The 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is upon us, and Ford has hailed it because the “pinnacle” of the non-Shelby Mustang vary. Certain, it is bought a bit extra energy and a barely extra aggressive demeanor. However what are you actually getting with the Mach 1, and is it actually the slam-dunk, top-dog Mustang that Ford says it’s? Let’s look a bit of nearer and discover out.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 vs. 2020 Mustang GT: Engine
For starters, you do get a bit of further energy within the new Mach 1 (20 extra horses for a complete of 480) thanks in no small half to numerous elements tailored from the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350—together with the consumption manifold and engine oil cooler. The latter is chargeable for an elevated cooling capability of 50 p.c, which goes to make the monitor rats blissful. Torque, nonetheless, stays the identical at 420 pound-feet. Each fashions, nonetheless, produce peak horsepower at 7,000 rpm and peak torque at 4,600 rpm.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 vs. 2020 Mustang GT: Transmission
There are, nonetheless, a plethora of different modifications that separate the Mach 1 from a standard GT. The handbook transmission, for one, is a serious change. As a substitute of the MT82 and MT82-D4 manuals—which Ford is being sued over—which can be normal tools on the traditional GT, the Mach 1 makes use of the tried and true Tremec 3160 six-speed handbook out of the GT350. The transmission alone ought to carry an enormous enchancment within the driving expertise, and for the primary time, Ford has added rev-matching to the transmission. Many new automobiles with manuals include this function—even the Toyota Corolla.
For these unfamiliar with the artwork of heel and toeing, although, this can little question be a welcome addition. These extra within the automated transmission can be happy to study that Ford has tweaked the 10-speed unit for larger efficiency within the Mach 1—and extra cooling due to an extra trans fluid cooler. The Mustang is a comparatively huge and heavy sports activities automotive, which means that the additional cooling that you could’t get on the common GTs—once more, no matter which efficiency pack you go for—will not go unnoticed.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 vs. 2020 Mustang GT: Efficiency
That stated, Ford did not name it quits after fidgeting with the transmission and including further cooling. The Mach 1 additionally incorporates a for much longer flat underbody and a rear wing that is pulled from the Shelby. Consequently, the Mach 1 makes 22 p.c extra downforce than the usual GT with the Efficiency Pack. The Mach 1 additionally comes with the most recent iteration of Ford’s MagneRide suspension—that is a part of the particular sauce that makes Shelbys so good to drive.
You will get MagneRide on different Mustangs as an choice, so long as you select the Efficiency Pack 1 or 2 kits. That stated, the suspension calibration modifications Ford made to the Mach 1 are distinctive to the mannequin. There are additionally vital modifications to the electric-assist energy steering system, stiffer anti-roll bars, and new entrance springs. All of that ought to make the automotive extra exact on turn-in, and make it extra enjoyable on the monitor or on a twisty backroad. The Efficiency Pack automobiles get tweaked stabilizer bars, however the modifications are distinctive to every automotive.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 vs. 2020 Mustang GT: Styling
These modifications are fairly apparent, however some are price noting. The entrance bumper has been re-sculpted so as to add further downforce and there are some retro design cues such because the stripe that goes throughout the highest. The vents within the entrance bumper, the hood, the decals on the aspect, the rear diffuser—which was pulled from the mighty GT500—that helps cool the automotive, and the aspect decals are all distinctive to the Mach 1. The Mach 1 may also are available in a number of colours you’ll be able to’t get on the present ‘stang: Grabber Yellow and Fighter Jet Grey. Go for the Look package deal and you will get these candy black hood and aspect door decals, too. Their accent colours are available in pink, white, or orange.
The Mach 1 comes with distinctive wheels, too. On the usual automotive, the 19-inch rollers are 9.5 inches huge up entrance and 10 inches huge on the rear. Go for the Mach 1’s Dealing with package deal and the 19-inch wheels measure in at 10.5 inches huge up entrance and 11 inches huge on the rear. Each wheel choices include Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. Apparently, the Mustang GT with the Efficiency Pack 2 comes with even stickier Pilot Sport Cup 2s.
So the Mach 1 does symbolize a major step-change for the Ford Mustang, particularly over its extra mundane, V-Eight GT sibling. This contains distinctive look particulars and a few actual efficiency upgrades due to a bunch of elements cribbed from its Shelby-badged stablemates. The final time we pitted a non-Shelby Mustang against a Camaro 1LE, it misplaced. So perhaps the Mach 1 has what it takes to take the combat to the horse automotive with a bowtie. Solely time will inform.