By on April 2, 2020

Despite Ford’s rejiggering of the Mach 1 name for use in the Mustang-inspired Mach-E crossover, the original will not be superseded by the new EV. Based upon leaked dealer VIN decoder guides, it appears the storied pony car trim could be returning for the 2021 model year.

We haven’t seen the Mach 1 since 2004, when it briefly appeared as the high-performance alternative to the Mustang GT. While not as brutal on paper as the SVT Cobra, it was loaded with the best parts the manufacturer could source from other Ford models reliant on the 4.6-liter V8. Having driven both vehicles when they were new, your author can attest to the supercharged snake being the superior performance coupe. Its independent rear suspension was unique within the Mustang lineup at the time, and it offered 390 horsepower against the Mach 1’s naturally aspirated 305 hp — though both vehicles seem to have been underrated by the manufacturer.

Regardless of their true output, the Mach 1 always seemed engineered for more practical fun. Unlike the Cobra, it leaned into retro-inspired touches and offered brighter paint options. The seats, dials, shifter, shaker hood scoop, and external graphics all hinted at the Mach 1 of yesteryear and foreshadowed the heritage-obsessed Mustangs from the car’s fifth generation. It was also about 200 pounds lighter than the supercharged snake, offered a substantially higher redline, and had the best-sounding factory exhaust systems Ford could provide.

It wouldn’t last. Ford launched the S197 Mustang at the end of 2004 and abandoned both the SN-95 Cobra and Mach 1. From there, Ford would rely on vintage monikers like Boss and Shelby for its hi-po sport coupes. But that’s about to change, according to a forum at the Mach-E Club. In post devoted to leaked information about Ford’s all-electric crossover (which is technically a Mustang), the author noticed the dealer VIN guide also makes mention of the Mach 1.

We also noticed the GT350 was curiously absent.

While it doesn’t indicate what powertrain will be used to break the sound barrier, the above context presumes it will be slotted below the Shelby GT500. We also know it’ll be assembled at Flat Rock Assembly, which isn’t much of a find. That’s where all Mustangs are built.

The rest is down to your imagination. We expect bold color options with contrasting graphics, at least one opening in the hood, and enough horsepower to shame the current GT model — a task requiring a bare minimum of 460 ponies. Of course, this presumes the leaked documents are legitimate and our dreams somehow inform the physical world. Thus far, no Ford dealer has validated the VIN decoder’s authenticity.

But rumors have swirled that the Blue Oval was considering a Mach 1 return since at least 2019. Torque News even went so far as to say “a source has confirmed that this is not a rumor, but a fact as the Mustang Mach 1 will replace the Bullitt as the niche performance vehicle in the Mustang lineup” last December. Whether it adheres more closely to the 1969 original or the short-lived early 2000s revamp remains to be seen. We’re just pleased to hear it’s coming back at all.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

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13 Comments on “Ford Mustang Mach 1 Could Return in 2021...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    In 2021 Ford will have a Bronco, Bronco Sport, Mach 1 and Mach E, all completely different cars. That sounds perfectly clear

    • 0 avatar
      warrant242

      I feel old for remembering One Ford, but I’m trying to keep up.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      For most of the 80’s and up until the Explorer bowed there were in fact 2 Broncos produced on completely different platforms.

      Honestly I wish they’d just do a 2 door version of the Mach-E (styled as a car of course) and sell it as the Mach 1. It would be the best performer by most of the performance metrics Mustang types tend to value.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I saw one identical to the blue on last summer in the parking lot of my local dog park. I always think of the ’69 Mustang when I think of the Mach-I. That is my all time favourite Mustang. The new GT500 is a very close 2nd.

    • 0 avatar
      CobraJet

      My favorite too.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Picture that ‘69 in Highland Green, missing the front valance and turn signals, with red door (complete with Mach I stripe) and red right front fender, and it would be the car I bought for $400 in 1977.

        After the cam gear in the 351 went, I traded it for a 71 440 Challenger with no transmission.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Are we sure it’s going to be on the regular Mustang? Maybe we’ll have the Mach E Mach 1, and they can use Mark Wahlberg as the spokesman like they use Matthew McConaughey for Lincoln.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    With no Bullitt on the decoder, and two different 5.0L options, I’d expect the Mach 1 to take the Bullitt’s place, and presumably something in the ballpark of the same 480hp.

  • avatar
    randyinrocklin

    The 69 is my all time fav forever.

  • avatar
    apl

    The ’69 Mustang Mach 1 was awesome looking when it debuted. Too bad Ford did not do a Mach 1 iteration on the 2005-2009 model, which would had been a natural. Only thing I never liked on the 69-70 Mustang SportsRoof models was the optional rear wing. Always seemed redundant with the built in duck tail spoiler and out of place.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Ford’s Mach 1 can’t achieve Mach 1 (not even with rounding).

    Meanwhile, Putin has achieved Mach 20+.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avangard_(hypersonic_glide_vehicle)

  • avatar

    On a positive note this is one of the rare times that GM is exporting technology to another car maker. Most of the time GM simply imports their technology from other car makers.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      GM’s EV battery technology is pretty good. That’s one thing they’ve done well. Even the older tech in 2019 and earlier Bolts is pretty good. There’s an article by a Bolt owner with 100k miles on his car that still gets 210+ miles of range. The new BEV3 NMCA cells should be even better. I’ve read they have total pack costs below $120/kWh. That would put the price of a pack the size of the 2020 Bolt’s at $7920 or less.

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