2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Motor Trend|September 2021
Don’t call it Carroll
Scott Evans

FIRST DRIVE

Ever since the Mustang ditched its live rear axle, it’s seemed as if the Blue Oval was only interested in providing ultimate handling prowess on Shelby versions. Various “performance packs” and special editions never got it done, and you had to slide into a GT350 or GT500 to go around a corner properly. With the GT350 retired, however, the curse is broken. The new Mach 1 is a GT350 replacement in everything but engine and carbon-fiber wheels.

The Mach 1 amalgamates parts and ideas from various recent go-fast Mustangs. The Recaro seats are familiar, as is the gaping void where the rear seats would go in any other Mustang. (Removing them is a $250 option.) Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires are welcome, as is the rear “s’wing”—that’s spoiler plus wing—from the GT500, both part of a $3,750 Handling package. The Mach 1 even pinches the cue-ball shift knob from the Bullitt for the delightful Tremec six-speed manual.

The GT350’s 5.2-liter Voodoo flat-plane V-8 lived hard and died young, but some of its soul lives on in the Mach 1’s revised 5.0-liter cross-plane-crank V-8. As did the Bullitt, the Mach 1 uses the Voodoo’s intake manifold to wring an extra 20 horsepower for a total of 480.

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