By on October 14, 2020

Enthusiasts are up in arms about the departing Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 because they already know its Mach 1 replacement won’t be able to compete with it on a racetrack. This was by design, however. Ford wants something a little more street friendly and easier on people’s wallets. It can also save on production costs by utilizing components that helped make the GT350 an engineering marvel, without relying on its pricey V8 with the flat-plane crankshaft. The Mach 1 gets the same 5.0-liter V8 found inside GT models, tweaked to deliver 480 hp and 420 pound-feet of torque.

On the 73rd anniversary of Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier (aka Mach 1) in the Bell X-1 “Glamorous Glennis,” Ford decided to tell us how much the upcoming model will cost so it could begin taking orders. The automaker has settled on $52,915 (including destination), placing the Mach 1 a healthy $4,000 above the Bullitt Mustang and nearly ten grand below the outgoing GT350.

Is that where it belongs?

Well, we’d always like to see cars priced lower but it seems to make sense. The Bullitt (also departing this year) has always felt a bit steep vs a Mustang GT Premium since it basically amounts to an appearance package with a couple of performance upgrades added for good measure. But it’s one of the better ones on the market and includes an engine cover delete to make room for a model-specific strut tower brace (if you also buy the performance package) that turns the engine compartment into something you might actually want to show off at Cars & Coffee before crashing into a tree.

The Mach 1 takes what’s good about the Bullitt, including the engine and that cue-ball shifter placed atop a rev-matching six-speed manual (10-speed automatic available), and runs with a busier paint scheme, Mach 1 badges, and a handful of meaningful modifications. Some of those are straight from the Shelby series of Mustangs  including the base transmission, intake manifold, oil cooler, transmission cooler, and more. Those seeking additional performance may want to option the Handling Package that adds a front splitter and a few other aerodynamic buffs that give the car substantially more of downforce at speed.

That should make it a bit more lively to drive than the Bullitt and helps make that fairly modest price bump more agreeable. But it doesn’t prove whether or not it’s good value against the departing Mustang GT350. Just about everyone praised it and claimed the $61,635 (with shipping) asking price was well worth the money  especially if one planned on taking it to a racetrack with any frequency.

Based on the parts added to the Mach 1, Ford seems to have similar ambitions for the limited-edition model. But its ultimate value will be determined by how adept it is around a track vs the Shelby. Customers seeking the muscle car experience in everyday traffic will probably be better off saving themselves a bundle by purchasing a Mustang GT (or going with the Chevrolet Camaro or Dodge Charger/Challenger) and using their cash reserves to tailor it to their taste. However, those unwilling to settle for less may find the Mach 1 an agreeable alternative to the GT350, even if it doesn’t manage to outdo it in any specific areas.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

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11 Comments on “2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Pricing Announced, Could Have Been Worse...”

  • avatar

    For me it’s not a compelling vehicle. I’d spend more for GT500 or spend less for GT.

    • 0 avatar

      If your going to track a Mustang and want a manual trans the Mach 1 is it. The GT even in PP2 guise is a three pump chump on a road course. PP2 guys swear otherwise but if you drive the car aggressively – enough to really use the chassis its going to go into limp mode due to the hot running diff and possibly transmission as well.

      The hot running Getragedy can be mitigated somewhat with a trans scoop ( literally a scoop bolted to the transmission ) but the diff is going to require a dedicated cooler unless a body wants to constantly swap diff fluid in between track runs. A solid diff cooler set-up get a pricey so that is as I recall about 900-1200 bucks all in for a kit.

      The PP2 car if your low-balling it is 45,575 before destination with less than stellar gearing ( really street and drag orientated on the MT-82 ) for road course work and prone to the diff and trans overheating which is probably going to add upwards of 1400-1500 to fix if your handy with a wrench. Add in a warranty friendly CAI & tune from Ford and that’s upwards of 1800 bucks for the stage III ( CAI, tune, throttle body and GT350 intake manifold )less required dealer installation to retain warranty.

      I think the pads might be okay for track use on the PP2 but they might need to be upgraded as well. Ford uses pretty good fluid but that has to be changed anyway to pass tech. All in on the peasant spec car with PP2 package fit for track duty and your at 49k. Same equipment level on the premium coupe and your looking at 53k and still less than ideal gearing on the Getragedy compared to the 3160 Tremec.

      The GT500 is 72,900 base and I think you’ll find as the luster wears off more and more reviews are going to be talking about how much of a handful the base and handling package cars are ( in track mode I’ve seen more than a few reviews where the driver just couldn’t get the power down like the top level Carbon Fiber Track Pack car ) where the GT350 and probably even the Mach 1/w handling package is going to be a more rewarding drive on a backroad or out on the road course.

  • avatar

    I’m almost always dirty, automatic-driving scum, but people that buy this *really* need to consider going for the manual. I still think it’s weird that they went with a design closer to a ’71-’73 instead of the ’69. Maybe a shaker hood would have caused drag on the track? $53K isn’t too bad but this does seem a little less “special” than prior limited edition Mustangs.

    I’m still disappointed they didn’t use the Mach 1 name on a 1320-style car (drag radials, 7.3L V8, transbrake, big hood scoop), but I guess Ford buyers are more into tracks with turns.

  • avatar

    The 5.2 was the compelling feature (minus the failures). This is just a tarted up GT. Hard pass.

  • avatar

    So Ford’s selling a Mustang Mach 1 that is a Mustang and a Mustang Mach-E that’s not a Mustang? The geniuses in Marketing continue to earn their reputation.

  • avatar

    I could buy an electric one for that much.

  • avatar

    Sorry, I may be confused – what is the battery capacity/range/recharge time?

  • avatar

    I just read Ford dropped the Performance Pack II option for the 2021 model year. Essentially replacing the PP2 car with the Mach 1.

    So now you have the very mild Performance Pack 1 option over the GT and if a buyer wants something more serious they will have to step up to the Mach 1 and for something track ready the Mach 1 with handling package.

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