Quick, when’s the last time you were able to actually buy a Ford Mustang Mach 1? If you answered around the 2003 – 2004 period, you’re correct, as it’s been nearly 17 years since the name last officially appeared on the Blue Oval’s iconic pony car. Starting in spring 2021, the Ford Mustang Mach 1 will officially return, after the company teased its development in late May.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 builds on the GT, with parts borrowed from both the Shelby GT350 and GT500 to create what is meant to be the most track-focused GT yet. The new Mach 1 uses a Shelby GT350 intake manifold and throttle body, as well as an oil filter adapter and engine oil cooler from that model. Coupled with a specific calibration, 5.0-liter Coyote V8 manages 480 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
What’s different in this case, though, is that the Mach 1 uses the Tremec 3160 six-speed manual transmission from the Shelby GT350, instead of the Getrag MT82. Ford also says it fitted the transmission with an automatic rev-matching system, as a complement to the Mustang GT’s twin-disc clutch and short-throw shifter. As for the 10-speed automatic transmission, Ford installed a second air-to-oil cooler that boosts cooling capacity by 75 percent.
For three-pedal enthusiasts who don’t want the help, Ford did not mention whether drivers could disable the rev-match system on their own.
Parts the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 takes from the GT500 focus on cooling. Engineers added two side heat exchangers from the Shelby — one to cool engine oil and one to cool transmission oil — as well as a rear axle cooling system and rear diffuser borrowed from the top-dog 760 horsepower Mustang. The Mach 1’s rear subframe, stiffer bushings and rear toe-link also come from the GT500.
The “Handling Package” takes it one step further
For those seeking the most hardcore Mach 1, Ford is selling a Handling Package paired exclusively with the manual transmission. The option includes a larger front splitter, new wheel lip moldings, as well as a swing spoiler with a Gurney flap and rear tire spats from the Shelby GT500.