The Mustang Mach 1 Is Back: Ford Unveils 480-HP Track Weapon

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Ford's new 480-horsepower Mach 1 is poised to be a killer at the track.

Ford today announced the return of the legendary "Mach 1" nameplate to the Mustang lineup, unveiling a new, 480-horsepower track weapon that picks up where the last Mach 1 left off 17 years ago. That 480-hp rating is a full 20 higher than the standard Ford Mustang GT, with the same 5.0-liter, 7,500-rpm Coyote V8 under the hood.

To that engine, Ford has added the Shelby GT350 Mustang's higher-flowing intake manifold, its oil cooler, and its oil filter adapter, the latter two of which contribute to 50-percent better oil-cooling capability. The standard transmission is also borrowed from the Shelby GT350: a six-speed Tremec manual, although here, for the first time, Ford has fitted automatic rev-matching. Ford's ten-speed auto is also available, with an upgraded torque converter and a new calibration with optimized performance and shift character.

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The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1's unique front end is the result of extensive collaboration between the engineering and design teams, and it features a new two-piece upper grille, a redesigned lower grille, and new side grilles. Together, the front splitter and matched rear spoiler help supply the track-focused pony car with 22 percent more downforce than a Mustang GT with the Performance Pack Level 1.

An optional Mach 1 Handling Package boosts that to 150 percent more downforce, using a unique front splitter, new front wheel lip moldings, and the Shelby GT500's rear tire spats and swing spoiler with Gurney flap. Unfortunately for automatic fans, that Handling Package is available only with the six-speed manual.

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Further aiding in the handling department, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 features MagneRide magnetorheological dampers with the latest calibration, a new electric power steering calibration, stiffer sway bars, stiffer rear bushings, and the Shelby GT500's unique rear toe link.

From the factory, the Mach 1 comes equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, worn on 19-by-9.5-inch five-spoke alloy wheels up front, and 19-by-10-inch wheels at the rear. Handling Package cars come with wider 10.5- and 11-inch-wide wheels.

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Those wheels, shod in a Tarnished Dark finish, contribute to the Mach 1's classic performance aesthetic, being styled after the iconic vintage Magnum 500 wheel design.

But far from just a pretty face, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 has been developed with true, dependable race track performance in mind, and that means keeping things cool was among Ford's top priorities. To that end, not only does the Mach 1 use some of the Shelby GT350's engine oil cooling equipment; it also rocks a rear-axle oil cooler borrowed from the Shelby GT500, and boasts 75-percent more transmission oil cooling capacity thanks to a second air-to-oil cooler.

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"Bold styling, great acceleration and speed - Mach 1 says it all," Ford Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley says of the new limited-edition Mustang track weapon. "This is one of those special Mustangs that truly brings a smile to the faces of our owners, enthusiasts and fans - including me - so there's never been a better time to bring back Mach 1 and have it go global too."

The new Mach 1 heads to dealers in the US and Canada next spring.

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