The Mustang Mach 1 is back after 17 years in the wilderness.

    Ford has ripped the covers from what it’s calling the “most track-capable 5.0-litre Mustang ever”, the 2021 Mustang Mach 1. Unfortunately, Australian muscle car fans will miss out for the moment.

    A Ford Australia spokesperson told CarExpert: “In Australia, we’re proud of Mustang R-Spec as our halo model, with the 2020 GT and 2.3L High Performance models offering greater value and choice for this iconic nameplate.

    “We have no news to share about any future plans.”

    With a naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre V8 engine making 358kW of power and 570Nm of torque (identical to the limited-run Mustang Bullitt), the new Mach 1 blends the best of the Mustang GT with parts from the Shelby GT350 and GT500.

    By comparison the current range-topping Mustang in Australia is the limited-edition Mustang R-Spec, which has 522kW and 830Nm thanks to a supercharger kit, and Ford Performance parts for better track performance.

    The engine in the Mach 1 packs a new intake manifold, oil filter adapter, and engine oil cooler from the GT350 for improved thermal management on track. The rear axle cooler and lower diffuser have been taken from the GT500, as have side heat exchangers to cool the engine and transmission oil.

    A variation of the six-speed manual transmission from the GT350 with automatic rev matching is standard, although buyers will be able to opt for a 10-speed automatic as well.

    Thanks largely to an extended underbelly pan, Ford says the retro-flavoured Mach 1 creates 22 per cent more downforce than the regular Mustang GT with the handling pack that’s optional in the USA.

    The car rides on a revised magnetic suspension setup backed by stiffer sway bars and front springs to keep its mass in check.

    Standard features include a retuned electronic power steering system, stiffer rear subframe bushings, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres wrapped around wider wheels than the stock GT.

    With a deep front splitter and mesh grille complete with retro-inspired lamp inserts, black highlights on the bonnet and flanks, and larger rear diffuser, the styling of the Mach 1 is designed to pay homage to its predecessors.

    The Mach 1 badge has been used sparingly throughout the Mustang’s long history. It was first applied in 1969, and rolled out again in 1971 and 1974.

    It was then mothballed until 2003, at which point it was used on a 227kW version of the fourth-generation ‘Stang.

    Would you like to see the retro-inspired Mustang Mach 1 in Australia?

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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