What to Expect When Driving a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Many drivers have, at some point or another, found themselves behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang. The Mustang Mach 1 has laid dormant for 17 years; therefore, it goes without saying that the world premiere of this model in 2021 will be an event worth noting. Many people are excited to feel the power and speed that this car is going to provide.
So what is it about the Mach 1 that gets the blood pumping faster? Perhaps it’s the specially calibrated 5.0L V8 track-ready engine that lurks beneath the hood. Churning out a projected 480 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 420 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm, this high-performance, track-ready engine is paired to the same manual transmission as the Shelby GT350- a manual Tremec TR-3160- along with the Mustang GT’s twin-disc clutch. If automatic is more your game, the 10-speed SelectShift transmission can be optioned in, along with a specific sport-shift programming and upgraded torque converter.
Designed for Power
Of course, not even the speed experts at Ford can shove an engine of that size and power under the hood and drive off. Every last component of the 2021 Mach 1 has been specifically designed for performance. The fascia and rear spoiler have been precision-tuned for the ideal level of lift and balance. The underbelly pan is 20 inches longer than that on a Mustang GT, which increases the airflow for the front of the vehicle. Meanwhile, the underwings and airfoils in the brake cooling ramps demonstrate a brand first in helping create and improve the overall downforce of the Mach 1 while keeping the brakes cool under pressure.
What does this mean to drivers? In layman's terms, a whole lot of speed and an incredible level of fun. In more detail, it means the 2021 Mach 1 has been very specifically and precisely designed to launch smoothly, brake effectively, and drive smoothly every second of every lap. While the new Mach 1 is most comfortable on the track, where drivers can let it all out, it’s nimble and reliable enough to stop at the convenience store for a loaf of bread on the way home. In fact, with a car this powerful and well-designed, it will be hard for drivers to not show off, at least a little bit.
Sharing the Shelby Bloodline
Ford has designed the new Mach 1 to claim the top spot in the 5.0L V8 performance lineup. The company wants to reward the hardcore Mustang enthusiasts with a whole other level of power and precision that anyone would want to add to their collection. This car is designed to look amazing and run like a dream.
The Mach 1 seems to owe quite a bit of its performance range to its cousins, the Shelby GT350 and the Shelby GT500. The intake manifold and oil cooling system come directly from the Shelby GT350, with the intention of keeping engine oil from overheating while that 480 horsepower packs a punch. Two side heat exchangers have been borrowed from the Shelby GT500, with one intended to cool engine oil and the other to keep the transmission oil cool. The lower diffuser and rear axle cooling system are also a nod to the GT500, along with the rear subframe details and rear toe-link.
Extra Performance Packages
Early specs indicate that many drivers will be keen to choose the optional Handling Package, which includes a full range of race-inspired features borrowed from the Shelby stable. This includes the Tremec 3160 6-speed manual transmission mentioned earlier, along with a front splitter that helps create greater downforce, and the same Gurney flap and rear tire spats used on the GT500. Adding the Handling Package improves downforce by approximately 150 percent, according to early figures, making it an easy choice for those who maintain a certain level of respect for gravitational forces and aerodynamics.
Still, you don’t need to be a physics major to appreciate the improved speed and control that has been engineered into the Mach 1. Since its original release in 1969, the Mustang Mach 1 has always been intended to fill the performance and price point just below the Shelby. The very first models claimed 295 speed and endurance records in 1969 and 1970 at the Bonneville Salt Flats. The 2021 version is set to compete with its ancestors, offering modern track performance, state-of-the-art technology, and a sleek, classic, retro appearance. For those drivers who can’t swing a Shelby, the Mach 1 steps up with its enviable bloodline and all the speed basics, so every driver can have a turn in the fast lane.
That Mach 1 Look
Just one look at the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 tells any discerning driver that this is a force to be reckoned with. From every angle, it’s obvious that aerodynamics play a huge part in the overall appearance of the Mach 1. That being said, Ford has taken great care to pay homage to the model that started it all.
Staying true to the sharp shark-nose grille section, Ford has decked out the front of the Mach 1 with low gloss magnetic and black accents. That includes Satin Black hood and side stripes, with reflective details in red, white, and orange. Drivers will have a choice of bold exterior colors, such as Shadow Black, Velocity Blue, Twister Orange, Race Red, and Grabber Yellow. The body sits stealthily upon 19-inch Tarnished Dark aluminum wheels, a nod to the classic Magnum 500 wheels of days gone by.
That Mach 1 Feel
Inside the cabin are ebony seats with horizontal accent stripes. Recaro seats are optional, and those who choose the manual transmission will be treated to a white cue-ball shifter for that retro appeal. Still, modern features, such as a 12.3 inch LED display, remind drivers that this is a new age and that the cabin is filled with the latest and greatest in modern technological advances.
Though it might be track-ready, the Mach 1 is equipped with the convenience features any driver craves, including the Ford Sync 3 infotainment system, featuring voice controls and integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It is also equipped with Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assistance features, such as automatic high beams, blind spot detection with cross traffic alerts, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and automatic emergency braking to help mitigate forward-facing collisions.
Combining the power and grace of the 1969 classic version with the impeccable technology and aerodynamics of the 21st century, the comeback of the Mach 1 is poised to be the automotive performance event of the year. The Ford brand has been invested in speed and performance since its founding in 1901. The time has finally come for the Mach 1 to hit the tracks yet again, perhaps with more rally championships in its future. Is the world ready for the 2021 Mustang Mach 1? Well, ready or not, the Mach 1 is headed to the United States and Canada in Spring 2021. With its suave-yet-aggressive appearance and genetically engineered need for speed, the Mach 1 seems to be the performance-based pony car the world has been craving.