2021 Mustang Mach 1 Handling Package Adds Even More On-Track Performance

After a 17-year hiatus, the all-new Mustang Mach 1 fastback coupe makes its world premiere - becoming the modern pinnacle of style, handling and 5.0-liter V-8 pony car performance.
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Following a 17 year hiatus, Ford is finally bringing back the legendary Mach 1 for the 2021 model year. But this time around, the car’s main focus is on track performance, not straight-line bruising. This may come as a bit of a surprise to some, but with the Shelby GT350 going away after 2020, The Blue Oval needed to fill its void in the Ford Mustang lineup. And for those who want the ultimate on-track 2021 Mustang, the optional Mach 1 Handling Package is definitely the way to go.

So what, exactly does one get with the Mach 1 Handling Package? Well, for starters, these cars come equipped with a manual transmission only. Or, more specifically, Tremec’s excellent TR-3160 six-speed unit. While left-pedal haters will undoubtedly cry foul, there is a very valid reason for this. Namely, hardcore track guys like to have control over which gear they’re in at any given time, so they can keep the engine in its power band and control RPMs around the course.

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Those that don’t mind rowing gears get a special bonus with the Mach 1 Handling Package, too – perhaps the best-looking set of wheels ever fitted to an S550 Mustang, save for maybe the Performance Pack 2. Sure, those Magnum 500 redos on the standard Mach 1 are cool, too. But the Handling Pack’s Tarnished Dark-painted 19 inch x 10.5 inch front and 19 inch x 11 inch rear aluminum wheels are truly something special.

Those beautiful wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Though Ford hasn’t announced official sizes yet, we pieced together some clues and took our best guess recently. And if all that isn’t enough, the Mach 1 Handling Package also comes with a larger, unique, higher downforce front splitter, new front wheel lip moldings, a low-gloss Magnetic swing spoiler with a Gurney flap, and rear tire spats from the Shelby GT500.

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With all of these pieces working in unison, the Mach 1 Handling Package adds copious amounts of downforce to the already copious amounts of downforce added by the base Mach 1. Whereas the regular car features 22 percent more downforce than the Mustang GT Performance Pack 1, that number jumps to approximately 150 percent with the Handling Package.

The only thing we don’t know about the Handling Package is how much it will cost to add to the Mach 1. And Ford hasn’t announced the price of its new limited-edition model, either. But if we had to guess, we’d bet the Mach 1 will cost somewhere around $50,000, like the Bullitt, and the Handling Package will likely add a few thousand more beans to that price tag.

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We’ll have much more on the Mach 1 soon, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Mustang news and 24/7 Ford news coverage.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Photos
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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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5 Comments

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  1. Wrong name, Wrong grill, Wrong car and people don’t just think of 1969 when thinking of Mustang. It has the BOSS grill so why not call it what it is 2021 BOSS 302 and BOSS 302 Laguna Seca. Too Bad my 2013 BOSS 302 didn’t get a better transmission instead of the weak performing MT82. The BULLITT was $50K withl 5K-10K Mark ups this car will be more like $55K-$57K with a mark up

  2. Not all of us that want an automatic hate manuals. I would love a manual but my left leg is useless so people like me are screwed I guess. Not surprised tho. What is surprising is that they’re using this name on a real car again, after bastardizing it on that whale appliance.

  3. I have to agree with others this reminds more of the Boss 302 and Boss Laguna Seca, even though it’s nice overall. I’m interested still, but must ask why Ford has 2 different (front vs rear) seat stitching patterns? The same mismatch in the Bullit? It makes the otherwise nice interior look cheap….like some obvious cost cutting. The rear seat upholstery pattern should match the front!

  4. Because of where this car sits and it’s target and goal, this is definitely more Boss 302 than a Mach 1. The Mach 1 was more of a street fighter than a track car and always had a larger engine than the standard mustang’s 289 or 302 along with a heavy duty suspension and an optional “Drag Pack” It would have be similar to the Challenger 1320 in today’s standards. But to be honest, does it really matter? Not really. Yes it would have been more of a Mach 1 with a cross plane crank N/A 5.2L pushing over 500hp but in reality, its another special edition mustang and it looks nice and it performs. I feel like people get too worked up over what each particular mustang is and what it should be. Yes it should always be RWD based and performance oriented, but the mustang has moved so far from what it was way back in the day it’s kind of hard to keep things pigeon-holed into the same old thing and expect it to be successful. Idk.

  5. You nailed it fpvfan the last MACH 1 had the 03-04 Cobra motor this 2021 MACH 1 missed a great opportunity the 5.2 with Shaker or Ram Air & 500hp Naturally aspirated puts in right in the Challenger 1320 class where it belongs. It’s Insulting for FORD to place the MACH 1 above the BOSS 302 which it’s not. If am being honest the 2014 Camaro Z28 which has 500hp from the factory might find it way around a track quicker than this BULLITT with a GT350 tranny, cooling system more color choices and stripes.

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