First came the Mustang GT, which debuted in Brazil to enormous fanfare as a rival to the Chevrolet Camaro, which had been here for years. Then came the Mustang Black Shadow, with the same mechanics, but different finish and carbon fiber details.
This year, Ford “raised the bar” of the dispute with the Camaro by offering the Mach 1 here. .
Mach 1 inherited a series of improvements from more radical versions of the coupe, such as the Shelby GT 350 and GT 500, which ensured increased power and also a sporty bias, more focused on track use than previous versions.
This has a cost: R$523,950. The model was announced in April, when the brand opened pre-sales, for R$ 499 thousand. However, with the exchange rate fluctuations week after week, the model is already almost R$ 25,000 more expensive, rising to R$ 523,950, but that doesn’t surprise anyone who wants to and can put the American sports car in the garage.
The Mach 1 is the most exciting of the three Mustang versions that Ford has sold so far in Brazil, without a doubt. But it’s also the one that will least please those who want a car for everyday use because it has the most track footprint. The improvements not only bring higher performance numbers compared to other Mustangs sold here, but also make the Mach 1 a car with more pedigree, as it took advantage of tried and tested components in more radical configurations, which produced a significant improvement in muscle car.
DESIGN AND INTERNAL SPACE
In terms of design, the Mach 1 has its value and its characteristics, despite maintaining the lines we already know from other Mustang versions.
Its main highlight is the engine grill, which has two round niches. This is a reissue of the look of the original Mach 1, which featured extra auxiliary headlamps inside the grille.
Unfortunately, Ford missed the opportunity to reissue these extra headlights using LEDs. From a distance, the proposal is cool and for those who know the original car can recognize it, but up close, it seems that there was something better to occupy that area or more design effort to bring it closer to the original.
In addition to this detail on the grille, the Mach 1 has new front bumper and 19-inch wheels with different measurements for the front and rear. The external look is completed by the black sports band that runs the car from the hood to the trunk.
Depending on the color chosen for the body (there are eight color options), the black strip is accompanied by a thinner one, in orange or white.
Inside, the original Mach 1 design reappears in the same pattern as the leather upholstery on the seats. On the panel is the nameplate “Mach 1” and the chassis number of that special series. Finally, there are the illuminated thresholds that accompany the color that is activated for the interior of the car – there are eight available.
In terms of space, there’s not much to say or expect from a car whose vocation is purely sporty. Despite being approved for four people, in the rear seat only children or adults who are no more than 1.50 m tall can travel comfortably.
At the front there is plenty of comfort for two adults and the driving position is very comfortable and easy to find. For drivers who want more of the track footprint, the seat can be adjusted to a minimum height, where almost nothing can be seen of the hood.
The workmanship is good, quality, but not highly luxurious as the price suggests. If nothing is lacking in terms of equipment or comfort, it is necessary to remember that the Mach 1, despite the price, is not such a segmented car in its main market, the US.
CONSUMPTION AND PERFORMANCE
Under the hood, the Mach 1 features the well-known and popular 5.0 Coyote V8 engine. It is a very modern engine, with all aluminum construction, from the block to the head.
In the case of Mach 1, he received some “gifts” from the Bullitt versions and the Shelby GT 350 and GT 500, which are the prepared versions of the Mustang that carry the Carroll Shelby surname since the first generation.
To reach 483 hp (in the other versions, it was 466 hp) and 56.7 kgfm, the V8 received improvements that changed even the limits of the engine: the maximum power reached 7,000 rpm and is now delivered at 7,250 rpm, while the torque maximum, previously available at 4,600 rpm, comes at 4,900 rpm.
Technical innovations include larger diameter anti-twist bars, which came from the Bullitt, making the car even firmer; and the open air box, which improves muscle car intake flow.
From the Shelby GT 350, the Mach 1 inherited the air intake manifold, throttle body and new engine cooling system – bigger and with more capacity.
From the Shelby GT 500 come the perforated tailpipes on the sides, the rear diffuser in the bumper, new rear suspension bushings and a radiator to cool the rear differential.
In practice, the Mach 1 is a more skittish car, even in normal mode (there is no eco mode) and it definitely prefers to work at high speeds and can deliver the best it has in terms of sportiness. As much as it has street car DNA, the Mach 1 is the most destined for the tracks compared to the three Mustangs sold so far in the country.
The steering is precise, the suspension is firmer and, in sport mode, the big engine screams and makes noise that doesn’t go unnoticed on the streets. To be more discreet, only if the owner chooses modes that “kill” the exhaust sound by disabling the membrane system that allows you to control the sound level, both at startup and during use.
The ten-speed automatic transmission that he shares with the Camaro (yeah…) received a new torque converter for more agile responses.
The package is complete with the driving modes we’ve known since the GT: normal, wet, sporty, sport+, track, drag, and customizable. In the latter you can choose the power train response, steering calibration and the ABS and ESP (stability control) intervention level.
The others automatically calibrate these parameters, in addition to the hardness of the shock absorbers, which are controlled by means of a magnetic load on the oil, which makes them firmer or softer.
Mach 1 is well equipped, as was the Black Shadow. The package, which is unique with no options, includes the 12-inch virtual panel that changes depending on the driving mode.
There is also the Sync media center with connection to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and premium sound system by the brand Bang&Olufsen.
It also features a reverse camera, ramp start assistant, individual tire pressure sensors, as well as rain and light sensors that turn on the full-LED headlights automatically.
It also starts offering the Ford Pass. With an application on the smartphone, it is possible to access the car’s telemetry (consumption, odometer, service schedule, door lock, remote start to turn on the air conditioning, in addition to alarm activation alert and vehicle location.
MAINTENANCE AND SAFETY
As a tire brand’s slogan said, “Power is nothing without control.” That’s why Mach 1 comes with the complete active and passive safety assistance package.
This includes emergency autonomous braking with frontal collision warning and pedestrian detection, automatic high beam, adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane reader with steering wheel correction.
Finally, it brings eight airbags (the extra ones are knee for driver and passenger), traction controls, stability and ramp start assistant.
The Mustang Mach 1 is technically only the Camaro SS as a rival – but that is getting further and further away. The power has increased, the drivability is more accurate and the car, with the strategy of serving global markets, even tries to enter the field of competing for space with European sports cars, which historically are better than the American ones.
The cost-benefit of power for every real paid is no longer the same as it used to be, but even so, the Mach 1 has a nice offer close to the price of other cars for its almost 500 hp.