crossed every T and dotted every I in order to make the Mustang Mach 1 feel special, it really resonated with me. It made me miss Gale a little, as I would’ve asked for his opinion on the car and he would’ve surely shared his opinion with me.

But, I digress. Let’s look at some of the features of the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 which is due to be released later this year.

The below information and photos were provided by the Ford Performance group for those of us in the media.

“With any program, you want everything to be perfect, but when you’re bringing back a classic like Mach 1, it is imperative,” Anthony Colard, senior advanced designer, said. “This team just kept pushing and pushing for perfection.”

After a 17-year absence, Mach 1 returns for 2021 to signal a new pinnacle of 5.0-liter V8 pony car performance. Following the lead of the original 1969 Mustang Mach 1 that bridged the gap between the Mustang GT and Shelby models, the all-new model delivers V8 power, unique functional aerodynamic enhancements, competition-capable suspension upgrades and a driver-focused cockpit.

2021 Mustang Mach 1Mustang Mach 1 Before/After Section
Badging: This modern interpretation of the classic Mach 1 nameplate was updated with a silver border to help the badge better stand out against dark-colored exterior paint.

Mustang Mach 1 grille

Lower grille: The team changed the lower grille from Magnetic Gray to low-gloss black to make the front end look “even more menacing,” according to Colard.

Mustang Mach 1 grille

Fender striping: The overall shape of the front edge of the stripe was tweaked to improve quality and production processing.

Mustang Mach 1 fender stripingAbout the 2021 Mustang Mach 1
We broke the news a long time ago that the Mach 1 was returning and would replace the beloved Bullitt. Now that the Bullitt and GT350 are no longer produced, Ford replaces those stallions with another muscle car.

And unlike some of its other vehicles, the Mach 1 isn’t going to mess around with Ecoboosts, hybrids or electrification. No, the Mach 1 will pack the power with a 5.0-liter V8 with 480 horsepower.

While continuing the reputation of the GT350 and also tipping its cap to the Mach 1’s legendary past, are components sure to appease pony car enthusiasts young and old 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.

As for the looks of the 2021 Mach 1, some purists wanted a Shaker-style hood which I think would’ve added more sex appeal and uniqueness to the Mach 1, after reading the fine details of what the Mustang design team did to the small details, I’m impressed with the Mach 1 overall (having never seen it in person).

Read more about all the details on the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 here.

What do you think of the Mach 1? Does it appeal to you? Leave me a comment and let me know.

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.


Kon (not verified)    February 19, 2021 - 11:35PM

Bit disappointed that it doesn't have the Mach1 badge on the steering wheel,which would add to its uniqueness. The Bullitt got it all correct in my opinion.

Mac McCormack (not verified)    February 28, 2021 - 4:26PM

Love the Mach 1. Order placed originally October 15, 2020. When I still didn't have a confirmed build date in February 2021, I upgraded the order to include the handling package. Still waiting for a build/delivery date, but super excited about the car.