2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 revealed

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Ford has unveiled another limited edition variant of its iconic Mustang sports car, the Mach 1.

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Above: 2021 Mach 1 with Handling Package (right)

Resurrecting a nameplate first used in 1969, the Mach 1 bridges the gap between the ‘standard’ GT and Shelby GT350 in the lineup.

Under the bonnet is a variant of the GT’s 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated ‘Coyote’ V8 producing 358kW of power and 569Nm of torque – identical outputs to the limited-run, movie-inspired 2019 Mustang Bullitt.

However, those expecting the Mach 1 to simply be a Bullitt ‘Mk2’ will be vastly mistaken, as the hot coupe shares more of its DNA with the track-focused Shelby GT350 and GT500 models than the road-oriented GT and Bullitt on which it is directly based.

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Above: 2021 Mach 1 (left) with 1969-1973 Mach 1.

The Mach 1 borrows a range of components from the GT350, including its intake manifold, oil filter, oil cooler and other cooling system components which claim to improve oil cooling capacity by 50 per cent.

It also gains the GT350’s stronger six-speed Tremec manual gearbox, bolstered with the addition of rev-matching and the standard GT’s twin-disc clutch and short-throw shifter.

The GT’s 10-speed torque-converter automatic transmission will also be offered for Mach 1 buyers, featuring a strengthened torque converter, unique shift pattern calibration and second air-to-oil cooler said to increase cooling capacity by 75 per cent.

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Under the skin, retuned MagneRide adaptive suspension is complemented by a variety of tweaks including a stiffer steering I-shaft, retuned power steering, stiffer rear subframe bushings, sway bars and front springs, a rear toe-link from the Shelby GT500 and a brake booster from the Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2.

A Handling Package can be optioned on manual cars, adding a deeper front splitter, unique front wheel mouldings, GT500-inspired rear spoiler with Gurney flap, and wide 19-inch grey aluminium wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.

Ford claims the Mach 1 produces 22 per cent more downforce than a GT Performance Pack Level 1, thanks in part to a 508mm-longer underbelly pan that smoothens airflow underneath the car.

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Aforementioned aerodynamic upgrades aside, styling features differentiating the Mach 1 from the lesser GT include a new front bumper with larger air intakes, unique mesh grille with retro-inspired circular lamp inserts, large front splitter and side skirts, Shelby GT500-sourced rear diffuser and quad exhaust tips.

Five-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels are standard, with the aforementioned, spindlier aluminium units available as part of the Handling Package. Grey mirror caps and an array of black accents around the body are fitted as standard, while satin black bonnet and side stripes with red, white or orange accents are available.

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Inside, Mach 1-specific changes include grey trim with aluminium accents, unique sill plates, an updated splash screen for the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, white cue-ball shift knob for manual cars and a personalised plaque with the vehicle’s unique build number.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Mach 1 will arrive in US and Canadian dealerships in the northern spring of 2021 as a limited-run offering. While Ford claims the Mach 1 is a “global” model, the Blue Oval’s Australian arm refuses to confirm a local arrival for the muscle coupe, with a spokesperson telling CarExpert: “We have no news to share about any future plans.”

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