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FORD MUSTANG MACH 1 MAGAZINE SHOOT

Now here’s an interesting one, a Ford Mustang focused for the track with 460bhp and with uniquely calibrated suspension. Sounds very similar to my recently departed mustang, same power, modified for the track with suspension and handling upgrades plus lightweight velgen wheels...
21/06/2021
So you can imagine I was looking forward to driving the brand new Mach 1 which Haynes of Maidstone had just put on as a demonstrator. This version was set off in fighter jet grey which comes with the Mach 1 styling pack, and very nice it looks too, plus it has the 6 speed manual transmission, and what a gear box it is too, close ratios mean you can move through the gears quickly and precisely.

The cars naturally aspirated 5 litre V8 engine produces 460ps and 533 nm of torque, acceleration with the manual is 4.9 seconds, the 10 speed manual is a shade quicker, but take it from me this car was built for changing through the gears, plus it will save you £2000, that’s a fair bit of fuel and track days! The cars starting price is £55,255 and that’s a big jump from the previous top of the range Bullit model is which is no longer available.

The car has magnaride suspension as standard which has been uniquely calibrated for the Mach1, it is a comfy GT one minute and then in track focused mode it sits down and firms the set up of the car up nicely, I must admit I was expecting it to be firmer and not as comfy, that was a sacrifice I had with mine as it was on linear springs and upgraded anti roll bars, I’m sure the mod scene will start to look at the Mach 1 and improve it even more for track use.

Styling wise it looks the part, the Mach 1 branding and decals are nicely placed and those 19" magnetic 5 spoke alloys look great, plus nice and easy to clean. The car does have a unique front splitter, belly pan and rear diffuser which are said to create up to 25% more downforce.

Fighter Jet Gray adds the styling pack which has the body colour Satin Black hood and side stripes with reflective orange accents, Orange Brembo brake callipers, Orange interior trim accent (sports-style seats only). This Haynes supplied demo has the optional Recaro leather seats, which are a must have option, super comfy and just set that cabin off nicely. Also the interior houses a Bang and Olufsen speaker set up with a large subwoofer in the boot, sounds great and if you want to flick through the variable exhaust modes you can listen to that V8 soundtrack instead.

So what’s it like to drive, the gear box is superb for such a large and heavy car, and you feel like you are in a sports car that doesn’t just want to go fast in a straight line but wants to tackle some twisty B roads. Handling is good, minimal body roll and the soft feel leather steering wheel is just right, pedals are good with a very solid brake feel as you’d expect from the Brembos fitted to this large and weighty GT. The S550 cabin is a nice place to be in any model, all instruments are digital and customisable to suit your taste, you even have a mustang button which at the press of it takes you to your preferred driving style.

I couldn’t help compare it to my S550, it’s certainly more comfortable and the magna ride makes this a nice place to be on a long cruise, but is that what a mustang should be all about, especially in the mach 1 guise. I was expecting it to be more focused and squatter to the ground, plus the soundtrack even in track mode is a little muted, nothing that an H pipe and upgrade to the rear axle back wouldn’t fix. I suspect from have had to tone down the set up due to the WLTP guidelines.

You tend to forget that everything has gone up in price, this is very much the case with the new BMW M4, a friend has just brought one, side by side proportions are very similar but there is a £20k price gap, for that you could supercharge the Mach 1 have a few more upgrades and still have some change, plus let’s face it that V8 engine and Mustang design is always going to turn more heads.

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