Mustang Mach 1 Returning for 2021, Bringing New Level of Pony Car Performance to Mustang Drivers Worldwide

Style Magazine Newswire | 6/16/2020, 9:48 a.m.

With speed, style and a name that embodies both, Mustang Mach 1 is set to roar back to life for the 2021 model year.

Courtesy of a newly designed front end and a variety of performance features borrowed from Mustang brethren such as Bullitt, GT350 and GT500, the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 will be the highest-performing Mustang built on the globally-available Gen 6 platform – with the quickest quarter-mile time and most precise steering to help meet the global demand for a Mustang built for both on-road and on-track capability.

“Mach 1 has always been that bridge between Mustang GT and higher-powered SVT Cobra or Shelby models, “said Mike Del Zio, senior vehicle dynamics engineer. “With this latest iteration, we strived to develop a track-focused package that both flatters the novice and rewards the expert.”

Packing a specially calibrated 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 480 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque, Mach 1 is a fitting celebration of a nameplate born more than 50 years ago during the muscle car craze of the 1960s. After the original Mach 1 debuted for the 1969 model year, updates followed in 1971, 1974 and 2003.

The fifth-generation version brings the brand fully into the 21st Century, 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 6-speed manual transmission previously available only on Ford Performance offerings. Drivers can also opt for an available 10-speed automatic transmission.

“Mach 1 represents everything people expect from the performance arm of Mustang – bold styling, great acceleration, the ability to customize, and a name that evokes speed,” said Nick Terzes, vehicle integration supervisor.

Recapturing the Mach 1 muscle

The updated Mach 1 look is modern and sporty, while paying tribute to the nameplate’s heritage.

The updated grille emphasizes the visual sportiness of the new front end while tying it back to the original Mach 1 with a deep 3-D mesh, shark-nosed section, and faux lamp elements. Flanking the updated fascia are new side grilles below each turn signal lamp. A low-gloss Magnetic pony badge is centered on the grille.

Magnetic and black accents throughout the vehicle provide a premium look while staying true to Mach 1’s sporty, muscular heritage, including low-gloss Magnetic mirror caps and spoiler.

New five-spoke wheels are a modern version of the Magnum 500 wheels available on the original Mach 1.

Side and hood stripes are available in three colors: Satin Black with Reflective Orange, Reflective Red or Reflective White. Exterior color options include Fighter Jet Gray, Iconic Silver, Shadow Black, Oxford White, Velocity Blue, Twister Orange, Race Red and Grabber Yellow.

Vehicles equipped with the Handling Package include a low-gloss Magnetic swing spoiler with a black gurney flap, rear tire spats from Shelby GT500, a new add-on lower splitter, new wheel lip molding, and unique wheels.

The interior includes Dark Engine-colored instrument panel with aluminum accents. Ebony seats display a premium leather accent stripe hinting at the Mach 1 heritage.

Other upgrades include new door sill plates, an updated splash screen on the 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster, a Bullitt shift knob, new instrument panel finish, and badging that displays the vehicle’s unique chassis number.

“It was great to be tasked with reviving an icon from Ford’s past – one of Mustang’s most famous nameplates – and bringing it into the 21st Century,” said Anthony Colard, exterior designer.

Mach 1: Built to perform

The Mach 1 engineering and design teams worked in tandem to develop a front end unique to Mach 1. It delivers not only the aerodynamic performance required to meet the high demands of the engine, transmission and braking systems, but also the appearance that stays true to the Mach 1 persona.

A new two-piece upper grille, lower grille and valance, and new side grilles beneath the turn signal lamps, all contribute to giving Mach 1 a signature look, but also meet more demanding aero and cooling performance requirements. The new fascia incorporates brake cooling ducts and side coolers, designed to minimize drag and lift.

The front approach angle of Mach 1 is lowered to improve track performance. A new splitter is optimized to the fascia shape, increasing front downforce and reducing drag, while rear spoilers work in concert to create idea lift balance.

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 cooler heat exchanger and pump. Pulled from Shelby GT500, the rear axle cooling system provides rear axle cooling to improve track performance. Also taken from GT500, a diffuser works in tandem with the rear axle cooling system to optimize airflow.

“We were able to maximize the aerodynamic and cooling performance with functional features not found on any other Mustang,” said Kyle Bergle, Mach 1 fascia engineer.

A new belly pan, the single most aerodynamically important change on the vehicle, extends further rearward than on a Mustang GT Performance Pack to smooth the airflow and increase the flow speed of air 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.

Under the hood, the 5.0-liter V8 is a modified Bullitt engine with an open airbox that reaches peak 480 horsepower at 7,500 rpm. The intake manifold and a new oil filter adapter are both from Shelby GT350. Engine oil cooling capability was increased by about 50 percent over a Mustang GT Performance Pack.

The 6-speed manual transmission is upgraded with rev matching and is paired with the GT350 transmission oil cooler system and Mustang GT’s twin-disc clutch and short-throw shifter. Mach 1’s manual transmission was tested to the track endurance standards of the 2012 Boss 302.

The available 10-speed automatic transmission features an upgraded torque converter to support optimized torque capability and performance. Calibration improvements deliver improved sport shift character and enhanced performance. A second air-to-oil cooler increases cooling capacity by 75 percent.

To improve ride and handling, Mach 1 features the latest MagneRide calibration, stiffer I-shaft, new EPAS calibration, stiffer bars and front springs, a brake booster from Mustang GT Performance Pack 2, 9.5-inch/10-inch split fitment wheels with Michelin PS4 tires, front and rear subframes with stiffer bushings, and a rear toe-link from Shelby GT500.

An available Handling Package includes unique-to-Mach 1 MagneRide and EPAS calibrations, stiffer front and rear springs and rear bar, tire fitment from Shelby GT350R, 10.5-inch/11-inch split fitment wheels, Michelin Cup2 tires, adjustable front mounts for track camber, unique higher downforce front splitter, and a swing spoiler with gurney flap from Shelby GT500.