Big muscle from its 5.0-liter V-8 will become top performing Mustang
From the golden age of muscle cars in the late 1960s to the golden age of power, Ford announced today that the Mustang Mach 1 is roaring back to life with a debut expected this spring. And that should mean soon, with the official start of summer on June 20.
No specifics were shared, except that it will have a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 and be more track-ready. Photos of a tire and wheel show some big Brembo binders and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires.
The Mach I will move into the role as the most potent production variant, possibly with 500 horsepower. And a manual transmission, we hope.
“Mach 1 has a special place in Mustang history, and it’s time for this special edition to claim the top spot in our 5.0-liter V8 performance lineup and reward our most hardcore Mustang enthusiasts who demand that next level of power, precision and collectability,” said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Icons. “Like the original, the all-new Mustang Mach 1 will be true to its heritage, delivering great looks and as the most track-capable 5.0-liter Mustang ever.”
That’s all good for Mustang fans, but will it be quicker than the electric Mustang Mach-E GT, which is claimed to have 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.5 seconds?
The original Mach 1 debuted for the 1969 model year and delivered performance and improved dynamics with its GT handling suspension, Ford said in a statement. In the years that followed, Mach 1 saw improved performance versus Mustang GT and was more attainable than the Shelby and Boss variants.
“Mach 1 has always been that bridge between base Mustangs and the Shelby models,” said Ted Ryan, heritage brand manager, Ford Archives. “From a style and handling perspective, the original Mach 1 managed to stand out as unique, even in the Mustang lineup — and as the name implies, it could really move.”
Two years after its debut, Mach 1 with its competition suspension hit the streets in 1971 longer and larger than the original, with an assortment of powerful engine options.
But the second-generation model that debuted in 1974 (shown below) was downsized and built on the Pinto hatchback platform with power restrained due to the gasoline crisis. The 302 Windsor V-8 was added in 1975, with anemic power ratings of 140 hp and 240 foot-pounds of torque, according to Wikipedia. The Mach 1 remained mostly unchanged in 1976, as a new performance model — the Cobra II — was introduced alongside. 1977 proved to be the weakest sales year of the Mach 1 to date, selling only 6,719 units.
The nameplate remained for one more year, upon when it was discontinued with the advent of the third-generation Mustang in 1979.
The Mach 1 nameplate returned for the 2003 and 2004 model years, blending modern power with the nostalgia of 1970s-era Mach 1 design elements. Its Mach 1 handling suspension with larger Brembo front-disc brakes improved on-road performance, while its matte black spoiler and hood stripe helped the coupe standout.
Seventeen years later, the all-new 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is set to return as the most track-ready 5.0-liter Mustang ever, once again delivering design magic while adding to its performance legacy.