The Mustang Mach 1 Has 3 Disadvantages Compared to the Shelby GT350

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 broke a couple of barriers for Ford. However, the automaker still saw cause to pull it from the lineup. Enter the Mustang Mach 1, the closest pony car to the Shelby GT350 in the current Mustang library. Still, newer doesn’t always mean much better; the GT350 has three advantages over the Ford Mustang Mach 1. 

How much HP does a GT350 make?

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 produces 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. Over 500 horsepower doesn’t just make it a handful; it makes it one of the all-time most powerful stock Mustangs ever. Better yet, the now-discontinued GT350 is much more powerful than the Mustang Mach 1. 

Specifically, the newer Mach 1 cars produce 480 horsepower, like the S550-generation Bullitt cars of recent years. While 480 horsepower is nothing to dismiss, it’s nearly 50 fewer ponies than the Shelby track star car. However, the Mach 1 produces 420 lb-ft of torque, which is quite similar to the Shelby. Still, the later model GT350 is quicker and more powerful than the newer Mach 1. 

Does the Mustang Mach 1 have a Coyote engine?

The Ford Mustang Mach 1 packs a 5.0L Coyote V8 engine in a higher state of tune than the more commonplace Mustang GT. That’s good news for Mach 1 fans, too. The standard Coyote typically produces 460 horsepower, and the latest 2022 GT produces 450 horsepower. Still, the most significant difference between the Mach 1 and GT350 is its powerplant. 

Instead of a 5.0L Coyote V8, the Shelby equips a 5.2L Voodoo V8. It’s not just slightly higher displacement, either. The Voodoo is a flat-plane-crank V8 engine, which allows the car to rev much higher than a lazier Coyote. According to Car and Driver, the engine configuration allows for an 8,250-rpm redline. That’s over 1,000 rpm higher than the comparable Mach 1. 

The Ford Mustang Mach 1 is a contender to compete with the now discontinued Shelby GT350.
Mustang Mach 1 | Ford

Which car handles better? 

Despite the lack of a Shelby badge, the Mustang Mach 1 holds its own against the GT350. In MotorTrend’s testing, the Mach 1 fell between the original GT350 and its later model years, namely 2019 and 2020. For instance, the 2019 GT350 outperformed the Mach 1 in a figure-eight test, but only by 0.1 seconds. Furthermore, the Shelby track car had better braking performance, stopping from 60 mph 1 foot shy of the newer Ford Mustang track car’s 96 feet. 

Even though fans might decry Ford’s discontinuation of the belove GT350, the cars are very close in terms of speed and handling. In fact, the Mach 1 borrows many track-ready components from the Shelby. For example, the Mach 1 uses a Tremec 3160 six-speed manual transmission, transmission cooler, oil cooler, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

The Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500 might be more unique than the Ford Mustang Mach 1, but the Mach 1 still holds its own.
Shelby Mustangs | Ford

Should you buy a GT350 or a Mustang Mach 1?

If you want a product with Shelby pedigree and track-day credentials, your choice is clear. However, the Mach 1 is newer, still in production, and has near-GT350 level performance figures. Also, for fans of the Ford 10-speed automatic transmission, the Mach 1 offers a clutch-less option. Of course, the Tremec-built transmission should be a selling point for anyone in the track-ready pony car market. 

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