JUST five days out from the Bathurst 1000 and 73 years to the day since Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier, Ford Australia has confirmed that the Mustang Mach 1 is headed Down Under, albeit limited to just 700 units.
Designed to bridge the gap between the regular Mustang GT and the high-end Shelby variants, the Mach 1 nameplate can be traced back to 1969 when it was launched to celebrate Mr Yeager’s record-breaking flight.
Once again back to offer more Mustang performance but without the Shelby badge, the new Mach 1 will arrive in Aussie showrooms next year featuring more aggressive styling and additional firepower.
The extra grunt comes courtesy of the same tweaked 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine as found in the Mustang Bullitt, meaning peak power is rated at 345kW while maximum torque is rated at 556Nm – 6kW more than the standard GT.
Unlike the Bullitt however, the Mach 1 will be available with the familiar line-up of Mustang transmissions, those being a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic, however both units have been upgraded with parts borrowed from the US-only Shelby GT350.
Visually, the Mach 1 brandishes a series of retro-inspired styling cues including a redesigned front grille with faux lamp elements, a more aggressive lower chin and intake combination with two new side grilles, low-gloss Mustang pony badge, unique darkened body and bonnet decals and more aggressive aero features designed to increase downforce.
Under the skin meanwhile, the borrowing of Shelby parts has continued with the Mach 1 also scoring the rear axle cooling system and lower diffuser from the GT500 as well as a new underbelly pan, stiffer sway bars and front springs, recalibrated steering system, stiffer subframe bushings and an enhanced brake booster.
According to Ford Australia president and CEO Andrew Birkic, the new Mach 1 still channels the spirit of the original and is a worthy successor.
“Achieving Mach 1 for the first time was a significant human feat,” he said.
“That spirit and determination to keep pushing, never settling and always trying to go further is what the Mach 1 Mustang was all about – and it’s fitting that we can bring Australian customers, who’ve made Mustang part of our motoring landscape, a 2021 Mustang Mach 1 of their very own.”
Mach 1 Australian ambassador Rick Kelly meanwhile described the new model as a “unique opportunity for fans and customers” and said he was “pumped” to see the car arrive next year.
Local pricing, specification and exact timing are all yet to be detailed by Ford Australia, who has sold 2174 new Mustangs so far this year ending September, accounting for 49.8 per cent of the sub-$80,000 sportscar segment.