Ford revives fabled Mustang Mach 1 badge

Special edition for US and Canada features retro-inspired styling and Shelby engine components.

Ford has revived the historic Mach 1 nameplate for a new limited edition of the Mustang with 358kW and 570Nm, bespoke styling and a track-focused chassis set-up.

Ford says the new addition to the range “bridges the gap” between the standard Mustang and the high-performance GT350 and GT500 tuned by American outfit Shelby.

As with previous Mach 1 Mustangs, the latest iteration is set apart from the standard car with a performance-oriented bodywork package, the most obvious element of which is its bespoke ‘shark-nosed’ front end, which has been designed for optimum aerodynamic efficiency and features a unique 3D grille, mock retro-style light designs and new air intakes. Together with an extended underbody chassis tray, the improvements mean the Mach 1 offers 22 per cent more downforce than a Mustang GT with the Performance Pack.

Low-gloss trim elements, including the mirror caps, spoiler and badges, are said to “provide a premium look”, and a bespoke set of 19-inch, five-spoke aluminium wheels are inspired by the Magnum 500 items worn by the original Mach 1.

The Mustang Mach 1 takes its power from an uprated version of the Mustang’s 5.0-litre V8, with 22kW and 41Nm increases coming courtesy of an intake manifold, oil cooler and oil filter adapter borrowed from the Shelby GT350.

Performance figures are yet to be confirmed, but the aerodynamic and mechanical tweaks mean the Mach 1 is likely to comfortably beat the standard car’s 4.3sec 0-100km/h time and 250km/h top speed.

As standard, the Mach 1 sends its power to the rear axle by way of a six-speed manual gearbox – also a Shelby item – which has been equipped with rev-matching, and is mated to the twin-disc clutch and short-throw gearstick from the Mustang GT. A ten-speed automatic gearbox is available as an optional extra.

An optional Handling Package, available only with manual cars, brings a larger front splitter, reshaped front wheel lip mouldings, a Gurney flap and tyre spats from the Shelby GT500 – helping to increase downforce by an additional 128 per cent over the Mustang GT. The wheels are wider, too, up from 9.5-inch to 10.5-inch at the front and 10in to 11in at the rear.

Additional upgrades include a pair of side-mounted heat exchangers to keep the engine and gearbox oil cool on track, a stiffer steering shaft, newly calibrated power steering, performance-biased Michelin PS4 tyres and stiffer rear subframe bushings.

The interior is largely identical to that of the standard car, save for aluminium trim accents, new door sill plates, a white ‘cue ball’ shift knob and engraved badging throughout.

Buyers opting for the optional Appearance Package can have their car painted in a bespoke shade ‘Fighter Jet Grey’, and can specify reflective bonnet and side stripes in red, white or orange. Standard colours include Race Red, Grabber Yellow and Twister Orange.

The Mustang Mach 1 is set to arrive in US and Canadian dealerships from spring 2021, with no indication that it will come to Australia. “The Mach 1 news is specific to the US,” said Ford Australia.

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