2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 brings back the historic badge
It'll serve as the gateway drug between normal Mustangs and the hi-po Shelby models.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
When rumors swirled that
would revive the hallowed Mach 1 moniker on an electric vehicle, you could feel the fanboy resentment through the series of tubes that comprises the internet. Then the Mach E came out, nobody had a problem with the name and we all moved on with life. But now, the Mach 1 is officially coming back in a way that probably won't irk anyone.
Ford on Friday confirmed that it will revive the
Mach 1 trim. Arriving this spring, the Mach 1 will serve as a bridge between the naturally-aspirated V8 Mustangs of the world and the higher-performance insanity that Shelby-branded 'Stangs bring to the table. Ford calls it "the most track-ready 5.0-liter Mustang ever," which is an expectation lofty enough to earn a NASA mission patch, but one that Ford can deliver on.
Beyond that chest-beating, Ford hasn't offered up much in the way of Mach 1 information. It did, however, include some teaser images with the announcement. The camouflaged prototypes in these teasers look properly beefy, with honkin' circular intakes on either side of the grille, in addition to some more front-end tweaks we're not yet privy to.
Out back, we have four big tailpipes below a wing that's surprisingly modest for a car that will likely pack quite a punch. The Brembo brakes hiding behind the Mach 1's wheels pretty much fill the wells, and its rollers are wrapped in properly stuck Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 performance tires.
Currently, the gap between GT and GT350 is occupied with the Bullitt, a special-edition Mustang that throws it back to the Steve McQueen days while throwing a bit more capability into the mix than the average GT. It's unclear if the Mach 1 will replace the Bullitt or live alongside it, but with its debut in the not-too-distant future, we won't have to wait long to find out.
The last Mach 1 to grace our presence arrived for the 2003 and 2004 model years. While any discussion of the next Mach 1's powertrain will be pure speculation, for context's sake, the standard 2020 GT puts down 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, while the Bullitt sees a higher horsepower value at 480. With the Shelby GT350 bringing 526 hp to the party, it'll be intriguing to see where the Mach 1 can carve out some room for itself. Considering the GT500 is meant for the track and only packs a dual-clutch automatic transmission, it'll be intriguing to see what Ford's drivetrain team has in store for the Mach 1, too.