It’s finally official: The Ford Mustang Mach 1 is back, and according to Mustang director Dave Pericak, it’ll be “the most track-capable 5.0-liter Mustang ever.” Considering how good the Mustang GT Performance Pack 2 is, those are bold words. But the Blue Oval confirms that the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 will be perched on the highest rung of the 5.0-liter Mustang ladder—at least for however long the limited-edition model remains on sale.
Beyond that, few other details were given. But we do get to see the new pony car undergoing track testing for the first time. Though the front and rear ends of the Mach 1 remain camouflaged, a few details peek out. The most obvious difference is the Mach 1’s circular air inlets or foglight holes flanking the galloping horse emblem in the grille. The look is likely a callback to the original 1969 Mustang Mach 1 with its grille-mounted fogs. Additionally, both the upper and lower grilles get a unique honeycomb mesh pattern.
Around back, we can see bazooka-sized quad exhaust pipes and a rear wing that looks a lot like the recently refreshed Shelby GT350’s. Also, like the GT350, the Mach 1 wears ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires measuring 305/30 at the front. That high-performance rubber is wrapped around a multispoke 19-inch wheel, which hides a massive Brembo brake caliper. We expect much—if not all—of the Performance Package 2’s dynamic kit to make its way to the Mach 1.
As we speculated previously, it sounds like the Mach 1 will replace the Bullitt in the lineup as the limited-production juiced Mustang GT. That could mean the Mach 1 will get the Bullitt’s higher-output 5.0-liter Coyote V-8, which makes 480 horsepower—an extra 20 over the standard GT thanks to an intake manifold derived from the one in the GT350. And judging by the pictures, a lot more than just a manifold will trickle down from the GT350 to the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1.
Pricing has yet to be announced, though Ford says the Mach 1 has historically bridged the gap between the GT and Shelby models. That could mean the Mach 1 will start somewhere around $50,000, which is about how much the Bullitt cost. Then again, we’ve also heard that the GT350 has been axed for 2021, which would leave an opening at the higher end of the price spectrum below the top-dog GT500. Whatever the case, we can’t wait to learn and see more.