- An event to drive
- Awesome looks
- That V8 engine and soundtrack
The days of muscle cars with naturally aspirated V8 engines may be numbered, so it's time to enjoy them while we still can. Few are better than the Ford Mustang and its glorious soundtrack has to be savoured for as long as possible.
This particular Mustang Mach 1 is the fastest version of the car ever to perform on UK roads. It costs significantly more than the standard car, and its upgrades make it pretty hardcore and ideal for track fans.
The Mach 1 may be a brute of a car, but it's great fun to drive and really sharp thanks to its uprated engine and clever chassis tweaks.
A new high performance exhaust system means it sounds better than ever, and you're certain to be heard before you're seen. Punch the starter button, and the Mach 1 bursts into life with 454bhp on tap – an increase of 10bhp over the standard Mustang V8.
While the noise from the V8 is truly impressive outside, it's surprisingly pleasant inside the cabin where you can enjoy its burble with a smile on your face.
The real money has been spent on the chassis upgrades that make the Mach 1 special. The MagneRide dampers have been retuned, while firmer front springs, uprated anti-roll bars, and stiffer subframe bushes all feature to boost handling precision. The electric power steering system has also been recalibrated.
Skilled drivers will appreciate the changes more than most of its buyers who will just want the stunning Mach 1 because it's the top model and looks great.
The large coupé feels tighter on the road and is always willing, but as you would expect, it's less comfortable over the rough stuff. It offers lots of feedback and is easy to pilot, even on twisting country roads.
The engine responds to every touch of the throttle, and you can enjoy the V8 howl as you fire down the road.
My car came with the enjoyable 6-speed manual box, but you can have a 10-speed automatic transmission if you fancy it. I was not able to sample the Mach 1 on a track, and it was certainly entertaining, but unless you're a real enthusiast of that kind of driving, I would save the money and stick with the regular Mustang V8.
Design and Practicality
As part of its makeover, the Mach 1 was given a number of cosmetic changes to make it look even more aggressive, including a deep front splitter, boot spoiler and a pair of large nostrils in the front grille which feed the 5.0-litre V8 and pay tribute to the 1969 legend.
The technical changes mean the car now has 22 percent more downforce to help keep it on the road or track when you opt to use all its considerable power.
The interior is largely the same as the other Mustangs apart from a smart white gear knob borrowed from the Mustang Bullitt car, a plaque on the dash with a Mach 1 chassis number and some extra aluminium trims.
Technology and Safety
The car has all the kit you would expect, including a 12-inch digital dash with graphics that alter depending on the car’s drive mode. Ford’s Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment set-up is included and features Apple CarPlay, a DAB radio and Android Auto.
The standard Ford Mustang is known for its brutish nature, but in Mach 1 specification, this is taken to a whole new level. Sharp, entertaining, and powerful, it offers everything a muscle car should.
It's expensive to run, and to buy, but many buy this type of car for its thrills, and that's something that the Mach 1 has in abundance.