2021 Mustang Mach I: Track-Tuned From Select Shelby Parts
Ford has revived the Mach I name for the latest Mustang and it’s more than just a “sticker car.” Packed inside is Ford’s efforts to make this Mustang a track-tuned handler. To make it happen it has taken some Shelby bits for the first Mach I in 17 years. It also lends the Bullitt 480hp 5.0-liter V8 Coyote engine which is still naturally aspirated. So the 2021 Mustang Mach I is track-tuned from select Shelby parts. We like where this is going.
The engine is recalibrated and gets the GT350 intake manifold to make 420 lb-ft of torque. Maybe the best part of the Mach I package is the standard shift Tremec 3160 six-speed transmission. Let’s be clear, this is not the trouble-prone Getrag manual but a tried-and-true Tremec product. It also features automated rev-matching. If an automatic is more your style a 10-speed is also available with an upgraded torque converter and altered shift points.
Among the many Shelby parts for the 2021 Mustang Mach I are multiple heat exchangers
Shelby items are numerous and include multiple heat exchangers for an extra dose of cooling. A GT350 oil cooler gives you 50% more oil capacity. The manual gets a GT350 oil cooler and the automatic has two. The rear end’s cooler comes courtesy of the GT500.
An optional Handling Package comes with stiffer front springs, thicker sway bars, stiffer rear subframe bushings, GT500 rear toe-link, modified MagneRide dampers, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. With those tires you need wider wheels than standard Mach I fare. Those 19-inch Magnum 500-like standard wheels get replaced with a unique wheel that is also one-inch wider at 10.5-inches in front and 11-inches in the rear. More track mindedness comes with the Mustang GT Performance Pack 2 brake booster. There is also a stiffer steering column and the electric power steering is tweaked for better driver input among other improvements.
Besides drivetrain and suspension enhancements over pedestrian 2021 Mustangs, there are also aero tweaks worth mentioning. In the front, there is a pronounced chin splitter for more downforce. Borrowed from the Shelby GT500 are a lower diffuser and Gurney-flap spoiler. All of this achieves 150% more downforce over a GT350 with the Performance Pack 1 mods. To counter the drag that is created, the Mach I adds front fender flares, a cleaned-up undercarriage with extended belly pan, and rear-wheel spats.
The Mach I doesn’t come with the requisite shaker hood but does come with the fog light holes
While Ford decided to forego the expected Mach I shaker hood scoop it does incorporate the fog lights holes integrated into the grille. The 2021 Mustangs come in 10 new colors along with unique striping in matte black, or gloss orange, red, or white. Available with the orange Appearance Package is a Mach I-only dark gray. Inside unique features include an aluminum finish on the dash, white cue ball shifter, and Mach I badging.
Coming in the spring of 2021 prices have not been announced. You can expect it will be somewhere between the $48,000 Bullitt and $61,000 Shelby GT350.