The Mustang Mach 1 Returns for 2021

Photography Courtesy Ford

The Mach 1 nameplate will return to the Ford lineup for 2021, this time as a true track weapon that slots between the Mustang GT and the Shelby GT350 and GT500.

Under the hood sits a 5.0-liter V8 good for a reported 480 horsepower that will be hooked up to either a six-speed manual transmission from the Shelby GT350 or a 10-speed automatic fitted with an upgraded torque converter. 

The Mach 1 also comes with a slew of part from the Shelby Mustang that delivers beefier suspension, uprated oil cooling, and extra downforce courtesy the optional Handling Package that adds a larger front splitter and the rear Gurney flap from the GT500.

Our take? Think of it as a new-and-improved version of the Boss 302 from a few years back, just without the rear-seat delete from the Laguna Seca Package.

Expect to see the limited edition model in showrooms in spring of 2021.

Read the full release below and let us know what would be your take on the ultimate Mustang. 

DEARBORN, Mich., June 16, 2020 – After a 17-year hiatus, the all-new Mustang Mach 1 fastback coupe makes its world premiere – becoming the modern pinnacle of style, handling and 5.0-liter V-8 pony car performance.
“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.”

Ford’s quest for speed began with Henry Ford in 1901 and the company’s roots within aerospace only furthered its desire to deliver quicker, faster and more powerful vehicles. Calling back Chuck Yeager’s feat becoming the first to break the sound barrier – Mach 1 – Ford delivered its original Mach 1 in 1969, setting 295 speed and endurance records in its first model year at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Thanks to its added handling capability, Mach 1 teams earned back-to-back SCCA Manufacturer’s Rally Championships in 1969 and 1970.

Like the original, the all-new Mach 1 bridges the gap between Mustang GT and Shelby® models, delivering V-8 power, unique functional aerodynamic enhancements, competition-capable suspension upgrades and a driver-focused cockpit.

All-new 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 Mach 1 style

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: Built to perform

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.

The all-new and limited-edition 2021 Mustang Mach 1 will arrive in U.S. and Canadian Ford dealerships in the spring of 2021.

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Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
NickD
NickD UltimaDork
6/16/20 1:48 p.m.

I am severely disappointed with the lack of a Shaker hoodscoop. C'mon, Ford!

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/16/20 2:52 p.m.

I'm curious about "rear axle cooling system" is it a legitimate diff cooler? Overheating the diff on these with track work seems like it's basically a guarantee.

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
6/16/20 2:54 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

Onto which old guys at C&C will undoubetly add "Cobra Jet" badges

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
6/16/20 3:37 p.m.

Only Mach 1?  I've had a razor that's 3X as fast since the '90s.

Shadeux (Forum Supporter)
Shadeux (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/16/20 3:45 p.m.

The "Fighter Jet Gray" is an awesome color. This seems like quite a beast - perhaps equal to C7's.

Nicely done.

Run_Away (Wears Clogs)
Run_Away (Wears Clogs) Dork
6/16/20 4:00 p.m.

Where are the window louvers?!

G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter)
G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/17/20 4:26 a.m.
z31maniac said:

I'm curious about "rear axle cooling system" is it a legitimate diff cooler? Overheating the diff on these with track work seems like it's basically a guarantee.

It's a legit diff cooler lifted from the GT500.

stroker
stroker UberDork
6/17/20 6:46 a.m.

Why do they insist on releasing photos of the car compared to the original that (to me) only serve to demonstrate that the current version is only an aesthetic poseur of the original?  I fully understand that the current car will absolutely stomp the original from a performance perspective, but in terms of visual design it's not even a contest.  

11GTCS
11GTCS Reader
6/17/20 7:02 a.m.
NickD said:

I am severely disappointed with the lack of a Shaker hoodscoop. C'mon, Ford!

I'm sure "American Muscle", etc. will have that "mod" for you the second day they're on the lots.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus HalfDork
6/17/20 7:40 a.m.

I love it!  I just wish it weighed about 300 pounds less.  

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/17/20 8:26 a.m.

Only a 20hp bump over the GT? frown

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
6/17/20 8:44 a.m.
11GTCS said:
NickD said:

I am severely disappointed with the lack of a Shaker hoodscoop. C'mon, Ford!

I'm sure "American Muscle", etc. will have that "mod" for you the second day they're on the lots.

Yeah, but Dodge will let me live out my Shaker hood dreams right from the factory. 


Speaking of Dodge, it feels like Ford is taking a page out of the Challenger's book, specifically the "Offer 50 different flavors and there'll be something for any buyer" page. Now we have EcoBoost, GT, Performance Pack 1, Performance Pack 2, Mach 1, GT350, GT350R and GT500.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/17/20 8:54 a.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:

Only a 20hp bump over the GT? frown

Gen III Coyotes will hit 500whp with E85, tune, and exhaust.

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 8:59 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

The different varieties of mustangs have been available for many years.  I remember some special trim packages on SN95s. 

AaronT
AaronT New Reader
6/17/20 9:03 a.m.

The hp numbers on this car made me remember some back in the day stuff. I was 16 and a voracious consumer of car rags when Ford released the 2003 Cobra Terminator. I remember realizing we were in a new and even better golden age of horsepower. I was scared the other shoe would drop again. Then I started racing bicycles and quit caring about cars (no money) and when I started reviving my love for cars/driving the vanilla GT Mustang is throwing down 426hp, the 4 banger at 320. Stock Miatas were tickling 6 sec 0-60 runs, etc etc.

 

What a time to be alive!

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 9:06 a.m.

anybody else confused about all the different 'special' mustangs out there? Boss, bullit, mach 1, shelby, 350, 500, cobra, flat plane crank, GT, coyote, track pak, etc. Which one is fastest? Which one is actually a track car? Which one is a drag racer? Which one is the GRM performance value? Which one is just a different paint color and a wing?

All of them are just a trap to get boomers to spend money on their halo car's marketing children. And unlike the elders, I don't think these will age well. 

It's the one place my non-car friends will say "did you see the new mustang XXX?" and I'll be like "I literally have no idea what you are talking about"

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
6/17/20 9:13 a.m.
NickD said:

Speaking of Dodge, it feels like Ford is taking a page out of the Challenger's book, specifically the "Offer 50 different flavors and there'll be something for any buyer" page. Now we have EcoBoost, GT, Performance Pack 1, Performance Pack 2, Mach 1, GT350, GT350R and GT500.

I would think this car has a lot of overlap with both the PP2 and the GT350 so it wouldn't surprise me to see one or both of those go away before long.

The GT350 and the "R" have a bunch of unique sheetmetal (still using the pre-facelift nose) and a one-off engine. That seems like a lot of unique (expensive in bean counter language) parts that might make it ripe for some downsizing. Having a more common, lower strung engine without oiling issues might appeal to them as well. This Mach 1 really seems like it's more or less a GT350 with a Coyote instead of a Voodoo, and I think it's got standard brake rotors instead of the GT350s fancy 2 piece stuff. To some people that's more of a feature than a bug.

Real track guys will buy the Mach 1 over the PP2 because it gets the better transmission and has more coolers (engine oil, trans fluid, and rear dif).

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/17/20 9:29 a.m.

Daddy. Likee.  I'll take the gray one in the first photo.

I read this as the track shoes of the GT350 with an engine that isn't made of unobtainium parts with oiling issues.  Seems like a home run.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/17/20 9:44 a.m.
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to NickD :

The different varieties of mustangs have been available for many years.  I remember some special trim packages on SN95s. 

Heck yeah. Bullitts, Mach 1s, Cobras, Cobra Rs, you name it. The S197 brought the CS, another Bullitt, more Cobras, and on and on. It's nothing new.

Gen III Coyotes will hit 500whp with E85, tune, and exhaust.

Fine, but that's also true of a GT, and besides, if it's that easy, why didn't Ford do it?

I read this as the track shoes of the GT350 with an engine that isn't made of unobtainium parts with oiling issues.  Seems like a home run.

Actually, that's a really good way of looking at it. The Voodoo engine is cool and all, but I'm more than a bit scared of it. This seems like a safer (and less expensive) way to get 98% of the way to a GT350's performance.

In any case, if I were spending my money, I'd still get a GT with PP2 in a subtle color like gray and call it good. Still WAY more performance than anyone needs on the street, and none of the "look at me" graphics of the Mach 1 or GT350. Cheaper, too.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/17/20 10:31 a.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:
Gen III Coyotes will hit 500whp with E85, tune, and exhaust.

Fine, but that's also true of a GT, and besides, if it's that easy, why didn't Ford do it?

Gen III Coyote is what is in the '18+ Mustang GTs rated at 460hp. So I'm not really sure what you're getting at. Coyote engine = GT. Voodoo engine = GT350 & GT350R

Because they have things like warranty targets, EPA targets, cost targets, NVH targets, etc, they have to meet. 

The idea that 480hp out of a warrantied 5.0L street engine isn't enough, is just funny too me.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
6/17/20 10:36 a.m.
G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter) said:
z31maniac said:

I'm curious about "rear axle cooling system" is it a legitimate diff cooler? Overheating the diff on these with track work seems like it's basically a guarantee.

It's a legit diff cooler lifted from the GT500.

You can also buy it out of the Ford Performance catalog for $2500. 

 

This is a legit cool car. It's got all the trick track parts from the GT350/500 with the GT engine. I would def consider buying one. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/17/20 11:20 a.m.
DirtyBird222 said:
G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter) said:
z31maniac said:

I'm curious about "rear axle cooling system" is it a legitimate diff cooler? Overheating the diff on these with track work seems like it's basically a guarantee.

It's a legit diff cooler lifted from the GT500.

You can also buy it out of the Ford Performance catalog for $2500. 

 

This is a legit cool car. It's got all the trick track parts from the GT350/500 with the GT engine. I would def consider buying one. 

Always nice to have it installed from the factory though. 

This is what the PP2 should have been.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/17/20 12:38 p.m.
z31maniac said:

Gen III Coyote is what is in the '18+ Mustang GTs rated at 460hp. So I'm not really sure what you're getting at. Coyote engine = GT. Voodoo engine = GT350 & GT350R

Because they have things like warranty targets, EPA targets, cost targets, NVH targets, etc, they have to meet. 

The idea that 480hp out of a warrantied 5.0L street engine isn't enough, is just funny too me.

No, I get all that, it's just that in the past, the Mach 1 meant more from a horsepower perspective. The 2003 one had ~18% more power than a GT. This one has ~4% more. It takes away from the "specialness" of the Mach 1 when the power difference between it and the regular GT is essentially a rounding error.

And trust me, 480hp is PLENTY for my old ass. Way more than I can realistically use. Which is why, again, I'd just buy a GT with PP2.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
6/17/20 12:46 p.m.

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, I can see that. But all the other stuff makes it pretty special though.

Be curious to see what the MSRP is with all the goodies.

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/17/20 1:03 p.m.

yeah, I think that this is 18% more performance than a base GT. Maybe not 18% more horsepower, but 18 % more PERFORMANCE.

I also think it's a corporate admission that our current power levels are exceeding the baseline chassis and suspension spec significantly. Ford is saying, "look, another 100 HP isn't going to make it better. You need to be able to USE the power."

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/17/20 1:32 p.m.

I went and looked up the original mach 1 (just read wikipedia). Looks like it was 1969 and there were already 6 different performance models of the mustang. So really this isn't new at all. 

Also, at that time, Mach 1 meant fastback, hoodscoop, v8 (anything from lame to awesome), 'competition suspension', and other visual cues. a mach 1 could be standard spec with 2bbl 351w, 3 speed manual trans, and open diff. But those hood pins though. 

So at least now it seems to be tied a bit more to performance than it was then. 

slowbird
slowbird SuperDork
6/17/20 1:37 p.m.

Yup, this is just like peak 60s pony car stuff. The factory had tons of different stripe packages and options, and if you didn't like any of those, the dealer would invent some more. California Special, High Country Special, etc.

Some people will buy this one just because they like the stripes. Others will buy it for the performance upgrade over a GT. Nothing wrong with either one of those reasons.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy UberDork
6/17/20 1:49 p.m.
NickD said:

I am severely disappointed with the lack of a Shaker hoodscoop. C'mon, Ford!

here's some Shaker for you

 

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
6/17/20 2:41 p.m.
oldeskewltoy said:
NickD said:

I am severely disappointed with the lack of a Shaker hoodscoop. C'mon, Ford!

here's some Shaker for you

 

Yeaaahhhh. Shaker scoops, be it Ford, Mopar or Pontiac, are the best. The '03-'04 Mach 1 had the Shaker scoop, so I don't know why this new one shouldn't get one from the factory.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/17/20 3:20 p.m.
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) said:

I also think it's a corporate admission that our current power levels are exceeding the baseline chassis and suspension spec significantly. Ford is saying, "look, another 100 HP isn't going to make it better. You need to be able to USE the power."

Are they, though? Considering they make one with 760hp, I'm not so sure. laugh

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