This week we are looking at what Ford calls the most track-capable 5-liter Mustang ever, the 2021 Mach 1. This pony car is a hybrid of sorts, blending elements of the GT350, the GT500, and the Bullitt. Some journalists call this a “parts bin” car but I really don’t see it that way, it hits me as a viable alternative to the discontinued GT350.
The Mach 1 debuted in 1969 and this new version is the first Mach 1 we’ve seen since 2004. It has some of the same styling cues as the original version.
I love the overall looks, especially in this Velocity Blue color with the wide flat black stripe up the hood. There are functional air vents on the front corners, just above the splitter. 19” gray wheels look fantastic, and the wider rear tires give the car better grip on heavy acceleration. A short rear spoiler and quad exhaust tips round out the rear view.
Under the hood, you’ll find an upgraded 5-liter V8 that is putting out a heart-pounding 480-horses and 420-pound feet of torque, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles, but you can get a 6-speed manual if you wish. The combo I have will take you to 60-miles per hour from a dead stop in 4.1 seconds and will top out at 163-miles per hour.
Moving to the inside, you’ll find comfortable and somewhat bolstered power seats in front. The interior features some white stitching throughout including the door panels and across the dash. You’ll find brushed aluminum, including the gear shifter, and there is a Mach 1 badge above the glove box that tells you where your car fell in the assembly line chain.
There is a massive 12” digital gauge cluster that you can configure and that changes with the drive modes. Drive modes are changed by a toggle switch under the air conditioning controls. Choices are normal, snow/wet, sport, track, and drag strip.
Center dash is an 8” touchscreen that operates the Ford Sync system. You control the B&O sound system, climate, Bluetooth, you can add your own apps, and all the vehicle settings are there. The Sync system is fast, responsive, and easy to operate.
It was surprising how comfortable the seats were when you get inside, but don’t look to the back seat for more than a briefcase or purse.
Trunk space was surprisingly good and you’ll find the big B&O subwoofer back there for your listening pleasure.
My test vehicle was very nicely equipped with remote start, heated and air- conditioned front seats, a CD player, red front brake calipers, and a rearview camera.
Ride and Drive
Let’s talk about driving characteristics. The Mach 1 handles great with almost zero sway or roll in hard turns. Best of all, the Magneride damping system makes this a great daily driver that doesn’t beat you to death.
Acceleration is strong and determined, and I can’t say enough about the exhaust sound, which you can configure to be quiet to not wake the neighbors, or loud when you go to the track exhaust. The steering is also configurable with three settings.
What You’ll Pay
MSRP as you see this Mustang is $58,490. Fuel economy is rated at 15 in town 23 on the highway, but as usual, I’m not getting there, possibly due to the fact that I can’t keep my foot off of the accelerator.
I’ve driven faster Mustangs, and I’ve driven slower ones, too, but I find this the perfect car for weekday driving, and if you want to take it to your favorite track for the weekend, it’ll be perfect there too.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
- What I liked most: Love the looks, the damping system, and overall performance.
- What I would change: A shaker hood sure would be nice.
- MSRP: Base price $51,720, as equipped $58,490 with transportation.
- Fuel Economy:Rated at 15 city/23 highway/18 combined.
- Official Color: Velocity Blue.
- Odometer reading when tested: 2,500 miles.
- Spare Tire: Inflator kit.
- Length-Width-Height: 188” long/75” wide/54” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 16 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side.
- Towing Capacity: N/A
- 2021 Mach 1 in a few words: A beast of a car, great daily driver or track-ready Mustang, and likely a future collectible.
- Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year.60,000 mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance.
- Final Assembly Location: Flat Rock, MI.
- Manufacturers website: www.Ford.com
- Next up: 2021 Ford Expedition Max.