These days Ford utilizes a broad range of development tools to hasten and sharpen a vehicle development program. With its performance vehicles, however, there is still a good deal of real-world testing taking place. In the case of the 480-horsepower 2021 Mustang Mach 1, which the company says “sets a new standard of 5.0-liter V8 track-ready performance in the Mustang,” testing includes one of the world’s most challenging tracks — the Nurburgring.
Verifying that testing, YouTuber Automotive Mike captured not one but two 2021 Mach 1 development vehicles out blasting around the 12.94-mile track in Nürburg, Germany. Seeing the real-world testing as part of the development mix is heartening.
“This [the development] is one of the most difficult processes on a program of this nature as it involves balancing multiple metrics and attributes (drag, lift balance, cooling, styling, ground clearance, legal requirements, etc.). It is an iterative process that involves multiple teams to provide input and various test methods (computer simulation, wind tunnels, actual racetrack testing, etc.),” Nick Terzes, Vehicle Integration Supervisor (Mustang) at Ford Motor Company told us when the Mach 1 was revealed.
From the sounds of this video, engineers were honing the handling and aerodynamics of both TREMEC TR-3160 six-speed and 10R80 10-speed automatic versions of the forthcoming Mach 1 during this actual racetrack testing. This car borrows some of the best attributes from its Bullitt, PPL2, and Shelby predecessors to deliver high-level handling from the maturing S550 platform, so it should be quite the performer.
“Fortunately, the team members involved are very experienced, not only with their particular craft but also working with the current Mustang platform. This means they are able to work together effectively and efficiently, as they understand the targets to be achieved and the various trade-offs considered. (It is) a true team effort that resulted in the highest performing 5.0-liter Mustang ever,” Terzes added. We certainly can’t wait to drive the new Mach 1 and see what kind of performance this testing generated, but for now, it is just exciting to see the development cars ripping up the ’Ring.