Mach 1 returning to Mustang corral

Ford promises high-performance pony car yet this spring

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Mach 1
Ford announced the return of the Mustang Mach 1, and promises them yet this spring | Ford photos

Ford is bringing back its heralded Mustang Mach I, and plans to do so this spring, which apparently means between now and the first day of summer, which this year is June 20.

Note: This is the Mustang Mach I, not the Mach E, so it’s a high-performance sports coupe, not a utility vehicle, and it has a 5.0-liter gasoline-fueled V8 engine, not an electric powertrain.

Ford shares teaser images to whet your appetite

“The iconic fastback coupe that debuted during the first golden era of muscle cars in the late-1960s now returns for global Mustang enthusiasts looking for the epitome of naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 performance in a new golden age of power as a new choice in the lineup of the world’s best-selling sports car,” Ford said in its announcement.

“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-liter V8 performance lineup and reward our most hardcore Mustang enthusiasts who demand that next level of power, precision and collectability,” explained Dave Pericak, director of what Ford calls its Ford Icons program. 

“Like the original, the all-new Mustang Mach 1 will be true to its heritage, delivering great looks and as the most track-capable 5.0-liter Mustang ever.”

The original Ford Mach 1 was a 1969 model

The Mach 1 debuted as a 1969 model with Mickey Thompson setting a series of world speed records in the car on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The first-generation Mach I was in production for five years. Ford revived the nameplate for a special version of the Mustang for the 2003 and 2004 model years. 

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“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 – and as the name implies, it could really move.”

While announcing a third-generation Mach 1, Ford has not revealed details of the car such as horsepower or other hardware or its performance potential, though photos released with the announcement shows enlarged front air intakes, quad exhaust pipes,  a large rear spoiler, wide Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and a Brembo brake caliper — all indications of a purpose-built car with advanced on-track capabilities.


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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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