Mustang Mach 1 – The replacement to the GT350 comes to Europe
Okay, some knowledge about the history of the soon to be dead GT350. It kinda didn’t come to Europe. Private imports and maybe if you asked Ford nicely. That’s it. Something that got praises in the US, and could seriously compete, at least on a performance level, with a decent chunk of performance cars. However, at least in Sweden, with high import fees, taxes and an exclusivity tag, the price tag and the logistics of actually attaining a GT350 are suboptimal.
Here´s where the Mach 1 comes in, and makes quite an entrance. Because the name, Mach 1, is not a name people take lightly, since it is a celebration of when Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier, reaching Mach 1, making history. The car might not go that fast, but the name has been taken very seriously by Ford. Classics going for absurd prices shows that Ford not only knows how to design cars, but also how to make an iconic brand and name. What then is important, is to not dilute the brand identity. As Raiti´s Rides said. Parts bin special, is what the Mach 1 has a risk of becoming, since looking at the specs, it is more or less a Bullitt. 480 hp, or 460 hp in Europe because of emissions, thanks to a GT350 throttle body, intake and exhaust manifold. Those coyote engines really loves bolt ons.
Although, the Mach 1 is not purely about straight lines. With uprated cooling for the gearbox, it is supposed to hold for longer on the track. A six-speed manual gearbox from Tremec, taken from the GT350, with rev matching will hopefully give the Mach 1 some decent gearing, since the long gears of the Bullitt made it difficult to be in the power band. If needed, it is possible to go for the 10-speed automatic, but it is not possible to also get the handling pack, as it is reserved for manuals only.
Further updates include retuned Magneride dampers, stiffer springs and anti-roll bars and bushes together with a new brake booster. The Mach 1 also has GT350 and GT500 subframes and toe-links, the diffuser from the GT500 and extended underbody chassis tray. All in all, a 22 % increase in downforce compared to the GT with the Performance pack.
The ‘shark-nosed’ front end, unique 3D grille and fake retro lights, can be opened up to work as air intakes and Mach 1 decals, the Mach 1 does look apart. A more performance oriented look with the no nonsense front, but it is obvious that most of the changes have been to the mechanics, and what can’t be seen. However, if you want and should to, you can take the Mach 1 to the next level. Opt out the handling pack, which includes a larger front splitter, reshaped front wheel lip moldings, wing with gurney flap from the GT500, front adjustable strut top mounts from the GT350 and rear tire spats from the GT500. The result is a 128 % increase in downforce over the GT. Tires are also wider, and stickier. 255 mm in the front and 285 in the rear, with Michelin Pilot sport cup 2s all around. The standard Mach 1 gets Pilot sport 4s.
No price has been announced, but as the price for the Bullitt in Sweden starts at 54 k Euros, it would be possible to believe that the Mach 1 would start at just under 60 k Euros, with the handling past being around 65-70 k Euros. That is expensive for a Mustang, which means that because of the very American interior, the driving experience must be off the charts.