Ford confirms 345kW Mustang Mach 1 is coming to NZ

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Words: Matthew Hansen
14 Oct 2020

After months of speculation, Ford New Zealand has announced that the Mustang Mach 1 is coming to New Zealand as a new V8-powered flagship.

“Achieving Mach 1 for the first time was a significant human feat,” said Simon Rutherford, Managing Director, Ford New Zealand. “That spirit and determination to keep pushing, never settling and always trying to go further is what the Mach 1 Mustang was all about – and it’s fitting that we can bring our customers, who’ve made Mustang part of our motoring landscape, a 2021 Mustang Mach 1 of their very own.”

The Mach 1 effectively replaces the Bullitt as Ford’s top dog (or pony) sold locally. It features a plethora of Shelby-borrowed bits, including the same Tremec six-speed manual, air intake, engine oil cooler, oil filter adapter, and rear toe-link from a GT350.

A 10-speed automatic is also offered, however, Ford New Zealand hasn’t yet confirmed local specs. Whether we get both transmissions is likely to depend on just how many Mach 1s our little country can secure.

Power and torque from the 5.0-litre Coyote V8 increases from the standard GT’s 339kW/556Nm to 358kW/570Nm in most markets, and an expected 345kW/556Nm in Australasia. This is down to the different way that emissions are tested in this part of the world, and effectively gives the Mach 1 the exact same output numbers as the Mustang Bullitt. 

The Mach 1 isn’t just a Bullitt reskin, though. While the movie-inspired Muzzy was more about aural thrills and nostalgia, the Mach 1 is more aimed at apex hunting track-day warriors. This is underlined by the high quantity of cooling-related Shelby hand-me-downs and a bevy of changes to the rev-matching six-speed manual. While it’s largely derived from the GT350 unit, it also takes on the twin-disc clutch and short-throw shifter from the current GT.

The new model’s aggressive exterior changes also underline a grip-racing focus. The striping, bespoke colours, and new wheels are one thing, but customers who opt for the Mach 1 Track Package [pictured in grey] will also get a large front splitter and rear wing. These are complemented by a raft of subtle handling tweaks, including stiffer sway bars and bushings, MagneRide dampers as standard, and a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres.

Ford New Zealand had not confirmed at the time of writing whether the Track Package would be an option for Kiwi buyers. More information on this is expected when the firm outlines local specifications.

The news comes after reports of right-hand drive variants of the performance model were spotted testing in Michigan back in August. And, earlier this week, the model was confirmed as a global release. The news roll-out also aligns with the death of the Shelby GT350 — a car revered for its immense, characterful flat-plane crank V8.

Pricing and estimated arrival time has yet to be confirmed. Ford says that all Mach 1 orders will go through a bespoke online ordering system, allowing customers to claim their slice of American V8 muscle from the comfort of home.

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