When Ford first added the Mach-1 variant to it’s Mustang lineup in 1969, the muscle car world quickly embraced and took the brand to the streets – and the track!
Now, 17 years after the brand hiatus, Ford Performance is bringing this classic and iconic name back to it’s power pony stable … and the applause, or at least the anticipation, is equally as high.
With the Shelby partnership now entering it’s fourth decade, Ford Performance has plenty of horsepower on offer to the public in the Mustang range with the Shelby GT-350, Shelby GT-350R and of course the powerhouse Shelby GT-500.
However there’s a huge leap from the base model Mustang GT to these performance beasts! A gap that was temporarily filled with the Mustang Bullitt which extended the performance and the power ratings of the Mustang GT in the theme of Steve McQueen’s famous Green Fastback of the movie with the same name.
The introduction of the Mach-1, intends to fill this gap with the car that sits above the GT and below the Shelby series in terms of performance and power options. Having said that though, the Mach-1 is opportunity for Ford Performance to showcase their inhouse performance capabilities as well as leverage huge styling potential recalling the glorious ’69 and early to mid ’70’s version classics.
Those side stripes and bonnet stripes, air vents and air-intakes, color schemes and interior styling cues are all there for Ford Performance to harvest! The front end of the 2021 Mach-1 in particular is very exciting given what appears to be grille and intake design of the pics.
But first, the car needs to be roadworthy and more importantly track worthy!
The Mach-1 will definitely be more track-ready than the Bullitt, and in terms of styling, the camouflaged pics attached indicate Shelby GT-350 & GT-500 type styling with a rear spoiler similar to those. In addition, the Mach-1 appears to have large air intakes on the grille to accommodate breathing, and large Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires to accommodate grip and stopping power – the latter perhaps being the biggest engineering challenge of the late 60’s muscle car power wars!
These upgrades could be added to the base model GT now, with what Ford Performance call the Performance Pack Level 2 for Mustang GTs, however these will be standard on the Mach-1 which will have more power than the L2 Pack currently allows.
In fact, the Mach-1 will be powered by Ford’s current 5.0-liter V-8, which, in the Bullitt, makes 480 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, so it is expected that the Mach 1’s 5.0-liter version will produce closer if not exceeding, the 500 horsepower mark.
An official launch date has not yet been released, however Ford Performance estimates that the 2021 Mustang Mach-1 will debut sometime late this year.
In regards to pricing, if the 2020 Mustang Bullitt starts at $US48,905, then it should be expected that the Mach 1 would start at $US50,000 or so. That’s around $AUD75,000 which is very reasonable for the iconic brand and the performance available with Street Legal Registration and Compliance. Whether or not a Right Hand Drive version will be made for Australia, remains to be seen. We can only hope!