PICS | Ford Mustang Mach 1 the best iteration of this legendary pony car yet

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• The Mach 1 joined the Ford Mustang line-up in 2021 as a special edition model.

• Only 90 Mach 1 models were brought to the country and each one is accounted for.

• The Mustang Mach 1 is powered by a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine.

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In 2021, one of the most anticipated cars of the year finally launched in South Africa. The Ford Mustang Mach 1 arrived at the delight of muscle car fans, bringing to market a recipe that is as unique as they come. And that recipe is quite simple: rear-wheel drive, gearbox in the middle, and a thumping V8 engine at the front.

And it's the engine that has so many people smiling from ear to ear. In 2019, Ford launched the updated Mustang and Mustang Bullitt in South Africa. Though the Bullitt used the same 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 petrol engine as the Mustang GT, power was increased by 7kW to 338kW while the torque remained unchanged at 529Nm. And like the Bullitt, the Mach 1 is available with either a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission.

Now, because both the Bullitt and Mach 1 are such rarities in the automotive world, both were available as limited-run models. And in the Mach 1's case, only 90 were brought to the South African, of which 15 were fitted with the manual transmission. As fate would have it, we managed to drive the Mach 1 for a few days, but the experience left us wanting more.

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Ford Mustang Mach 1
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Riding that Mustang

The Mach 1 takes on a Fastback design in classic Mustang fashion, with four occupants cocooned in the four-seat cabin. For the driver, the view from the pilot seat is still very familiar, and one's finger intuitively finds the starter button on the centre console. The engine barks to life with a deep burble with the starting sequence completed. The sound is even more pronounced on a cold morning, as if it's trying to clear its throat before unleashing all of its horses.

Hitting the ground running, the Mustang Mach 1 retains the driving traits we grew familiar with since the updated model arrived in 2019. Still, it feels markedly different, thanks to the upgrades to the suspension. Ford adopted subframes and toe-link components from the Shelby GT350 and GT500, and the rest of the suspension architecture has been configured to enhance stability under harsh acceleration and braking.

READ: Sold out! Here's how much Ford SA stands to make from its limited edition Mustang Mach 1

The changes work wonders on the Mustang Mach 1, and does it generate more confidence to push the muscle car through its paces. It may not be as refined and stable as a German sports car, but drivers are still confronted with the reality that you need all your senses about you as you command this car.

The current Mustang line-up consists of two GT models - the Fastback and Convertible - priced at R1 061 100 and R1 133 900, respectively. The Mach 1, given its credential as a special edition model, is no longer listed on the Ford South Africa website, but it is available on the local used-car market.

Ford Mustang Mach 1
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Ford Mustang Mach 1
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Ford Mustang Mach 1
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Ford Mustang Mach 1
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Ford Mustang Mach 1
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Ford Mustang Mach 1
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Ford Mustang Mach 1
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Ford Mustang Mach 1
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Ford Mustang Mach 1
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Ford Mustang Mach 1
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
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