The Legend returns: Mustang Mach 1

The Mach 1 Mustang is a bit of a legend amongst muscle car fans. It first appeared as effectively a performance trim-level on the ’69 model year Mustang. Despite the humble beginnings, it endeared itself to generations of fans thanks to its macho styling and sporting intent. In spite of the popularity, it’s been 17 years since we last saw the Mach 1 nameplate on a production car. We’ve heard rumours of the return of the Mach 1 and today we finally get to see it!

The all-new Mustang Mach 1 is, according to Ford, set to become the most track-capable 5.0-litre Mustang ever. It has a newly designed front end, plus Ford Performance parts from Mustang Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500 models. An optional Handling Package for greater at-limit handling is also available.

Under the ‘hood’ is a a 480hp version of the Coyote 5.0 V8 as seen in the Bullitt Mustang. The press release says it is specially calibrated so we’re unsure if it’ll differ much from the Bullitt motor. We do know that integrated into the Mach 1 engine are revised Shelby GT350 components including the intake manifold, oil filter adapter and engine oil cooler, increasing engine oil cooling capability by 50 percent.

Mach 1 comes as-standard with a Tremec 3160 6-speed manual transmission from the Shelby GT350. For the first time, Ford has outfitted the system with rev-matching. The gearbox is paired with the GT350 oil cooler system and the Mustang GT’s twin-disc clutch and short-throw shifter. Drivers can also opt for an available 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.

Outside the Mach 1 features unique styling to set it apart from the lesser ‘stangs. There are bespoke body graphics, a new grille that harks back to the original car and a performance orientated body-kit. Opt for the handling package and you get a larger high downforce front splitter, new front wheel lip mouldings, and a low-gloss Magnetic swing spoiler with a Gurney flap and rear tire spats from Shelby GT500.

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

Over-all the Mach 1 feels like Ford have thrown some of their fancier parts from the GT350 and GT500 at the GT model to create a more affordable performance Mustang. Therefore it is a true successor to the original Mach 1. A parts-bin special in the best possible way.

There is no news yet as to whether we’ll get it here in the UK but seeing as we got the Bullitt special edition, which this car effectively replaces, we have high hopes!!

What do you think of the Mach 1? Is it the best looking modern Mustang to date? Tell us in the comments.