New Ford Mustang Mach 1 2021 evaluation


For what could also be a swansong for the naturally aspirated V8 muscle automobile, the Ford Mustang Mach 1 is a becoming tribute. It’s not a groundbreaking rendition of the Mustang recipe, however the chassis modifications tighten issues up noticeably, giving the Mach 1 a stunning diploma of competence on a monitor. An £11,000 worth hike over the usual automobile is steep, and European rivals sort out tough roads with extra finesse, however the Mach 1 is an entertaining brute.

The brand new Ford Mustang Mach 1 represents what’s going to seemingly be a final gasp for the naturally aspirated V8 engine in time, particularly as Ford is urgent its electrical future with the Mustang nameplate, together with hotter Mach-E GT, which makes this Mach 1 now the sharpest iteration of the petrol-engined Mustang muscle automobile you should buy in Europe. 

With an uprated engine and chassis tweaks for this new model, Ford claims that the Mach 1 is the fastest-ever Mustang round a monitor you should buy right here, too – as a result of the hardcore Shelby GT350 and GT500 variations aren’t out there within the UK. It due to this fact has a good quantity of weight resting on its broad shoulders, and it’s not shying away from the duty.

As a part of the track-bred makeover, the Mach 1 receives a bespoke aero bundle that provides 22 per cent extra downforce over the bottom automobile, and an entire heap of visible aggression because of a deep entrance splitter and a boot spoiler. The defining characteristic is a pair of huge nostrils embedded within the entrance grille, which feed the 5.0-litre V8 motor and pay tribute to the Mustang Mach 1 of 1969.

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An upgraded induction system and a efficiency exhaust system make sure that should you’re someway not seen, you’ll actually be heard. Hit the beginning button and the Mach 1 erupts into life, earlier than settling right into a moody eight-cylinder gargle. An ECU remap and a brand new throttle physique increase energy to 454bhp – a 10bhp hike over the usual Mustang V8.

From the skin, the noise is hair elevating, however issues are extra subdued from the driving force’s seat. The engine isn’t fairly so hard-edged, and blipping the throttle leads to a creamy exhaust roar, with the stressed V8 rocking the automobile backward and forward on its suspension.

The inside is essentially carried over from lesser Mustangs, except for aluminium trim accents, a Mach 1 chassis quantity plaque on the sprint and a ‘cue ball’ gear knob borrowed from the Mustang Bullitt. The design is interesting, with a tall, sculpted dashboard and retro toggle switches, though the general match and end isn’t stellar. As with the remainder of the line-up, the Mach 1 is at the least fitted with a 12-inch digital sprint, with crisp graphics that alter relying on the automobile’s drive mode. Ford’s Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment set-up additionally options, which incorporates Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a DAB radio.

However it’s the chassis upgrades which are central to the Mach 1. The MagneRide dampers have been retuned, whereas firmer entrance springs, uprated anti-roll bars and stiffer subframe bushes all characteristic to spice up dealing with precision. The electrical energy steering system has additionally been recalibrated, and these modifications are noticeable.

The Mach 1 feels higher tied down than a normal V8 Mustang, extra direct and extra keen to be hustled. It doesn’t spherical off tough sections of highway fairly as properly, however the pay-off is tighter physique management over undulations and extra speedy reactions to steering inputs, with much less slack in its suspension.

The modifications additionally convey a greater sense of connection by way of the steering, making what stays a large coupe simpler to information alongside twisting B-roads, even when the Mach 1 nonetheless isn’t pouring with suggestions and doesn’t drive with the sharpness of a few of its rivals. 

Bury the throttle, nonetheless, and it’s proper on the cash. The engine’s response is crisp, and the grumble at low revs smooths out into a stunning V8 blare close to the 7,500rpm redline. The motor actually is the centrepiece of the Mustang expertise. It is not mind-bendingly quick, however put it to work and the Mach 1 thunders alongside at fairly a lick. 

Both a six-speed handbook or 10-speed automated transmission might be specified, and with its pleasingly hefty, mechanical motion and slick auto rev-matching operate, we would advocate the previous. 

It’s a disgrace that the Mach 1’s elective Dealing with Bundle, which brings a extra critical aero set-up, adjustable suspension mounts and lighter 19-inch wheels, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber, gained’t be out there to UK prospects, although, as a result of once you dig deeper the Mustang comes undone barely, and its mass is more durable to disregard.

It by no means looks like a purpose-built monitor software, however after a collection of arduous laps in our take a look at the Mach 1 nonetheless coped, entertaining with its approachable dealing with, enthralling engine and misleading tempo. For an £11,000 premium over the usual automobile, you’d hope that it will.

Mannequin: Ford Mustang Mach 1
Worth:  £55,255
Engine:  5.0-litre V8, petrol
Energy/torque:  454bhp/529Nm
Transmission:  6-speed handbook, rear-wheel drive
0-62mph:  4.8 seconds
Prime pace:  166mph
Financial system/CO2:  22.8mpg/284g/km
On sale: Now

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