Steeda Turns The Latest Mustang Mach 1 Into A Worthy GT350 Rival

When Ford set out to revive another part of its storied lineage with the 2021 Mustang Mach 1, there was a lot of history to draw from and respect. Honoring the visuals of that legacy meant adding several design cues that harken back to the preceding Mach 1 offerings. When it came to performance, engineers were able to draw from a wide array of chassis, powertrain and suspension engineering from several performance iterations to create the ultimate Mustang that doesn’t wear a Shelby badge.

The Steeda Mach 1 is our fiercest track-ready car yet. — Bob Adams, Steeda Performance Vehicles

“The Ford team took all the amazing parts from recent iterations of the Mustang like the Bullitt and GT350/R to create what we know now as the Mach 1 — and it’s awesome in stock form. However, we know that many owners crave taking their Mustangs to the track just as much as we do,” Steeda E-Commerce Marketing Director Chris Cervenka said.Though Ford engineers craft some impressive machines, there are always those — meaning people reading this — who want to push the performance envelope. For Mustang fans, even the fastest factory machines are a starting point for even more fun, and the Mach 1 is definitely a blast right out of the gate.

After extensive on-track development, Steeda developed a complete upgrade package resulting in the Steeda Mach 1 from Steeda Performance Vehicles. Among the upgrades suspension bits, a performance calibration, and even a Shaker hood scoop. (Photo Credit: Steeda)

Though Ford engineers craft some impressive machines, there are always those — meaning people reading this — who want to push the performance envelope. For Mustang fans, even the fastest factory machines are a starting point for even more fun, and the Mach 1 is definitely a blast right out of the gate.

“There really aren’t any outward weaknesses, as Ford built a car that really does everything well — arguably better than any previous S550 Mustang before it. It’s got the legs of the Bullitt thanks to its 480-horsepower powerplant, the comforts of a 401A GT Premium, the straight-line acceleration thanks to the upgraded 10R80, and the track cooling potential of the GT350,” Cervenka said. “However, if you’re looking to turn the volume knob up to 11 and increase cornering potential without additional noise, vibration, and harshness, that’s where the Steeda team steps in with the Steeda Mach 1.”

From the outset, Steeda saw demand from enthusiasts seeking upgrades for their 2021 Mustang Mach 1s. As you might expect, those initial inquiries sought a way to sharpen handling and improve aesthetics.

“The first modification many Mach 1 owners were looking to do are our Dual Rate Springs,” Cervenka explained. “Owners sought to fully maximize the potential of their MagneRide suspension out on course, and our track-proven MagneRide Dual-Rate Springs are the first step to doing so.”

To see what other upgrades might benefit the latest Mach 1, the Steeda team headed to the racetrack to push the stock car to its limit and find the areas that could benefit from its components.

“Our President, Dario Orlando, has a great saying, ‘racing either proves the theory, or destroys it,’” Cervenka shared. “This is exactly why we wanted to test baseline across the board versus what you’d get with a Steeda Mach 1, so we partnered up with our good friends at Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park to test a dealership-stock Mach 1, after Steeda suspension upgrades only, and ultimately with proper Hawk Performance DTC track brake pads & sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tires.”

From there, the company set out to develop a package of gear (see sidebar) that elevates the modern Mach 1’s performance to another level. Doing so wasn’t a huge challenge, however, as the company’s existing S550 upgrades proved up to the task.

“We were fully anticipating the need to develop some specific parts for the Mach 1, but all our previous testing with the S550 was able to carry over nicely to the Mach,” Chris confessed. “Thanks to the adjustability of a lot of these parts, no new iterations were needed to fully maximize cornering potential out on track without increasing NVH on the street. It is possible that we could be releasing a few Mach 1-specific parts as we continue to test this vehicle, so be sure to stay tuned to the Steeda website and social channels for more updates!”

That is a tantalizing proposition, but for the moment, the current complement of Steeda upgrades delivers some significant gains on the racetrack without deteriorating the daily driveability of the Mach 1. With those parts proven on the racetrack, the team at Steeda Performance Vehicles developed a complete Mach 1 upgrade package with some intriguing options, like more aggressive brake pads, track-ready tires, and more.

“By performing these tests, we were able to prove the theory. A bone stock baseline run at The FIRM nets you a 1:24.3. Toss Steeda suspension on the car with a proper track alignment, and you’ll net a 1:19.7 — even with stock tires and brakes!” Chris added. “And if you opt for the Competition Package (offered with the Steeda Mach 1 through Steeda Performance Vehicles), you’ll net a 1:17.8 thanks to those aggressive brakes, and additional sticky rubber underneath each corner of the car. This is a true apples-to-apples-to-apples comparison of what you could obtain with a select group of track-proven parts on your Mach 1.”

The vehicle seen here features Steeda Performance Vehicles full Steeda Mach 1 package with the optional Competition Package that adds sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tires , two-piece Steeda brake rotors, Hawk Performance brake pads, and more.

From that development, the team at Steeda Performance Vehicles assembled this comprehensive Steeda Mach 1 package. The gear employed on these cars sharpens handling, increases traction, and improves engine output.

“The Mach 1 branch of the Mustang family tree has a heritage as good as it gets and our Steeda engineers have a heritage to live up to as well,” Bob Adams, President of Steeda Performance Vehicles, said. “With that in mind, our engineers set out to build the most track-worthy Mustang that Steeda has ever offered — and they succeeded beyond our wildest imagination. The Steeda Mach 1 is our fiercest track-ready car yet. With an unmatched blend of raw power and refined handling, they made the Steeda Mach 1 a force to be reckoned with.”

All told, this complete vehicle might just be up to the challenge of taking on one of the most lauded naturally aspirated Mustangs ever to roll out of the Flat Rock Assembly Plant.

“We haven’t directly tested this quite yet,” Chris said. “However, we can say with confidence that a Steeda Mach 1 equipped with the Competition Package is on par or better than a stock GT350 — and we look forward to testing this in the future!

Steeda Mach 1 Upgrades

Suspension

• Front and Rear Sway Bars with Welded-In-Place, Solid Billet Ends

• Billet Aluminum Front and Rear Sway Bar Mounts

• IRS Subframe Bushing Support System

• IRS Subframe Alignment Kit

• IRS Subframe Support Braces

• Dual-Rate MagneRide Ultimate Handling Lowering Springs

• Camber Plates

• Ultra Lite Low Profile Chassis Jacking Rails

• Extreme Two-Point G-Trac K-Member Support Brace

• Adjustable Rear Toe Links

• Performance Wheel Alignment.

Powertrain

• Mach 1 Design Shaker Hood Intake System (Fully Functional)

• Steeda White Shift Knob

• Clutch Spring Assist and Perch Kit Upgrade

• Black Aluminum Coolant Tank

• Mustang Blue Replacement Cone Filter Element

• SCT X4 Mach 1 Mustang Tuner with Steeda Certified Tune

Exterior

• High-Mount Spoiler

• Hood Strut Kit

• McQueen Racing by Steeda 20-Inch Street Wheels

Nitto NT555 G2 Tires (275/35-R20 and 315/35-R20 series)

• Steeda Mach 1 Badge Kit

• Door Sill Overlays

• Dashboard Serialization Badge

• Supercharger Badges (If Applicable)

• Engine Compartment Serialization Badge

• Steeda License Plate

Steeda Mach 1 Competition Package (Optional)

• Dedicated Track Wheels and Tires

• Steeda Trident Satin Black Wheels, 19×10 (F), 19×11 (R)

• Nitto NT01 Competition Tires, 305-30-ZR19 (F/R)

• Steeda Two-Piece Front and Rear Brake Rotors

• Hawk Performance HPS-5.0 Street Front Brake Pads (Installed)

• Hawk Performance HPS-5.0 Street Rear Brake Pads (Installed)

• Hawk Performance DTC-60 Track Front Brake Pads (Supplied)

• Hawk Performance DTC-30 Track Rear Brake Pads (Supplied)

• Steeda Bump-Steer Kit

Steeda Mach 1 Performance Supercharger Package (Optional)

• Ford Performance Severe Duty IRS Halfshaft Upgrade

• Steeda / Whipple Supercharger Stage 2 Kit – 825 horsepower

• Whipple 10-Rib Supercharger Belt Kit

• 5W-50 Mobil 1 Oil

• Carbon Fiber Performance Driveshaft Assembly

• Four-Point Roll Bar and Rear Seat Delete Package

• Carbon Fiber and Leather Steering Wheel

• Steeda/Safecraft Mach 1 Six-Point Seat Belts

So, whether you want a completely upgraded Mach 1 from Steeda Performance Vehicles or you simply want to add some of its upgrades to your own car, Steeda is ready to turn up the speed of sound.

“Nearly every part we’ve used on this build is available from us,” Chris added. “We have some specific components on this Steeda Mach 1 to make it unique to the package serialized customers are getting through Steeda Performance Vehicles, but if you’re looking to take your S550 to the next level like we did with this Mach 1 — your first stop should be Steeda.com.”

Photo gallery

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About the author

Steve Turner

Steve Turner brings decades of passion and knowledge in the world of Ford performance, having covered it for over 20 years. From the swan song of the Fox Mustang to the birth of the Coyote, Steve had a front-row seat.
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