2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Pricing Announced, Could Have Been Worse
Enthusiasts are up in arms about the departing Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 because they already know its Mach 1 replacement won’t be able to compete with it on a racetrack. This was by design, however. Ford wants something a little more street friendly and easier on people’s wallets. It can also save on production costs by utilizing components that helped make the GT350 an engineering marvel, without relying on its pricey V8 with the flat-plane crankshaft. The Mach 1 gets the same 5.0-liter V8 found inside GT models, tweaked to deliver 480 hp and 420 pound-feet of torque.
On the 73rd anniversary of Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier (aka Mach 1) in the Bell X-1 “Glamorous Glennis,” Ford decided to tell us how much the upcoming model will cost so it could begin taking orders. The automaker has settled on $52,915 (including destination), placing the Mach 1 a healthy $4,000 above the Bullitt Mustang and nearly ten grand below the outgoing GT350.
Is that where it belongs?
Well, we’d always like to see cars priced lower but it seems to make sense. The Bullitt (also departing this year) has always felt a bit steep vs a Mustang GT Premium since it basically amounts to an appearance package with a couple of performance upgrades added for good measure. But it’s one of the better ones on the market and includes an engine cover delete to make room for a model-specific strut tower brace (if you also buy the performance package) that turns the engine compartment into something you might actually want to show off at Cars & Coffee before crashing into a tree.
The Mach 1 takes what’s good about the Bullitt, including the engine and that cue-ball shifter placed atop a rev-matching six-speed manual (10-speed automatic available), and runs with a busier paint scheme, Mach 1 badges, and a handful of meaningful modifications. Some of those are straight from the Shelby series of Mustangs — including the base transmission, intake manifold, oil cooler, transmission cooler, and more. Those seeking additional performance may want to option the Handling Package that adds a front splitter and a few other aerodynamic buffs that give the car substantially more of downforce at speed.
That should make it a bit more lively to drive than the Bullitt and helps make that fairly modest price bump more agreeable. But it doesn’t prove whether or not it’s good value against the departing Mustang GT350. Just about everyone praised it and claimed the $61,635 (with shipping) asking price was well worth the money — especially if one planned on taking it to a racetrack with any frequency.
Based on the parts added to the Mach 1, Ford seems to have similar ambitions for the limited-edition model. But its ultimate value will be determined by how adept it is around a track vs the Shelby. Customers seeking the muscle car experience in everyday traffic will probably be better off saving themselves a bundle by purchasing a Mustang GT (or going with the Chevrolet Camaro or Dodge Charger/Challenger) and using their cash reserves to tailor it to their taste. However, those unwilling to settle for less may find the Mach 1 an agreeable alternative to the GT350, even if it doesn’t manage to outdo it in any specific areas.
[Images: Ford Motor Co.]