For the first time ever, European customers can get their hands on the Ford Mustang Mach 1, following its virtual debut at the Goodwood Speedweek. Ford claims it’s the best-handling Mustang to ever be shipped to the Continent, so let’s see what’s in store.

Powering the Mach 1 is the same 5.0 litre Coyote V8 NA petrol engine, which now develops 460 PS at 7,500rpm and 529 Nm at 4,600rpm. The engine, which makes less power than its North American counterpart (480 PS, 569 Nm), has been specially modified with an open air induction system, intake manifold, 87-mm throttle bodies (shared with the Mustang Shelby GT350), and recalibrated engine management software.

There’s also an auxiliary engine oil-cooler that’s shared with the Shelby GT350. This is fed with a new engine oil filter adaptor for optimum flow of oil and consistent performance under high loads. Unique to the Mach 1 is a specially tuned Active Valve Performance Exhaust with quad 4.5-inch tips for a more distinct soundtrack.

For transmission, customers get to choose between a 10-speed automatic with an upgraded torque converter, or opt for the six-speed Tremec 3160 manual transmission (first in Europe) . The stick-shifter uses a twin-disc clutch to manage aggressive and high-rpm gear changes on track. It’s a short-throw unit with downshift rev-matching function as well. One can also flat shift, meaning you can engage the next gear without lifting the throttle pedal.

Both transmission options come with a larger oil-cooler, as well as an additional rear axle cooling system. Other standard features include a mechanical limited-slip differential, bespoke suspension tuning with stiffer front springs and MagneRide 2 adjustable dampers, stiffer anti-roll bars, retuned electric power steering, and an upgraded brake booster. The Mach 1 uses the same subframes and toe-link components as the Mustang Shelby cars.

Design-wise, the Mach 1 gets its own fair share of tweaks (mostly for better aerodynamics) while paying homage to the original models. Here, it gets a revised front face that includes a new two-piece, blacked-out radiator grille and larger intakes for better cooling performance.

The front splitter, rear diffuser (shared with the Shelby GT500), longer underbody tray with dedicated fins, and single-deck rear spoiler all create 22% more downforce than the Mustang GT. A set of 19-inch, five-spoke alloys with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres are standard, and the wheels are 0.5 inches wider.

The Mustang Mach 1 is a limited edition model. European customers have eight exterior colour/decal combinations to choose from, including Fighter Jet Grey with Satin Black/Reflective Orange stripes, Iconic Silver, Shadow Black and Oxford White with Satin Black/Red stripes, or Velocity Blue, Twister Orange, Race Red and Grabber Yellow with Satin Black/White stripes.

Inside, it gets an Ebony colour scheme and Dark Engine-turned aluminium detailing, while the leather sports seats feature Metal Grey contrast stitching. A special Mach 1 logo and build number adorn the dashboard. Extras include unique Mach 1 sill plates, a new start-up display on the 12-inch digital instrument cluster, Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system, a 12-speaker B&O sound system, and FordPass Connect.

Ford Europe’s chief programme engineer for the Mustang Mach 1, Matthias Tonn said: “The original Mach 1 delivered the ultimate in production Mustang performance and proved itself with success in motorsport. The new Mach 1 is the most capable Mustang ever to reach Europe, with track-ready ability and a unique style that is more than worthy of wearing such a legendary badge.”

“The Mach 1 not only looks the part, but has the hardware to deliver on-track thrills and on-road driving pleasure that Mustang enthusiasts demand,” Tonn added. “It’s the most exciting Mustang in Europe to-date, and we are thrilled to be bringing the iconic Mach 1 name to Europe for the first time.” The original Mach 1 was introduced in 1969. More than 300,000 units of the Mach 1 have been produced to date.