The Return of the ‘Mach 1’

“The pinnacle of Mustang 5.0-liter V8 style and performance.” That’s what Ford is saying about the recently revealed 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1. It’s been 17 long years since we’ve seen the Mach 1 badge roll off the Ford production line and there’s no doubt enthusiasts around the globe have been clamoring for its return. So, how’d Ford do?

A Little History First

Ford first introduced the ‘Mach 1’ in 1969. The name, which is the measurement of the speed of sound, was an ode to U.S. Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in 1947 and Ford’s roots in the aerospace field. During World War II, Ford produced airplanes and airplane parts for the war effort at their Michigan plant, Willow Run. The plant was home to a mile-long assembly line that allowed Ford to push out one B-24 Liberator bomber per hour at the height of production. By the end of the war, they had produced 86,865 complete aircraft, 57,851 airplane engines, 4,291 military gliders, and thousands of other airplane components.

What’s New?

Like the original, the all-new Mustang Mach 1 fits in between the GT and Shelby models. While it’s still equipped with the 5.0-liter engine so many people love, it’s been specially calibrated to crank out 480 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. The new Mach 1 is also using a few Shelby GT350 components to improve on overall performance like the GT350 intake manifold, oil filter adapter and engine oil cooler which increases engine cooling capability by 50 percent, according to Ford. It comes standard with the Tremec™ 3160 6-speed manual transmission from the GT350 that Ford has outfitted with automatic rev-matching for the first time. Customers who prefer an automatic can opt for the 10-speed SelectShift™ transmission instead.

That 10-speed transmission has been upgraded from what’s offered on current generation GTs too. An upgraded torque converter and new calibration allowed Ford to optimize torque capability, shift character and enhance overall performance. A second air-to-oil cooler increases cooling capacity by 75 percent.

“Mach 1: Built to Perform”

Ford’s engineering and design teams really worked to give the new Mach 1 a distinct look but one that also is as functional as the driver would need it to be. For example, the optional Handling Package comes standard with wider wheels, new upper and lower grille, new side grilles, a more aggressive front splitter and rear spoiler. These upgrades give the Mach 1 approximately 150 percent more downforce than a Performance Pack Level 1 Mustang GT. Even with just the standard options, the Mach 1 has 22 percent more downforce than its GT predecessor.


The 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is going to be a limited run but Ford hasn’t released those numbers as of yet. What we do know is that they will be arriving at U.S. and Canadian Ford dealerships in the Spring of 2021.

For even MORE detail on what Ford is bringing to this new model, read their full press release here.

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