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Modern Driveline

HOT PURSUIT 2021 Mustang Mach 1 holds its own with Shelby GT350


2021 Mustang Mach 1 holds its own with Shelby GT350

They say not to believe everything your read, but you are reading this, so there are always exceptions. However, you may have recently read that the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is capable of keeping pace with a certain Shelby. In truth, it can keep up with a Shelby on shorter road courses, but not the one you might have read about.

While the latest Mach 1 borrows a lot of tricks from its performance Mustang cousins — including the Bullitt, Performance Pack Level 2, Shelby GT350, and GT500 — it still has a naturally-aspirated Coyote under the hood. Sure 480 horsepower is fun, but there is no way it can match 760 ponies backed by a high-tech DCT — even if the turns are tight.

Mustang Marketing Manager Jim Owens after the 2020 Shelby GT500 Track Tour
We caught up with Mustang Marketing Manager Jim Owens after the 2020 Shelby GT500 Track Tour, where he talked a bit about the 2021 Mustang Mach 1. Jim clarified that the forthcoming Mach 1 can’t keep up with the GT500, but it might just give a Shelby GT350 a run for its money on a tighter road course.

However, the fact it can keep up with the 526-horsepower Shelby GT350 that it supplants is a high watermark indeed. Sure a tighter track will mitigate the 46-horsepower Voodoo advantage, but the Mach 1 must be quite a car to even get close to a car the has set the standard for Mustang handling to date.

“At various test tracks, which don’t have that huge, long straightaway," Mustang Marketing Manager Jim Owens told us regarding the forthcoming Mach 1. "It’s right on its tail. It is so much fun. It is not quite the 8,250 redline (of the Shelby GT350), but certainly the 7,500 redline pulls. The GT350 is just magical, so it‘s a completely different beast, but this thing pulls...”  

We definitely can’t wait to see what the Mach 1 is all about, but just don’t kid yourself that it might hunt down a Predator.


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