2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 turns one thing borrowed into anything new

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 feels familiar from the moment I climb into it, which is to be expected. While the constrained-edition Mustang is a new design this year, all of the factors are from vehicles I have analyzed just before, combined in a witch’s cauldron to develop a magic potion of general performance. Even the title is borrowed as Mach 1 is a revived nameplate that first released in 1969 and was past applied in 2004 on the fourth-technology car or truck.

We are now in the Mustang’s sixth era, and with the Bullitt and GT350/GT350R discontinued for 2021, Ford necessary a little something to fill the room amongst the Mustang GT and the Shelby GT500. The Mach 1 rips down sections from each shelves. The engine, twin-disc clutch, and brief-toss shifter arrive from the Mustang GT, even though the Tremec 6-speed handbook transmission is swiped from the GT350. The GT500 donates a variety of suspension, aerodynamic, and cooling elements for monitor responsibility. 

A total day of screening on the monitor at Willow Springs Raceway and the encompassing streets unveiled a car that is not just thrown together out of the components bin, but a cohesive and observe-prepared Mustang that hits the sweet spot at the overall performance end of the Mustang lineup.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Mach 1 designs that includes the accessible appearance deal ($1,000) are the least complicated to spot, with special fighter jet grey paint, orange accents within and out, orange brake calipers, and an ebony/orange inside to boot. Mach 1 badging sits on each and every front fender. 

The tail is highlighted by four massive exhaust strategies, which challenge the V-8’s monstrous bellow into the earth. The Mustang is marketed throughout the world now, and the Mach 1’s exhaust was made to toe the highest decibel line as carefully as it could in many international locations but stay authorized in all places. The exhaust note isn’t as distinct as the tune performed by the GT350’s flat-plane-crank V-8. It is closer to what you get in the common GT, but with included gusto and it even now seems appropriately coarse and sizeable. 

The 5.-liter V-8 would make 480 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, a boost of 20 hp over the standard Mustang GT and a match for the Mustang Bullitt’s output from a calendar year back. The 6-velocity guide transmission arrives standard, with a 10-speed automated optional. Electric power flows to the rear wheels and the rear wheels by itself.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

This motor is a more than inclined dance lover. It will get into the electrical power quickly for a by natural means aspirated engine, and the throttle mapping is location on for both equally avenue and observe. This degree of dexterity is challenging to pull off for an motor that nears 500 hp, but kudos to Ford for generating it truly feel very controllable in all predicaments. 

I blistered the track in equally the manual and automated, and every was fantastic in its own way. With the automatic in Monitor mode, I did not come to feel the need to grab for the paddle shifters in any situation the Mach 1 appeared to be in the appropriate equipment on entries and exits, and held to in the vicinity of redline on the straightaways. When I did select my have gears, the transmission was very responsive and stored up with many pulls of the paddles in swift succession. Even so, I identified it challenging to maintain monitor of 10 gears in my head when I was trying to emphasis on driving clean laps.

Ford had take a look at drivers on hand who mentioned they were putting down similar lap moments with the computerized and the manual, while for all those of us who are not specialists the automated will be more quickly. 

Nevertheless, the manual is a lot more entertaining, many thanks to two vital attributes: rev-matching and no-lift shifting. 

No-carry shifting is a little something to behold. With the engine charging difficult around 5,000 rpm and the throttle pushed down at least 90%, you clutch in, keep the throttle pinned, and change gears. I’m employed to backing off the gas when shifting, but if you do that the throttle won’t be open much more than enough to prevent the transmission from locking out the up coming equipment when you endeavor a no-lift shift. The moment you do it the right way, it’s supremely enjoyable to arrive out of a corner into a straight and just pin that gasoline pedal to the floor. It operates amongst all the gears, but is most beneficial for shifts involving next and third and third and fourth. Individuals two performance characteristics, alongside with properly described gates, easy-to-function clutch pedal, and the very great cue-ball shifter are sufficient to make me desire the handbook.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

It’s telling that we analyzed the Mach 1 on the tighter, a lot more complex Streets of Willow somewhat than Willow Spring’s larger observe. The two straightaways were being ample to get a come to feel for the Mach 1’s means to establish pace (and no-lift shifting), but the tighter corners uncovered a motor vehicle that carries on to chip absent at the stereotype of the Mustang as a issue-and-squeeze muscle mass motor vehicle that gets missing in the bends. 

I was grateful that the Mach 1s I examined on monitor showcased the $3,500 Dealing with Package deal. It features a bigger front splitter that gives 150% additional front downforce than a Mustang GT Functionality Pack, as well as a greater spoiler, rear tire spats from the GT500, and most consequentially, wider 19×10.5-inch entrance and 19×11-inch rear wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Activity Cup 2 tires. I did not arrive shut to tests out the 2 mph get in leading speed (from 166 to 168 mph with the handbook) but the extra grip from people tires and the large jump in downforce created the Mustang really feel planted on the observe. The nose never ever twitched when turning in at speed, and I detected no trace of understeer. 

The entire deal can make the Mach 1 approximately flawless on the keep track of. It doesn’t have very the of the outgoing GT350, but 480 horses is plenty. The GT350/GT500 suspension factors make a big difference when compared to a GT PP2 as it feels another degree sharper on switch-in. Regardless of whether accelerating or carving up corners, the Mach 1 just feels extremely stable even however the globe is passing by quite swiftly. A lot of vehicles assert that you can travel them to the observe, engage in, then travel property the similar day. The Mach 1 is a ideal case in point of that great.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

On the street, the Mach 1 feels much more or much less like a standard GT with the Performance Package deal. My road tester was stripped of the Handling Package, but the steering even now imparted a great deal of highway come to feel and the Michelin Pilot Activity 4S tires are still a good match for any canyon highway. The typical adaptive magnetic dampers do a superior occupation of tailoring the Mach 1 to match its atmosphere it’s relaxed in Tour mode and notably organization in the Activity+ and Monitor modes. 

The Mustang Mach 1 begins at $52,915, about $8,000 a lot less than the outgoing GT350 but much more than the Bullitt’s $48,905 beginning MSRP from final yr. It’s a wonderful price when you think about that a Mustang GT with the Effectiveness Deal, adaptive suspension, and an active exhaust expenses $52,400. I’d much relatively pony up the added $515 to purchase the far better auto. If you do approach on tracking your Mach 1, the Managing Offer is a no-brainer for $,3500.

Ford has not claimed how several Mach 1s will be crafted, only that the model combine (transmission, deals, and many others.) will be determined by demand from customers and that orders continue to be open in advance of its on-sale date later on this spring.

Though the Mustang loses some types for 2021, the one particular it gains back is an absolute blast. The Mach 1 borrows from the autos it replaces to give a thumping soundtrack and a superior amount of monitor general performance. Though its electrical power figures are good, the pony car’s stand-out functions are its certain-footed dealing with and trackability. What a superb equipment.

Ford delivered examination cars and keep track of-time at Willow Springs Raceway for Motor Authority to convey you this first-hand drive report.