How the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Compares With Bullitt, Shelby in Our Tests

Ford Mustang Mach 1 vs Bullitt and Shelby

Andy Hedrick, Mark Urbanocar and driver

  • The Ford Mustang Mach 1 is back for 2021, and we’ve got a chance to run it through our instrumented testing.
  • It reached 60 mph in 4.3 seconds on the way to a 12.6-second quarter mile at 115 mph.
  • The Mach 1 is powered by a 480-hp 5.0-litre V-8 and is the example equipped handling package that adds more goodies borrowed from the higher-performance Shelby variants.

    Ford brought back the Mach 1 for the sixth generation of the Mustang, and we recently took an example equipped with the optional handling package to the track to put it through our instrumented testing. Options for the $3500 include Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, adjustable top strut mounts, a swing rear spoiler with Gurney flaps from the GT500, special chassis tuning, and a front splitter. The Mach 1s also gets a 480-hp 5.0-liter V-8 similar to the one used in the discontinued Mustang Bullitt, and a few other track-focused upgrades from the Shelby GT350 and GT500 (you can check out the full list here). The high-performing ‘Stang’ on the test track compares as:

    2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

    Mark Urbanocar and driver

    acceleration

    The Mustang Mach 1s uses a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 that produces 480 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the same output as the Bullitt. Our test car was equipped with a standard six-speed manual (a 10-speed automatic is available), a Tremec unit shared with the Shelby GT350. Bullitt had a six-speed Getrag gearbox as the only option. Each V-8 offers similar pleasure within the cabin – we recorded 89 dB at Mach 1 at wide-open throttle and 88 dB at Bullitt.

    car and driver

    With stick-shift, Mach 1 matches Bullitt’s 4.3-second run to 60 mph. We haven’t tested the automatic Mach 1 yet. It’s a close race in the quarter mile, with Mach 1 going 115 mph in 12.6 seconds and Bullitt 0.1 seconds behind at 115 mph. Shelbys are quite fast, no wonder. The GT350 and GT350R reached 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and 3.8 seconds, respectively. They both use a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-8 that makes 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. The GT500 has a 760-hp supercharged 5.2-liter V-8, and reached 60 mph in 3.4 seconds in our testing.

    2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt

    Michael Simri

    Handling

    The sticky tires of this Mach 1 gave it a huge handling advantage over the Bullitt, which was equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber. We recorded 1.05 grams of lateral grip on the 300-foot skidpad, compared to the Bullitt’s 0.97 grams at Mach 1. Shelby does even better, gaining 1.09 grams in the GT350 and 1.11 grams in the GT350R. A swing rear spoiler with gurney flaps from the GT500 has been added to the Mach 1’s handling package, but the effect is not seen on skidpad speeds.

    Every car we tested weighed in on our scales, and at 3844 pounds, only six pounds lighter than the Mach 1 Bullitt. This is despite our test car’s $250 rear seat removal. The GT350 is 26 pounds lighter than the Mach 1, while the GT350 R is 127 pounds lighter with its rear seat removed and rolled on carbon-fiber wheels. The Mach 1’s stopping power comes from 15.0-inch front and 13.0-inch rear iron rotors, and it stops at 70 mph faster than the GT350 and GT500, which require both the GT350R’s 146 feet and the GT500s’ 150 feet. Requires 141 ft. Bullitt needed 165 feet to stop at 70 mph.

    car and driver

    The Mustang Mach 1 aims to replace the Bullitt, the GT and Shelby GT350 with the Performance Pack 2 in Ford’s lineup. Its $53,595 starting price puts it somewhere between the discontinued Bullitt ($47,900) and the Shelby GT350 ($60,335), though our Mach 1’s test price was $63,745. For our money, the Mach 1 doesn’t have the charisma to live up to the GT350, which we rate as one of the best Mustangs ever built.

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