We first heard rumblings about a new Mustang Mach 1 in December, before it was officially confirmed a few weeks ago. Today, Ford unveiled it, with its 5.0-litre V8 making 480 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission standard. That’s a 20 HP bump over the base GT, and while it’s short of the Shelby GT350’s 526, the Mach 1 does get some bonus hardware from the Shelby.
The first Mach 1 in nearly two decades will go on sale early next year. The car contains a grab-bag of parts from other trims of the Mustang, which probably has too many trims at this point.
The main items to grab onto are the GT350’s oil cooler and six-speed transmission.
Integrated into the Mach 1 engine are revised Shelby GT350 components including the intake manifold, oil filter adaptor and engine oil cooler, increasing engine oil cooling capability by 50 per cent.
The all-new version leans on decades of Ford Performance learnings, 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 Tremec™ 3160 6-speed manual transmission from the Shelby GT350. For the first time, Ford has outfitted the system with rev-matching and the transmission is paired with the GT350 oil cooler system and Mustang GT’s twin-disc clutch and short-throw shifter.
The Handling Package – exclusively available with the Tremec™ 3160 6-speed manual transmission – also includes a larger unique higher downforce front splitter, new front wheel lip moldings, and a low-gloss Magnetic swing spoiler with a Gurney flap and rear tire spats from Shelby GT500.
There is also a 10-speed automatic that is optional, though the Venn diagram of people who are interested in this car and also interested in driving an automatic seems to be two circles that have no overlap. (I’m sure some of you are out there, eager to discuss your quarter mile times. Please email me to explain why.)
The Mach 1 first debuted in 1969. Introducing a new one now is part of a tried-and-true playbook for automakers who want to keep buyers excited about old products, as the sixth-generation Mustang, introduced in 2015, is getting a little long in the tooth. The seventh-generation Mustang is rumoured to be coming in 2022, which makes this is a good placeholder until then.
Ford didn’t say how many of these will be built, or what the pricing is, but you can expect it to be in the neighbourhood of the Bullitt edition, which starts at $US47,705 ($69,206).