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Confirmed: the Ford Mustang Mach 1 is coming to Britain

But looks like ours won’t be as powerful as the Americans’. Boo

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Good news everyone – Ford has confirmed the Mustang Mach 1 will be sold in Britain and the rest of Europe. The order books open in January, with deliveries next spring.

But there’s a catch. US-spec cars produce 480bhp and 420lb ft from a 5.0-litre V8 that borrows its induction system, intake manifold and throttle bodies from the Shelby GT350. European-spec cars get the same “specially-calibrated” motor – good – but with only 454bhp and 390lb ft. That’s exactly the same as the Mustang Bullitt.

UK Mustangs are a bit down on power anyway – something to do with the conversion from left- to right-hand drive – but that’s not the problem here. Ford tells us the difference in output between US and European cars is down to “EU homologation”. Emissions, basically.

Disappointing? Yes, but not the end of the world because a) the Bullitt is plenty quick enough in a straight line (4.9 seconds to 62mph, 163mph Vmax) and b) the Mach 1 isn’t actually about straight line speed anyway. Ford claims it’s “the best-handling Mustang ever to reach Europe” and pretty damn quick around a track.

Changes versus the standard car include a Tremec six-speed manual gearbox with auto rev-matching and flat-shifting (you can have a ten-speed auto instead), a GT350-spec cooling system, a performance exhaust and wider wheels and Michelin PS4 tyres. The ‘Magneride’ adaptive dampers have been retuned and Ford has fitted stiffer springs, anti-roll bars and bushes and a new brake booster.

It’s messed with the electronic power steering, too. The Mach 1 has GT350 and GT500 subframes and toe-links for “the sharpest Mustang steering responses in Europe yet”.

Meanwhile new aero (including the same rear diffuser as the Shelby GT500) aims to improve cooling, while downforce is up 22 per cent over a normal Mustang GT.

Cost? The Mustang Bullitt costs around £50,000, and the Mach 1 ought to be more expensive given all the added Shelby bits.

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