2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1: Here’s What They Took From the Shelby GT350 and GT500

This is one mean pony.

byJames Gilboy|
Ford News photo


Next Spring, the Ford Mustang Mach 1 will be back on the menu, and this time, it'll be generously seasoned with parts from its superiors the Shelby GT350 and GT500. It may as well wear a Shelby badge itself for all the components repurposed from these two pony cars, though unlike its older siblings, it won't utilize the exotic 5.2-liter V8. Under the hood of the 2021 Mach 1 will be the 5.0-liter Coyote the world has come to know and love, though it's one that picks up extra horsepower from parts first seen on the GT350, and later on, the Mustang Bullitt.

Said parts are the GT350's intake and throttle body, plus an intake manifold whose design was based on that of the Voodoo V8, which raises horsepower to 480 with increased airflow. Other GT350 components—namely parts of the oiling system—reappear in the Mach 1, specifically its oil filter adapter and oil cooler, whose extra plumbing increases oil capacity by 50 percent. Similarly, the GT350's six-speed Tremec 3160 manual transmission resurfaces here, but with a Shelby-spec oil cooler than boosts capacity by 75 percent, and an automated rev-match feature for those who haven't yet mastered the heel-toe technique.

Hailing from the GT500 is another heat exchanger, this one for the rear axle to regulate differential oil temperatures. It helps direct air through the Mach 1's diffuser, the lower portion of which also comes from the GT500, escalating rear downforce in conjunction with the rear spats and Gurney flap-equipped rear spoiler. The Mach 1 wouldn't be capable of doing much with the added downforce without some chassis stiffness, and the GT500 delivers there too, lending the Mach 1 its rear subframe and toe links to limit alignment changes during suspension compression.

Some of the aforementioned Shelby parts may live on in the Mach 1 alone, as rumor has it the GT350 will be discontinued after the 2020 model year. The same rumor foretold the Mach 1's return, and Ford remained mum when we asked about the GT350's future. Maybe that rumor has some substance, and we should prepare to kiss the GT350 goodbye...and love its new, badass successor.

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