When Ford officially confirmed plans to introduce the 2021 Mustang Mach 1, it gave us a mere three camouflaged shots of the car to tide us over until the actual reveal. And that’s exactly what we’ve done in the time since, while also probing our sources about how much power it’s going to make. But one thing that Ford Authority has been rather hung up about is the size of the Mach 1 tires.
Luckily, one of Ford’s teasers shows a close-up of the upcoming pony’s Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 measuring in at 305/30ZR19. That gives us the specs of at least two of the Mach 1’s tires – but the question is, are those the fronts or the rears?
We believe that the photo in question shows the front tire based on two observations related to the Mach 1’s braking hardware.
First, the size of the brake rotor is quite large, leading us to conclude that the photo in question shows the front rotor, which is typically larger than the rear rotor. That was further confirmed when our spies captured a Mach 1 prototype earlier this month, allowing us to clearly see a larger rotor at the front than at the rear.
Second, our spy photos also confirm us an idea about the location of the calipers in relation to the rotor and, by association, the wheel. The size and position of the front rotor in the spy shots certainly matches up with what we see in Ford’s official teaser. Also, pay no mind to the fact that the prototype in our spy shots has rotors finished in black, rather than red in Ford’s teaser. We attribute the discrepancy to the prototype being tested with an unpainted rotor that’s of the same size and specs as the one in Ford’s official teaser.
So now, we know that Ford’s official teaser shows the front Mach 1 tires and that they will measure in at 305/30ZR19 – which is pretty darn big. To demonstrate how big, let’s compare that size to a few other existing Mustang models.
|S550 Mustang Model||Front Tire Size||Rear Tire Size|
|GT Performance Pack 1||255/40||275/40|
|GT Performance Pack 2||305/30||305/30|
|Mach 1 Standard||255/40||275/40|
|Mach 1 Handling Pack||305/30||315/30|
The standard Ford Mustang GT comes with 235/50 rubber at all four corners. The Mustang GT Performance Pack 1 nets buyers 255/40 tires up front and 275/40 in the rear, while the Performance Pack 2 (PP2 GT) moves up to 305/30 sized rubber at all four corners.
Meanwhile, the Mustang Bullitt has 255/40 up front and 275/40 in the rear, the Shelby GT350 features 295/35 front and 305/35 at the rear, the GT350R has 305/30 front and 315/30 rear, and the current king of the Mustang hill – the GT500 – wears 305/30 up front and 315/30 in the rear. All this information is significant for many reasons.
For starters, the only S550-generation Mustangs that come with 305 series tires up front are the PP2 GT, GT350R, and GT500 – all of which are hardcore track, performance-oriented models.
What we don’t know is how big the rear Mach 1 tires are going to be. However, it’s obvious from our latest spy shots that they are wider than the front tires, so can conclude that the Mach 1 won’t have a squared setup here like the PP2. Meanwhile, Ford has yet to use a tire larger than 315 on the rear of any S550, so we could safely assume that this will continue being the case with the Mach 1, too.
However, as S550 Mustang owners have figured out, it is possible to fit a 325 series tire on the rear without it sticking out too far past the rear fenders. So if Ford really wanted or needed to use 325 rubber, it most certainly could. It’s also worth noting that there are plenty of ways to tinker around with offset and wheel design to make room for more rubber.
We’re certainly interested to see just how big the rear Mach 1 tires will be, and we expect to find that out relatively soon. Forced to make an educated guess, we’d go with either 315s or 325s. If it’s the former, then the setup will match that of the Shelby GT350R and Shelby GT500. If it’s the latter, then the rear tire will be even wider than those two Mustang model variants.