Ford’s New Mustang Mach 1 Is a Retro-Styled Muscle Car Made for the Track

Ford taps the deep retro Mustang well again, and we love it.

After years of rumors suggesting it was about to happen, last month, Ford finally announced it was bringing back the Mustang Mach 1 nameplate — an exciting development that nevertheless means the newest ‘Stang will be endlessly be confused with the now-extant Mustang Mach E. And while that initial announcement didn’t pull back the curtain very far on the Mach 1, Ford has just revealed the details — and the pictures — about its latest muscle car.

The Mach 1 is what Ford calls “the bridge Mustang.” It sits between the volume-minded Mustang GT and the more expensive, track-oriented Shelby Mustangs. It uses the engine from the former and incorporates race-oriented parts and features from the latter. It scores some spectacular retro-themed styling, with black satin hood and side stripes highlighting its bold features. (One piece of bad news, though: like the last Mach 1 Mustang, which launched in 2003, the new Mach 1 will replace the beloved Bullitt version.)

While it packs a revised version of the 5.0-liter V8, it won’t hit the 500 horsepower mark. The Mach 1 engine has the same power output — 480 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque — as the outgoing Bullitt. (That said, Ford claims this Mach 1 engine has been “specially calibrated” and is not identical to the McQueen-themed car’s motor.) With its new front-end design, Ford says it will be the most track-capable 5.0-liter Mustang it has produced — behind only the Shelbys and their 5.2-liter engines.

Ford will offer Mach 1 buyers a choice of transmissions: either the six-speed manual from the Shelby GT 350 or a 10-speed automatic. That’s somewhat unexpected; the Bullitt, after all, only came with a stick. Buyers will still need to choose the manual transmission to buy the Handling Package upgrade, however.

The Mach 1 should be the ultimate option for most buyers who want a cool-looking Mustang that can take on a track but is still comfortable enough to drive to work. Ford says the Mach 1 will hit dealers in spring 2021; the company did not mention pricing, though we’d bet the Mach 1 will land somewhere between the Bullitt’s $47,705 base price and the mental barrier that is $50,000.

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