Announced on 29 May, the new Mach 1 will launch later this year as a special edition for the North American market. Australian delivery is unconfirmed, but seems unlikely at this stage.
“Mach 1 has a special place in Mustang history, and it’s time for this special edition to claim the top spot in our 5.0-litrre V8 performance lineup and reward our most hardcore Mustang enthusiasts who demand that next level of power, precision and collectability,” said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Icons.
“Like the original, the all-new Mustang Mach 1 will be true to its heritage, delivering great looks and the most track-capable 5.0-litre Mustang ever.”
Beyond the 5.0-litre engine, no other specification details have been released at this stage, but “the most track-ready 5.0 Mustang ever” line presumes handling and braking upgrades are on the menu.
The original Mach 1 debut in 1968 as a 1969 model, offering performance and handling upgrades over a Mustang GT, but without the harshness and racetrack focus of a Boss 302.
“Mach 1 has always been that bridge between base Mustangs and the Shelby models,” said Ted Ryan, heritage brand manager, Ford Archives. “From a style and handling perspective, the original Mach 1 managed to stand out as unique, even in the Mustang lineup.”
When production switched to the smaller Mustang II platform for 1974, the Mach 1 continued, offered with a 2.8-litre V6 engine initially, before a 4.9 V8 was added in 1975. The Mach 1 was a constant throughout the lifespan of the Mustang II, but discontinued when the third-generation ‘Fox body’ Mustang was introduced for 1979.
The Mach 1 badge made a comeback on the fourth generation Mustang for 2003, combining retro-inspired styling touches with larger Brembo front disc brakes and specially-tuned suspension. The revived Mach 1 was discontinued after the 2004 model year
More recently, Ford made a major mis-step with Mustang fans when they revealed that their new electric SUV would carry a ‘Mach E’ badge. Announcing the return of the Mach 1 badge on an ICE performance Mustang has been seen by some as Ford’s way of quelling that dissent.