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Ford Mustang Sends Sonic Boom Forth With Mach 1 Revival For 2021

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited

With more than 55 years of history for the Ford Mustang, it’s amusing that much of the car’s decades on the market is focused on the passion and enthusiasm created in the first five years of the original pony car’s history. Monikers such as GT, Shelby GT350 and Cobra Jet have been revived on numerous occasions. Ford has also celebrated the appearance of a green Mustang GT fastback in the 1968 Steve McQueen movie Bullitt with a commemorative edition vehicle twice in the past 20 years. Even if we have not experienced the Mustang’s history first-hand, the vehicle has a knack of drawing out the emotions found in fans of speed. Set to appear in its fourth incarnation for the 2021 model year, the famed Mach 1 name will again ride on the Ford Mustang in a spirited high-performance revival.

When the Mach 1 was introduced by Ford in 1969, the nameplate was instantly coveted for V-8 performance. Providing available 52 years later, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 not only recalls the glorious high-speed past but enhances it. The 2021 edition will arrive as the most powerful version of the Mach 1 ever to leave a Ford factory. Propelled by 480 horsepower, the Mustang Mach 1's power source is a finely-tuned 5.0-liter V-8 engine. Generating 20 additional horsepower more than the Mustang GT, the powerplant in the 2021 Mach 1 includes a variety of Ford Performance components from the GT350. The intake manifold, oil filter adapter and engine oil cooler allows for greater power as well as improved temperature management. The 480-horsepower engine can be paired with either a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission or the standard Tremec six-speed manual gearbox featuring rev-matching and a GT350 oil cooler unit. Heat exchangers are positioned at the side of the Mach 1 to aid cooling for the engine and transmission oil.

Aerodynamic and handling characteristics of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 are also tweaked over the Mustang GT. A two-piece upper grille and front splitter at the front of the Mach 1 edition contributes higher downforce performance along with maximizing air flow for cooling the V-8 engine. An extended underbelly pan as well as a lower diffuser assembly from the Shelby GT500 is also applied to 2021 Mustang Mach 1 for better aerodynamics. Available with manual-equipped models is a Handling Package that adds more aggressive exterior features providing a downforce improvement of roughly 150 percent over the Mustang GT outfitted with Performance Pack Level 1.  

The Ford Mustang Mach 1's suspension utilizing MagneRide calibration and stiffer components combine with a recalibrated steering system for better stability. Other equipment enhancing the handling of the 2021 Mach 1 edition includes Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 sourced brake booster and Michelin PS4 tires. Five-spoke design reminiscent to the Magnum 500 style popular with the first generation Mach 1 features aluminum construction and a Tarnished Dark paint appearance.

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited

Sharp, performance-themed styling accompanies the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 on the outside and inside. Unique, distinguishing hood and side stripes featured in Satin Black supported by accent striping. Eight primary exterior color options will be offered on the Mach 1 including a Fighter Jet Gray shade exclusive to the special edition model. A low-gloss Magnetic colour is applied to the mirror caps, rear spoiler and pony badge in the center of the grille. Inside, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 boasts unique styling touches highlighted by a Dark Spindrift instrument panel, a retro-themed white cue ball shift knob and accented Ebony leather seats. The Mach 1's interior also includes an engraved badge with an individualized chassis number.

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited

Positioned above the entry-level V-8 powered Mustangs but under the Boss and Cobra Jet models, the Mach 1 debuted in 1969. Despite its premium price compared to several other Ford Mustang trim levels exceeding $3,100 US at the time, the 1969 Mustang Mach 1 sold exceptionally well. The premiere year for the model saw it account for 72,458 units of the Ford Mustang’s total 299,824 vehicles sold. Only the base styled coupe recorded greater trim level sales than the Mach 1. 

The Mach 1 nameplate did carry over to the Mustang II (the second generation of the Ford Mustang) but immediately lacked the intensity of the earlier version. With the introduction of the Mustang II in 1974, the Mach 1 trim was the sportiest presentation of the new, smaller pony car powered by a 2.8-liter V-6 engine. Offered as a three-door hatchback, the Mach 1 package remained until the conclusion of the Ford Mustang II production in 1978. Though the second generation Ford pony car sold well, the popularity of the Mach 1 didn’t translate. 

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited


The latest appearance of the Mach 1 nameplate was during Ford’s centennial in 2003. In what was a twilight period of the Ford Mustang being constructed on a derivative of the long-running Fox platform, the 2003 Mustang Mach 1 model generated 305 horsepower from its 4.6-liter V-8 engine and featured a functional shaker hood. Coloring and graphics of the 2003 vehicle called back to the first generation model. The revived Ford Mustang Mach 1 inherited some of the sales charm of the original version with enough demand to warrant a production year in 2004 for what was intended as a limited edition vehicle. 

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is set to appear in dealerships for the spring of next year in the United States and Canada. Ford plans to once more maintain the Mach 1 as a limited edition release though the actual count has not been named. 


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