The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach one feels acquainted from the second I climb into it, which is to be anticipated. Even though the constrained-edition Mustang is a new model this 12 months, all of the parts are from cars I’ve examined just before, mixed in a witch’s cauldron to generate a magic potion of overall performance. Even the identify is borrowed as Mach one is a revived nameplate that 1st launched in 1969 and was final utilized in 2004 on the fourth-generation auto.

We are now in the Mustang’s sixth generation, and with the Bullitt and GT350/GT350R discontinued for 2021, Ford required some thing to fill the room among the Mustang GT and the Shelby GT500. The Mach one rips down components from the two shelves. The engine, twin-disc clutch, and quick-throw shifter come from the Mustang GT, although the Tremec six-velocity guide transmission is swiped from the GT350. The GT500 donates different suspension, aerodynamic, and cooling components for track duty. 

A complete day of testing on the track at Willow Springs Raceway and the surrounding streets uncovered a auto that is not basically thrown collectively out of the components bin, but a cohesive and track-prepared Mustang that hits the sweet spot at the overall performance finish of the Mustang lineup.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach one

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach one

Mach one versions featuring the accessible look bundle ($one,000) are the best to spot, with unique fighter jet gray paint, orange accents within and out, orange brake calipers, and an ebony/orange interior to boot. Mach one badging sits on each and every front fender. 

The tail is highlighted by 4 enormous exhaust suggestions, which venture the V-8’s monstrous bellow into the globe. The Mustang is offered around the world now, and the Mach 1’s exhaust was developed to toe the greatest decibel line as closely as it could in numerous nations but keep legal all over the place. The exhaust note is not as distinctive as the tune played by the GT350’s flat-plane-crank V-eight. It is closer to what you get in the regular GT, but with additional gusto and it even now sounds appropriately coarse and significant. 

The five.-liter V-eight tends to make 480 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, a increase of twenty hp more than the regular Mustang GT and a match for the Mustang Bullitt’s output from a 12 months in the past. The six-velocity guide transmission comes regular, with a ten-velocity automated optional. Energy flows to the rear wheels and the rear wheels alone.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach one

This engine is a a lot more than ready dance spouse. It will get into the energy swiftly for a naturally aspirated engine, and the throttle mapping is spot on for the two street and track. This degree of dexterity is difficult to pull off for an engine that nears 500 hp, but kudos to Ford for creating it truly feel extremely controllable in all scenarios. 

I blistered the track in the two the guide and automated, and each and every was exceptional in its very own way. With the automated in Track mode, I did not truly feel the need to have to grab for the paddle shifters in any predicament the Mach one appeared to be in the proper gear on entries and exits, and held to close to redline on the straightaways. When I did pick my very own gears, the transmission was extremely responsive and stored up with numerous pulls of the paddles in fast succession. Nonetheless, I located it difficult to hold track of ten gears in my head although I was attempting to concentrate on driving clean laps.

Ford had check drivers on hand who explained they have been placing down comparable lap instances with the automated and the guide, even though for these of us who are not specialists the automated will be faster. 

Nevertheless, the guide is significantly a lot more entertaining, thanks to two essential attributes: rev-matching and no-lift shifting. 

No-lift shifting is some thing to behold. With the engine charging difficult more than five,000 rpm and the throttle pushed down at least 90%, you clutch in, hold the throttle pinned, and shift gears. I’m utilized to backing off the fuel when shifting, but if you do that the throttle will not be open far adequate to avert the transmission from locking out the following gear when you try a no-lift shift. As soon as you do it appropriately, it is supremely satisfying to come out of a corner into a straight and just pin that fuel pedal to the floor. It operates among all the gears, but is most beneficial for shifts among 2nd and third and third and fourth. Individuals two overall performance attributes, along with nicely defined gates, simple-to-operate clutch pedal, and the extremely amazing cue-ball shifter are adequate to make me favor the guide.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach one

It is telling that we examined the Mach one on the tighter, a lot more technical Streets of Willow rather than Willow Spring’s greater track. The two straightaways have been adequate to get a truly feel for the Mach 1’s capability to create velocity (and no-lift shifting), but the tighter corners uncovered a auto that continues to chip away at the stereotype of the Mustang as a stage-and-squeeze muscle auto that will get misplaced in the bends. 

I was thankful that the Mach 1s I examined on track featured the $three,500 Managing Bundle. It involves a greater front splitter that supplies 150% a lot more front downforce than a Mustang GT Overall performance Pack, plus a greater spoiler, rear tire spats from the GT500, and most consequentially, wider 19×10.five-inch front and 19×11-inch rear wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup two tires. I did not come near to testing out the two mph acquire in best velocity (from 166 to 168 mph with the guide) but the additional grip from these tires and the large leap in downforce manufactured the Mustang truly feel planted on the track. The nose never ever twitched when turning in at velocity, and I detected no hint of understeer. 

The total bundle tends to make the Mach one virtually flawless on the track. It does not have fairly the of the outgoing GT350, but 480 horses is a lot. The GT350/GT500 suspension parts make a distinction in contrast to a GT PP2 as it feels an additional degree sharper on flip-in. No matter whether accelerating or carving up corners, the Mach one just feels amazingly steady even even though the globe is passing by extremely swiftly. Tons of automobiles declare that you can drive them to the track, perform, then drive property the exact same day. The Mach one is a excellent illustration of that excellent.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach one

On the street, the Mach one feels a lot more or much less like a regular GT with the Overall performance Bundle. My street tester was stripped of the Managing Bundle, but the steering even now imparted a lot of street truly feel and the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires are even now a very good match for any canyon street. The regular adaptive magnetic dampers do a very good task of tailoring the Mach one to match its setting it is relaxed in Tour mode and notably company in the Sport+ and Track modes. 

The Mustang Mach one commences at $52,915, about $eight,000 much less than the outgoing GT350 but a lot more than the Bullitt’s $48,905 commencing MSRP from final 12 months. It is a wonderful worth when you contemplate that a Mustang GT with the Overall performance Bundle, adaptive suspension, and an energetic exhaust expenses $52,400. I’d significantly rather pony up the additional $515 to get the far better automobile. If you do program on monitoring your Mach one, the Managing Bundle is a no-brainer for $,3500.

Ford hasn’t explained how numerous Mach 1s will be created, only that the model combine (transmission, packages, and so on.) will be established by demand and that orders continue to be open ahead of its on-sale date later on this spring.

Even though the Mustang loses some types for 2021, the a single it gains back is an absolute blast. The Mach one borrows from the automobiles it replaces to offer a thumping soundtrack and a substantial degree of track overall performance. Although its energy figures are wonderful, the pony car’s stand-out attributes are its positive-footed managing and trackability. What a fantastic machine.

Ford offered check cars and track-time at Willow Springs Raceway for Motor Authority to carry you this 1st-hand drive report.