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Ford Under-rates Again: 2003 Mustang Mach 1
Not only has Ford under-rated the 2003 Mustang Cobra, but also the 2003 Mustang Mach 1. Ford claims the Mach 1 engine produces 305hp and 320ft/lb of torque at the flywheel. From our dyno results, we have found the Mach 1 produces as much as 15 horsepower and 20ft/lb of torque above what is advertised.

When the 4.6 DOHC motor was first released by Ford (the 1996 Mustang Cobra), stock dyno results ranged anywhere from 250 to 260 horsepower and torque to the wheels. This engine is advertised to make 305hp and 300ft/lb of torque at the flywheel. Now in 2003, with a few engine enhancements, the Mach1 is producing between 265-270 horsepower and 280+ ft/lb of torque to the wheels. However, Ford still claims the engine makes the same horsepower and only 20 ft/lb more torque compared to the 1996 4.6 DOHC motor. Assuming a 16 percent drivetrain loss, the new Mach 1 motor is producing between 315-320 horsepower and 333-340 ft/lb of torque.

Quarter mile drag times also support that the Mach 1 is under-rated. The 96-98 Cobras (stock) run the quarter mile in the high 13 second range, while the Mach 1 times are reportedly in the low 13 second range.

Mach 1 Dyno Result #1

Mach 1 Dyno Result #2

Why has Ford under-rated these two Mustangs? One might assume that Ford does not want to experience a similar problem as when they over-rated the horsepower and torque output of the 1999 Cobra. This problem forced Ford to create a performance package to increase the power of the 99 Cobra, costing them time and money. So much time was wasted that the 2000 Cobra never went into production. It would be no surprise if all future Ford performance vehicles will be at least slightly under-rated in power. It is the safe route for Ford to take and keeps performance enthusiasts more than satisfied.

Related Article: The 2003 Mustang Cobra - Under-rated by Ford

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