Mustang Mach 1 and Dark Horse Race to Finish.

Manual Gearbox v. Auto for Ford’s Mach 1
STICK SHIFT MACH-1 Shocks 10R80 DARKHORSE MUSTANG!​ @DerekBaranProductions

One would assume that the Ford Mustang Dark Horse would be a clear winner on paper in this competition between pony cars. It boasts 500 horses and the rapid-shifting 10-speed automatic gearbox from Ford, reinforcing its title as the speediest force among the Mustang brood. Surely, one can agree it is capable of outracing an outdated Mach 1 using just a 6-speed manual transmission?

The Mach 1’s emergence in 2020 has brought more than just a fresh look. Ford has tinkered with the 5.0-liter V8 to bring its horsepower to an impressive 480, only slightly below that of the Dark Horse. Subsequent models have seen this rating reduced to 470; still however measurably comparable to that of the contemporary Mustang GT. Multiple drag races featuring the latest iterations of the Mustang demonstrate these two cars are on par with one another’s performance capabilities; thus providing no reason to doubt their capacity to also match up closely.

However, more lies beneath the surface of this tale. The Mach 1 discussed isn’t substantially altered, though it does possess a few changes outside its stock original form. They call out their fitted exhaust and engine tune for use with E85 fuel, yet there is not any precise quotation of horsepower output rendered by such adjustments – yet one could presume that the Mach 1 packs over 500 horsepower now. Its challenger makes almost no alterations but features a drag pack plus stickier tires, so just about every classic muscle fan will savor staying in the “manual shift” lane – even though the automatic transmittal featured has 10 gears providing instantaneous gear changes.

It was predicted prior to the event that the Dark Horse might claim first place following an intense departure and the Mach 1 achieve its goal with a running start. Surprisingly enough, however, these two vehicles lived up to this prognosis in the first pair of races. Certainly it was the second around where matters became intriguing. By having a firm launch, the Mach 1 was not terrified and managed to take the leading position after a straight-up beginning. Undoubtedly, the E85 tune gave a boost, but in addition to that, the driver’s skillful employment of the six-speed transmission must also not be disregarded.

At the ultimate conclusion, the Mach 1 tallied three successes as opposed to only one for the Dark Horse. Maybe it’s time now to see what accomplishment the fresh Mustang can reach with its own E85 modification.

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