Hitting Mach 1: Ford Returns With a More Tossable Mustang Bullitt Replacement

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
hitting mach 1 ford returns with a more tossable mustang bullitt replacement

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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  • MorrisGray MorrisGray on Jun 17, 2020

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

  • MorrisGray MorrisGray on Jun 17, 2020

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

  • FreedMike I think this illustrates a bit of Truth About PHEVs: it's hard to see where they "fit." On paper, they make sense because they're the "best of both worlds." Yes, if you commute 20-30 miles a day, you can generally make it on electric power only, and yes, if you're on a 500-mile road trip, you don't have to worry about range. But what percentage of buyers has a 20-mile commute, or takes 500-mile road trips? Meanwhile, PHEVs are more expensive than hybrids, and generally don't offer the performance of a BEV (though the RAV4 PHEV is a first class sleeper). Seems this propulsion type "works" for a fairly narrow slice of buyers, which explains why PHEV sales haven't been all that great. Speaking for my own situation only, assuming I had a place to plug in every night, and wanted something that ran on as little gas as possible, I'd just "go electric" - I'm a speed nut, and when it comes to going fast, EVs are awfully hard to beat. If I was into hypermiling, I'd just go with a hybrid. Of course, your situation might vary, and if a PHEV fits it, then by all means, buy one. But the market failure of PHEVs tells me they don't really fit a lot of buyers' situations. Perhaps that will change as charging infrastructure gets built out, but I just don't see a lot of growth in PHEVs.
  • Kwik_Shift Thank you for this. I always wanted get involved with racing, but nothing happening locally.
  • Arthur Dailey Love the Abe Rothstein tribute suits. Too bad about the car. Seems to have been well loved for most of its life.
  • K. R. Worth noting that the climate control is shared with (donated to) the Audi 5000 of the mid-late 1980s.
  • Sloomis Looks like 108,000 miles to me, not 80,000. Not much better though...