Ford confirms Mustang Mach 1 for local line-up
New limited-edition Mustang Mach 1 celebrates Chuck Yeager’s historic speed-of-sound test flight.
Ford is keeping alive the old “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” adage by announcing a new Mustang Mach 1 variant.
For many brands the well-worn marketing catchcry has gone the way of the dinosaurs, but Ford’s on-track success with Mustang in the Supercar series means it’s still very much alive and kicking, as evidenced by the announcement of a forthcoming new Mustang variant bearing the historic Mach 1 nameplate.
The Mustang, along with the Ranger ute, has been one of the star performers in Ford’s local range since the demise of the Australian-made Falcon, with the imported coupe claiming the title of Australia’s best-selling sports car for 57 consecutive months.
At the same time the heavily modified race version has achieved stunning on-track success with two consecutive Supercars titles and victory at Bathurst in 2019.
The US-built Mach 1 model follows in the wheel tracks of other special-edition models, including the Mustang Bullitt and supercharged Mustang R-Spec.
It pays homage to the original Mustang Mach 1 of 1969 which was launched to mark US air force pilot Chuck Yeager’s historic flight in the Bell X-1, in which he became the first pilot to break the speed of sound.
Ford’s first Mustang Mach 1 bridged the gap between the Mustang GT and high-performance Shelby models and this new version will likewise offer additional power from its 5.0-litre V8 engine, along with stying enhancements and other track-focused upgrades over the Mustang GT.
The limited-edition model is due here during 2021 in a limited run of 700 and sold alongside the existing Mustang 2.3L High Performance and Mustang GT models. It will be priced at $83,365 for both the 10-speed automatic and the six-speed manual versions.
Details of the new model have been released in the US ahead of its release there in March next year.
A statement from Ford US said: “The all-new Mustang Mach 1 is set to become the most track-capable 5.0-litre Mustang ever, courtesy of a newly designed front end, plus Ford Performance parts from Mustang Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500 models and an available Handling Package for greater at-limit handling.”
Changes to the Mach 1 over a Mustang GT include a slight performance bump from the normally aspirated 5.0-litre V8, up to 345kW/556Nm, unique functional aerodynamic enhancements, competition-capable suspension upgrades and a driver-focused cockpit.
Exterior styling cues include a new front fascia and grilles for improved cooling and aerodynamics; low-gloss black accents as well as hood and side-body stripes with logos celebrating the car’s Mach 1 heritage.
The V8 engine features revised Shelby GT350 components including the intake manifold, oil filter adapter and engine oil cooler and 50% more engine oil cooling capability, says Ford.
A new underbelly pan, the vehicle’s most aerodynamically important upgrade, extends further rearward than on a Mustang GT to smooth and increase the airflow under the front of the car.
Large underwing features in the belly pan increase down force, while special belly pan air foils in the brake cooling ramps improve down force and assist the brake cooling flow.
A Handling Package is offered Stateside exclusively on cars fitted with the six-speed manual transmission and includes a larger high-downforce front splitter, new front-wheel lip mouldings and a spoiler with a Gurney flap.
Suspension changes include the latest MagneRide calibration, a stiffer steering shaft, stiffer sway bars and front springs, a brake booster from the Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2, along wider 19-inch x 10.5-inch front and 19-inch x 11-inch rear aluminium wheels.
It’s not clear at this stage whether Ford will offer the Handling Pack as an option here, or bundle it into the price of new manual models, but with the Mustang Mach 1 not due on sale in the States until Spring 2021, Aussie customers will have some time to ponder the options.