More performance on the way for Mustang

Things have been pretty quiet on the Mustang news desk when it comes to new specialty models as Ford has been busy talking up the new Focus RS and Ford GT, but this is all about to change in the coming year.

Two high-performance variations of the Ford Mustang are expected to break cover in the coming year, one of them at least before the end of calendar year 2016.

One of them is the long awaited return of the Mach 1. While some might ask when Ford will come up with something new instead of rehashing the same old themes, they will surely sell every copy of a Mach 1 they can make.

How comprehensive a package the Mach 1 will be is not yet entirely known. Test mules spotted around Ford’s Dearborn campus have shown cars with a different front fascia and rear spoiler treatment among a few detail changes.

Powering the Mach 1 is expected to be the 5.0-liter V8 with potentially a small bit of extra power by way of a few adds like a higher flow exhaust and and perhaps a return of the shaker hood. Test mules however don’t reflect the latter.

A Mach 1 would serve to answer the extra track and performance adds a Chevrolet customer could get with the 1LE on top of the Camaro. This means the Mach 1 should be expected to have a more aggressive tire and wheel combination and a tighter suspension than the GT.

Interior treatments would feature special seat patterns and embroidered this and that just as have special editions in the past. The Mach 1 is not expected until a late 2017 or early 2018 model year launch and could hasten the return of at least one heritage color combination.

The big Cahuna is the return of the Shelby GT-500. Expected for late 2017 or early 2018 on the 50th Anniversary of the original GT-500. This new top-dog Mustang will seek to get back its honor having been eaten at lately by the likes of the Challenger Hellcat and Camaro ZL1.

Powering the GT-500 is yet the discussion. Reports out in the media suggest either a 5.2 or a 5.0 liter V8 with some form of forced-induction. Turbocharging or supercharging is still a question, with no definitive answers.

Horsepower should however be up in the 700-plus range, topping at least one of its pony car rivals, the Camaro ZL1 at 650 horsepower and the Challenger Hellcat at 707. The test mules seen and heard in the video from don’t yet give up much in their sound, but do show a GT-350 body package taken up a significant notch.

A unique front clip will draw from the more rounded and open mouthed look from the last generation GT-500. At the rear of the GT-500 test mules much is the same with exception of a larger pedestal wing.

At least one of the cars is likely to make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show this winter and the other likely at Detroit. Will they make us wait until next spring at the New York Auto Show? Maybe, but our bet is on the two winter shows. Stay tuned.

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