The new Ford Mustang Mach 1 is said to be the most track-focused Mustang yet, and is now available in South Africa.
This special-edition Mustang will be sold in a limited run of 90 units – at a starting price of R1.18 million
At this price, its strongest local competitor is the BMW M2 Competition.
With comparable prices and performance, we see how these coupes compare.
Being the high-performance variants of their respective line-ups, these cars feature sophisticated powertrains. They achieve impressive outputs in different ways, however.
The Europeans opted to go for turbocharging, while the Americans preferred naturally-aspirated displacement.
As a result, you will find a 3.0-litre, in-line six-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine paired with an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission in the BMW M2 Competition.
This sends 302kW and 550Nm to the rear wheels, allowing the coupe to sprint to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds.
It’s not only good in straight lines, though, as it’s fitted with an Active M Differential and a stability control programme that “optimises acceleration out of turns and sharp bends”.
Bolted to the Ford is a 5.0-litre, naturally-aspirated, V8 engine that generates 338kW and 529Nm.
When paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission, it sends the Mach 1 to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds.
To make it the most track-focused Mustang yet, Ford added a new open-air induction system, intake manifold, throttle system, fuel injection system, and engine oil adaptor.
This gives the automatic Mach 1 a quarter-mile time of 12.6 seconds, and a top speed of 249km/h.
BMW has not shared any quarter-mile times for the M2 Competition, but unofficial reports state times of between 12.6 seconds to 13.1 seconds.
The M2 Competition’s top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h, while an optional M Driver’s Package will see this increased to 280km/h.
Alongside their impressive powertrains, these top-of-the-line cars are treated to aggressive exteriors.
On the Mach 1’s side, it’s differentiated from the standard Mustang GT through the addition of a new front splitter, two-piece side grilles, undertray, single-deck rear spoiler, and performance rear diffuser.
In addition to making the car look better, these parts perform tasks such as directing air onto the braking system.
It also gets exclusive 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, as well as an electronically-controlled MagneRide 2 adjustable suspension system that makes the Mustang’s roofline only 1,392mm high – 18mm lower than the M2 Competition.
It does come in at 333mm longer and 62mm wider than the BMW, though, at a total of 4,794mm long and 1,916mm wide.
The BMW gets its own unique bumpers, 19-inch wheels, lip spoiler, and aerodynamic components, too, while the Competition trim adds the Shadowline styling package as standard.
This swops the grille and headlight surrounds for gloss black replacements, and sees a healthy dose of carbon fibre trims inside.
Both cars offer trim-exclusive leather seats and badging, multifunction steering wheels, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, climate control, cruise control, keyless entry and start, and large infotainment displays that support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The BMW also sports a semi-digital instrument cluster, a sunroof, adaptive headlights, ABS with brake assist, and all-round park distance control.
Inside the Ford you receive a digital 12-inch instrument cluster, heated and ventilated front seats, lane-keep alert, hill launch assist, ABS with brake assist, and a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors.
The Ford Mustang 5.0 Mach 1 Fastback Auto has a South African price of R1,203,800.
Each purchase comes with a 4-year/120,000km warranty, a 6-year/90,000km service plan, and 5-year/unlimited-kilometre roadside assistance.