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Why Ford Chose The Tremec TR-3160 Manual Transmission For The 2021 Mach 1

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We knew all along that the 2021 Mach 1 would be available with a manual transmission. What we didn’t know, however, was which manual transmission Ford would put in the reborn Ford Mustang special edition. That question was answered when The Blue Oval officially pulled the covers off the car this week, and we were pleasantly surprised to see the Tremec TR-3160 six-speed manual transmission residing behind the Mach 1’s naturally-aspirated 5.0L Coyote V8.

Things could have been very different, of course. After all, the car the 2021 Mach 1 is replacing, the Bullitt, came with Getrag’s much-maligned MT-82 six-speed manual. The same transmission that’s currently the subject of a class action lawsuit after many owners have reportedly suffered from notchy shifts, third gear lockouts, and prematurely broken and worn parts.

The Tremec, on the other hand, is a superbly crafted piece of machinery known for its buttery smooth shifts, which is why Ford put the TR-3160 in the Shelby GT350 and GT350R. It could have cheaped out here and stuck with the MT-82, but it didn’t, and that says a lot. It’s quite possible that the automaker is going to move on from the Getrag unit altogether, but at the very least, it determined that it wasn’t fit for serious track duty.

Ford is marketing the 2021 Mach 1 as “the most track-capable 5.0-liter Mustang ever,” so clearly, it can’t just stick some notchy manual in it and call it a day. The Mach 1 may not be any more powerful than the Bullitt (both offer up 480 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque), but the Bullitt is more of a niche cruiser than track dominator.

The Tremec TR-3160 is already proven in that capacity, and features high strength steel gears and shafts, as well as high capacity tapered bearings and high-capacity synchronizers. It’s designed to take copious amounts of torque without breaking, and provides consistently smooth shifts. And that’s exactly what a driver expects at the track.

Not only did Ford deem the Tremec a necessity for the 2021 Mach 1, it also made it better by giving it rev-matching for the first time and pairing it with the GT350 oil cooler system. For those who’ve driven both an MT-82 equipped GT or Bullitt and a GT350 with the Tremec, this decision is a far bigger deal than anyone else might think.

We’ll have much more on the 2021 Mach 1 soon, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Mustang news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

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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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Comments

  1. fpvfan

    why not just scrap the manual all together and go with the 10-speed auto and 7speed DCT?

    Reply
  2. Roy Chiles

    I know because the MT-82 in my 2013 BOSS 302 that FORD getting Sue over is TRASH. I like to know WHY FORD used the 2012-13 BOSS 302 grill instead of a SHAKER Hood is a better question???

    Reply
  3. Roy Chiles

    The 03-04 MACHI 1 used No parts from the lower level 01 BULLITT, but did get the Cobra engine with a Shaker Hood which was a upgrade. If FORD want to do right by Mustang owners they would replace all 2011-21 GT, BOSS, BULLITT with the TR-3160

    Reply
  4. Sukhoi31m3

    How much more does the TR 3160 cost compared to the MT-82? If, at the manufacturers level, it’s only $100-200, they’d been better off equipping every Mustang with it. The class action suit Ford is dealing with may very well cost them more than the price difference. Then there’s the brand damage problem of Mustang cars having trash trannies, which certainly won’t help resale values.

    Reply
    1. Ed

      I sold my ‘15 GT with 5,500 miles on it and until Ford replaces that transmission, this life-long Ford owner will never own another. Is that enough brand damage?

      Reply
  5. Tyler

    I have the 2020 mustang, and am having the notchy shifts and 3rd gear lockout as well, pretty dissapointing. Kind of wondering if anyone else is having the problems with the 2020 mustang as well. Wishing they would put quality stuff in the drive train, but turns out it’s only about money in the long run..

    Reply
  6. Thomas Jones

    If this tranny gives me problems then the payments stop on my 84 month 0% interest loan as what can they do other take back my car either as default of payment or replacement cost either way this lawsuit may straighten out some issues that my Bullit may see

    Reply
    1. Tim

      Shouldn’t be paying on a 0% loan anyhow…put that away into a high yield savings account.

      Reply
  7. Mike J.

    I had a 2018 Gt Premium PP1 with the MT82 and sold it because it was a horrible transmission. 2nd and 3rd gear lockout even after replacing the shifter and other parts hoping to band aid the problem. It was my first and probably last Mustang, all because of a subpar transmission.

    Reply
  8. Milhouse

    If only it was that easy to stop payment and return the car….. It’s what Ford deserves though.

    Reply
  9. Dave

    I had a 2019 Bullitt. Apart from the misaligned body panels which drove me bonkers, I too had the transmission issues. I would get locked out of third on a fairly regular basis. I made the mistake of driving a GT350 and was blown away at how good the transmission was. Shorter throw, no notchiness and no third gear lockout.

    I ended up selling the Bullitt and taking a (very) small loss. I am driving a truck now as a daily as an interim measure and would come back to Ford if they put the Tremec in the lower trim Mustangs as well. That transmission really is THAT good.

    Reply
  10. Dennis S

    Still is an S550 at least they had brains this time and used a Tremec but the styling of the entire vehicle throws me off. I won’t be buying one, doesn’t matter how much horsepower they dump into it, it still doesn’t look as good as a Camaro or a Corvette and I’m not a Chevy guy. I only will buy something I’m excited about, and the S550 never exites.

    Reply
  11. Ed

    The front end looks great, like the previous model, but better. That triangular business they have now looks terrible and doesn’t match the rest of the car at all.

    That said, any Mustang with an MT-82 should be avoided. This one, however, is a winner seemingly on all fronts. I wonder how much that Coyote has left in it.

    Reply

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