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Auto review: Cruisin' in the dreamy Mustang Mach 1

Henry Payne, The Detroit News on

Published in Business News

While cruising in Woodward traffic, I received numerous phone calls; barked directions to Android Auto to find the best way home through Cruise gridlocks; and thumbed my favorite Sirius XM channels via touchscreen.

A pair of Mach 1s fronted Ford's Kruse & Muer Royal Oak Cruise display next to the automaker's electric Mach-E. Ford has high hopes for its first electric SUV in its head-to-head battle with Tesla's Model Y. It can credit a lot of that potential to the Mach 1.

In style and performance (though the lack of a V-8 compromises personality), Mach-E channels many attributes of the Mach 1 legend.

Alas, this Mach 1 will likely not reach the status of its '70s predecessors. Those cars boasted multiple V-8s as well as a signature "shaker" hood-scoop option — a mod noticeably missing on this generation. Speculation is the 2021 Mach 1 didn't get the Full Monty because it was meant as a menu pairing with the electric Mach-E (after all, Ford is a long way from the heady days of 1969 when the Mach 1 model alone sold nearly 80,000 copies).

Whatever the reason, Mustang purists have noticed. Those folks may choose to sink their money into collecting 1970s models instead. But the good news is the 2021 Mach 1 does not make the mistakes of 1974, when Ford neutered its V-8 icon in deference to mpg concerns in the wake of the Arab oil embargo.

That '70s Show is back with governments forcing electrification. But this time, Ford has smartly separated the Mach-E while maintaining the Mach 1 as a pure expression of gas-fired muscle.

 

For sports-car buffs craving the intersection between daily driver and weekend warrior, there are few cars better than the '21 Mach 1.

2021 Mustang Mach 1

Vehicle type: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, four-passenger sports car

Price: $54,595, including $1,195 destination fee ($58,490 as tested)

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