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Very Heavy Metal: The Ford Mustang Mach 1 in the test


The V8 engine vibrates sensually, fanfares fire from the tailpipe: Ford's Mustang Mach 1 sports car is the longing for the old car world. That's unreasonable, of course - but pretty well done.

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Bright car in bright colors: the new Ford Mustang Mach 1 with a 5-liter V8 engine.

Photo: Ford

The first impression:

The Mustang Mach 1 is a car like Arnold Schwarzenegger (he may excuse the comparison) - a bit old, but muscular and still a show.

The manufacturer says:

"If so, then," says chief engineer Matthias Tonn about the current changes to the Mustang range. In addition to the GT, it gets a particularly powerful version of the tried and tested V8 engine. The four-cylinder was deleted. Tonn justifies this with emissions, of all things: In order to make the 2.3-liter engine compatible with the latest emissions standards, Ford would have had to invest too much money in the development. "If you want to drive a Mustang in Europe, the V8 engine is a legend," says Tonn, who is responsible for Ford's US imports. The Mustang has many fans. Around 7,000 Mustang models were sold in Europe in 2020, and nearly 60,000 since its launch in 2014. Worldwide, the Ford Mustang was again the best-selling sports car last year with around 80,000 registrations.

With the Mach 1, the engineers also defend themselves against the accusation from Europe that the Mustang is mainly for show and less for sport. The car is rooted in a US racing version from the 1970s, from which it uses many parts. Tonn explains that the eight-cylinder will be able to withstand full throttle and track. All components are designed so that the Mustang delivers the promised performance over a full race distance. "With the Mach 1, the performance of this series has reached a new level," says Tonn. "It is the most powerful Mustang that we have ever brought to Europe."

We noticed:

That tingling sensation in the right foot when the V8 vibrates gently in the bow - a feeling that the modern, electric Mustang cousin Mach-E cannot offer. The driver also experiences acceleration more intensely in Mach 1, even if the battery-powered counterpart moves faster. The classic Mustang simply makes the bigger spectacle.

This may seem antiquated and superfluous to many. It is - with utility vehicles like Focus or Transit. But the Mustang is bought for enjoyment. And yes, maybe also to provoke. When it was introduced as a muscle car in the 1960s, it stood for the rebellion of boys against bourgeois parents. Today it challenges two camps: The sports car world because it offers a lot for comparatively little money. And of course climate-savvy, because there is hardly an engine that is more unreasonable than a five-liter V8.

The Mustang may seem old-fashioned - at least in the interior, Ford has brought the classic up to date.

There are charming toggle switches on the center console.

A large touchscreen is emblazoned in the center console, and the instruments are digital.

The buttons on the steering wheel can be used to adjust almost as much drive, steering and chassis as in a racing car on a Playstation.

But this is not a game.

The Mustang is serious when the accelerator lowers against the floor pan.

Then fanfares fire from the tailpipes like at the beginning of a heavy metal concert.

At Mach 1, the V8 turns higher than the production model, breathes more freely and revs up faster.

So the car looks more aggressive and snappy.

Especially when overtaking or after tight bends, it gets to the hoof more quickly.

The tighter chassis makes driving fun even more, as does the wider track, the more direct steering and the modified aerodynamics. It presses the car tighter on the road. The result is a sports car that is good for impressive sprints on the straights and bites its way through corners hungrily. Even when the engine is on the front axle and the rear tires squeak and smoke under the force of 529 Nm, the Mustang can be guided on the short reins on the country roads. It steers precisely into the corners and accelerates out again in an exemplary manner. In a Porsche Cayman it may feel more filigree, more surgical, more cerebral. But it's more fun in Mach 1.

You have to know that:

The Mach 1 is a mixture of the Mustang »Bullitt«, which was recently also offered in Germany, and the GT 350 sports model, which is widely used in the USA these days to dealers. Unlike the conventional Mustang, it is not offered as a convertible. Prices start at 60,800 euros, which is a good 10,000 euros above the basic model.

For this there is the V8 engine with 460 hp. That's just eleven hp more than the Mustang GT, but the performance is noticeably better because of the more aggressive engine characteristics. The Mach 1 accelerates from 0 to 100 in 4.8 seconds. At full throttle 267 instead of 250 km / h are achieved. People prefer to remain silent about consumption. Even on the test bench, it is a generous 12.4 liters. The Mach 1 is also available with specially designed functional elements such as the splitter on the bow or the spoiler on the rear. There are also the two black circles in the radiator, which are supposed to be reminiscent of the auxiliary headlights of the original from the 1970s.

We won't forget that:

the spherical, ivory-white gear knob that looks like a billiard ball.

You want to hold on to the Mustang with iron strength so that it will last as long as possible.

Thomas Geiger is a freelance writer and was supported in his research by Ford.

Reporting is independent of this.

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-06-21

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