RETURN OF THE MACH
For the first time in history, a hot off the block Mustang will be available in Europe the next level to the GT. Introducing- The Mach 1.
Since its introduction on that fateful day in 1965 the Ford Mustang has gone down in history to become one of the best known and iconic cars on the planet, loved and adored by enthusiasts and the general public alike.- including me. From the age of 10 the Mustang is a car that has captivated my imagination and one day I strive to own, a prospect made even sweeter back in 2015 when Ford announced that their iconic pony car was to be sold for the first time ever to a global audience outside the USA. It's been 5 years now since the 1st gen S550 Mustang hit the shores of the UK and has been a blinding success since. Thousands of petrol heads all living the American V8 dream but with the steering wheel on the "correct" side of the car! I'm at a point in my motoring life where one of these childhood dream cars is a very real concept and I've always had my ideal spec in my head- To build on a standard Mustang GT. Now though, there is a problem. Ford have made my year with the announcement that a Mustang of a higher pedigree will be coming to Europe in the form of a rebirthed 70's icon. The Mach 1.
The basic shell of the Mach 1 starts life as a standard facelift GT fastback however right away there are accents all around the car that show this is no standard mustang. To start off with, the front bumper features a reworked "shark-nose" grill with mock fog light inserts in the Center. not as clean as the standard GT grill however gives another level of aggression which i personally love and is a great homage to the Original Mach 1 and models of old throughout the 60's and 70's.- A timeless mustang feature. As well as this, the exterior of the car also features new aero which includes an extended under tray plus larger front splitter and side skirts. All of this together making possible a 22% gain in down force over a Standard GT performance pack. Retro touches such as some rather 70's inspired stripes and original font "Mach 1" badges also adorn the front wings and rear deck lid. The car also features new design 19" alloys inspired by the original Mach 1 which aren't to my tastes however I love the idea and execution of them. A second wheel option will also be available.
Photo credits to Ford
As far as the engine is concerned, Ford have raided the performance parts bin for this one to create a splendid cocktail of big-balled V8 goodness building on the platform of the 5.0 "Coyote" motor, now in its 3rd generation since being introduced in the revamped S197 chassis back in 2011/2012. To the standard Coyote, Ford have added the intake manifold from the (sadly) discontinued Shelby GT350 model which the Mach 1 will indirectly replace as the bridge between normal Mustang and Shelby. The manifold will be paired to a newly designed air induction system, as well as being helped out by heat exchangers for the engine and gearbox, as well as a new oil cooler. The oil cooler has also been sourced from the 5.2L "voodoo" engine as featured in the GT350 to allow for optimum cooling in track applications and -when all put together- should allow for the V8 to sing to the tune of 470BHP through those gorgeous quad exhaust tips.
Gone are the days of the good ol' Mustang joke "they can only go in a straight line." These days the Mustang is a properly sorted sports car with handling to challenge even the greatest of German sports saloons-but of course you already knew this. This time round, the Mach 1 plans to break the mould even further than the first gen S550. The car will feature the 6 speed manual transmission as standard however this time stolen again from the Shelby GT350, I assume this is a sturdier unit than the standard Ford 6 speed, complete with; rev matching, a twin disc clutch and a shorter gear throw for that sportier feel. The epic new 10 speed auto will also be available however i think the manual is where it's at. An optional handling package will also be available to increase the cars capability even further. This includes a larger front splitter and wheel lip moldings as well as the gurney flap from the new GT500. With this, the wheel size is also increased to 10.5" in the front and 11" in the rear allowing them to be wrapped up in some serious meat! The handling pack is also topped off with a stiffened sub frame and steering shaft to really give the British B-road blasters something to worry about.
Photo credits to Ford
When talking about this car, i heard someone (an American) say, "There's no need for this car in Europe." Why bloody not? At first glimpse it may not seem the obvious choice for the UK's roads but, as can be seen by the astounding success of the Mustang since its UK launch in 2015, the British petrol head craves these cars, probably due to the fact they are so new to us until now making them even more special, just like the current trend of the US seemingly taking all of the Worlds JDM imports for obscene amounts! There is a huge aftermarket for Modded mustangs going right through to supercharged monsters here in the UK, but this car fills the consumer void perfectly. The GT500 and all its 800 bald eagle Murica powers is unusable in the UK, and with the GT350 discontinued, this leaves a gap to fill for those customers wanting more than a standard GT however not finding it necessary for a fully-blown modified monster. For me, the battleship grey with black and orange stripes and the handling pack on those gorgeous wider wheels in the perfect spec Mach 1. One can only dream but please Ford, pretty please?