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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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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!

  • NJRide So this is an average age of car to be junked now and of course this is a lower end (and now semi-orphaned) product. But street examples seem to still be worth 2500? So are cars getting junked only coming in because of a traumatic repair? If not it seems a lot of cars being junked that would still possibly worth more than scrap.Also Murilee I remember your Taurus article way back what is the king of the junkyard in 2024?
  • AMcA I applaud Toyota for getting away from the TRD performance name. TuRD. This is another great example of "if they'd just thought to preview the name with a 13 year old boy."
  • Jeff Does this really surprise anyone? How about the shoes and the clothes you wear. Anything you can think of that is either directly made in China or has components made in China likely has some slave labor involved. The very smart phone, tablet, and laptop you are using probably has some component in it that is either mined or made by slave labor. Not endorsing slave labor just trying to be real.
  • Jeff Self-driving is still a far ways from being perfected. I would say at the present time if my car took over if I had a bad day I would have a much worse day. Would be better to get an Uber
  • 2manyvettes Time for me to take my 79 Corvette coupe out of the garage and drive if to foil the forces of evil. As long as I can get the 8 track player working...
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