Return of the Mach
Car enthusiasts rejoice, the Ford Mustang Mach 1 is available in the UK and it's brought a host of goodies from the Shelby catalogue with it.
For those who aren't too familiar with the 'Mach 1' moniker, it represents Ford's performance package for the Mustang. It basically takes a standard pony car and moulds it into a track car with an attitude problem.
And don't be fooled into thinking this is just a Mustang with some fancy cosmetic upgrades and a bit of badging. The boffins at Ford have properly gone-to-town on the Mach 1, with a host of upgrades having been made to the mechanicals and aerodynamics.
Engine and Performance
The 5.0-litre Coyote V8 engine remains from the standard Mustang. However, it has been fettled with an upgraded air intake, inlet manifold, and throttle bodies from the Shelby GT350 for added power and torque.
As a result, the Mach 1 produces 454bhp and 390lb/ft, which are mightily impressive figures. Better yet, the Mach 1 comes with a traditional 6-speed manual gearbox for maximum involvement. Although, we wouldn't blame anyone for opting for the slick 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
In addition to the above, Ford have kindly fitted the Mach 1 with a performance exhaust system that has been finished off with 4.5-inch quad tips; because nothing else will do.
Consistent performance during track sessions is essential, which is why Ford have added more coolers to the engine, transmission and rear differential. They've also added a beefier brake booster for greater stopping power.
Chassis and Handling
The standard Mustang is already known for handling itself quite comfortably when the going gets twisty, but Mach 1 builds on that with a series of enhancements.
For example, the new front splitter, belly pan, and rear diffuser are purpose-built to enhance the Mach 1's aerodynamics, ultimately providing the driver with greater stability and a more planted rear-end.
Look underneath and you'll find the same front and rear subframe that's been fitted to the Shelby GT350, as well as stiffer anti-roll bars that are complemented by front springs with a higher spring rate.
Combined with the lightweight alloy wheels and standard-fit Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, the Mach 1 delivers enhanced agility, sharper turn-in, and an even greater sense of occasion.
Technology and Safety
Working in tandem with the mechanical upgrades and changes to the aerodynamics, Ford have included a choice of Selectable Drive Modes, which include:
'Track mode' is where things really get spicy. This option will tweak the Mach 1's engine mapping and traction computers to give the driver maximum attack. The result is sharper steering and throttle response, as well as more opportunity to explore the Mach 1's balanced chassis.
The interior remains largely unaltered, with key information being displayed on a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster while the driver surrounds themselves in the premium leather sports seats. However, some tasteful Mach 1 accent stripes can be found on the seats, while the unique Mach 1 limited-edition badge pairs nicely with the retro-themed white cue ball gearknob.
Ford Mustang Mach 1: Now Available
The beauty of the Mach 1 is that it will appeal to those who grew up with the Mach 1 name badge as well as the latest generation of car enthusiasts.
Although the technology and performance have grown with the times, the very essence of what the Mach 1 represents has remained the same. It's still a Mustang that has been built with the sole purpose of offering unrelenting driving thrills and potent on-track performance.
The Ford Mustang Mach 1 is available to order through your nearest Evans Halshaw FordStore.