By on June 16, 2020


The Bullitt and GT350 appear dead for 2021, but fear not. Those who find the Ford Mustang GT just a tad underwhelming can soon opt for a Mach 1, which combines various attributes of those three aforementioned cars in one retro package — though perhaps not as retro as some would like.

It’s also not as plentiful as some ‘Stang fans would prefer, either, going on sale in the spring of 2021 as a limited-run model capped at, well, no one knows how many units.

There’s no shaker hood to be had here, nor does the pair of circles set into the grille contain actual lamps, but the return of a model variant last seen in 2004 does not amount to a Bullitt with slightly altered skin. True, the 480-horse, 420-lb-ft Coyote 5.0-liter V8 boasts the same output as the Steve McQueen tribute model, but that car didn’t stick its hand deep in the parts bin reserved for Mustangs worthy of the Shelby name.

Ford wants this to be something you’ll feel comfortable — nay, even pressured into — taking to the track. A 10-speed automatic can be had, but many will likely feel tempted by a six-speed Tremec borrowed from the GT350, especially considering the Handling Package can only be had with the three-pedal setup. But more on that later.


To boost the engine’s resilience, Ford borrowed the intake manifold and oil cooler from the GT350, with a secondary engine oil cooler increasing cooling capacity by 75 percent. The transmission and rear axle gain their own heat exchange systems.

Sharing is caring, they say, and the GT and top-flight GT500 pitched in with their own components. The lesser of the two (in Performance Pack 2 guise) lends its brake booster, while the monster GT500 adds its diffuser, rear toe links, and, when equipped with the Handling Package, rear tire spats. Ford completed the package with a longer underbelly pan, front splitter, and rear spoiler that increases downforce over a stock GT by 22 percent. Spring for the Handling Package, and the enlarged splitter and Gurney flap spoiler boost downforce by 150 percent. That package also adds front fender flares.

Rounding out the basic Mach 1 are a beefier steering shaft, stiffer springs and sway bar, and rejigged MagneRide dampers. Nineteen-inch wheels (9.5 front, 10 rear) wear Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber, with Handling Package customers seeing their wheel width expand to 10.5 inches in the front and 11 inches in the rear. All wheels are dark-painted aluminum.


In the get-noticed department, Mach 1 comes with satin black side and hood stripes punctuated with reflective stripes in red, white, and orange. The paint palette includes Fighter Jet Gray (for Appearance Package buyers), Iconic Silver, Shadow Black, Oxford White, Velocity Blue, Twister Orange, Race Red, and Grabber Yellow.

Inside, the stick shift gains a white cue ball, and the gauge cluster is a 12.3-inch digital affair. Engraved chassis number badging will give buyers a feeling of both individuality and exclusivity.

What will it cost? Ford’s not saying just yet. Nor is it spilling any beans about just how limited this limited-run model truly is. It could very well be that the Mach 1, like the LTD of Seinfeld stand-up fame, is limited to the number it can sell.


[Images: Ford]

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16 Comments on “Hitting Mach 1: Ford Returns With a More Tossable Mustang Bullitt Replacement...”

  • avatar

    I really liked the 2003-2004 Mach 1 from a styling standpoint. When I moved to Gallup during that time frame there was one in the apartment complex. Red with black accents and the only visible mod was the chrome mustang had been swapped for one that had flame accents on it.

    The young man who owned it must have driven it for 10 years or so as his daily driver. I still saw it and him around town after moving out of the complex.

    This one leaves me cold in the styling – needs the hood scoop to make me know it’s a Mach 1 on sight.

    • 0 avatar

      The ability to ID a muscle car on sight is a double-edged sword. It’s quickly ID’d by you and others who know cars, but also car thieves and the highway patrol. They say it pays to advertise, but sometimes stealth is better.

      • 0 avatar

        Yes but if the general public really wanted “sleepers” than the Bro-Dozer and Denali, Platinum, Limited, TRD trim packages wouldn’t exist.

        • 0 avatar

          You really have know your Mustangs (or Camaro/Challengers) to spot “the muscle” from the stripe-kit V6s or buzzy turbos, especially at a distance.

          But any can reach Tijuana Taxi Ride speeds in 10 seconds. There’s too many “fast cars” you’re competing with for cop attention anyway.

          The Fox 5.0 and GTs were way easier to spot vs their 4 cylinder cousins, and they were about the #1 target of cops. I’d get pulled over at or below the speed limit by being passed by a fast moving beater.

          Car thieves don’t want anything beyond a GT, if even that. A joyrider maybe, except they won’t make it more than a couple blocks before putting it into a curb, parked truck or ditch.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            The GT and LX 4 cylinder for sure, but LX 5.0 equipped Fox Bodies could look just like their 4 cylinder cousins save for the two tailpipes at the rear. Camaros? Third Gens could have a 350, an iron duke, or a nuclear reactor and I wouldn’t know.

            Challenger, Mustang, or Camaro though…you just need ears to spot the difference.

          • 0 avatar

            From a distance, or going the opposite way at night, it took an eagle eye. But there was a decent chance it was gonna run from you, especially the Mustangs, depending on when and where, so cops were well versed.

            The Z28/IROCs were public enemy #2 and usually 305s or auto/5.7s, but clearly an “interceptor” was necessary to restore law and order.

            Except the real CHiPs only went with Mustangs since the Camaros were too low to drive over curbs and medians. I wonder if they could’ve got a CARB exemption for manual 5.7s?

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Ford has really mastered the process of milking the Mustang cash cow.

    • 0 avatar

      Mustang “Special Edition” counts from each generation must be mind boggling.

      Especially when dealers will order (as an example) a dozen loaded ecoboost convertibles and slap “New Mexico Edition” badges on them.

    • 0 avatar

      They must have attended the FCA school of keeping models as fresh as they possibly can be.

      I like this Mach 1 but sadly, in my 50s I feel too old for a Mustang right now. Maybe when I hit 60 ;)

      • 0 avatar

        pb35, Ford practically invented that school of marketing. The fox cars had a number of “special editions” from the T4 Cobra to SVO to the SVT Cobra (and Cobra R) and a “GT350” that got them into trouble with Shelby as well as the 7-Up cars. Also you had the various SN95/New Edge cars which of course included the Bullitt, 03/04 Machs and legendary Terminator as well as two Cobra Rs (95 and 2000) along with the various S-197 variants ( GT500, Boss 302 and Bullitt along with a Save the Bewbs SE and California Special )

        If anything FCA and GM have been taking a page from Ford’s playbook although such cars really aren’t anything new since there was plenty of parts bin engineering going on in the muscle car years as the article indicates with the introduction of the Mach 1 in 1969.

  • avatar

    Sounds expensive, but that Tremec will be a big selling point for the manual fans. I do wish it had a shaker hood.

  • avatar

    6 speed manual tremec in an electric is exciting.

  • avatar

    Mach in electric pseudo EV SUV with no ground clearance or this gas powered one. Only Ford offers you the choice.

  • avatar

    So will the manual transmission be better than the one Mustang has now with all the problems and recalls?

  • avatar

    I would also like to see a hood scoop and some Cragar SS looking chrome & black wheels on it!

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