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Jim Owens Also Detailed Why Shelby GT500 And Mach 1 Handling Packages Are Unable To Order

2022 S550 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition Muscle Car
Image copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Ford Performance fans may have also made note of a disappointing truth: the Mustang GT and the Mustang Mach 1 both lose 10 horsepower from their Coyote V8 engines going forward. This applies to all markets. I figured Ford Mustang Marketing Manager Jim Owens might know a thing or two about it, so I asked him.

Ford Mustang GT And Mach 1 Horsepower Drops

“Both the Mach-1 and GT, we had new LEV III requirements (CARB Low Emission Vehicle III) and what we had to do to meet those requirements was reduce HP and torque a little bit,” explained Owens. “You don’t wanna take out horsepower but we gotta be compliant to sell… you won’t feel the performance difference of it unless you’re a 10/10 driver.”

For those seeking to put that power back in their 2022 Coyote Mustangs, or greatly exceed that power, the aftermarket has a few solutions, while Ford Performance even offers supercharger kits that are warranty-backed and dealer installed.

“I know Ford Performance is always looking at different kits and calibrations that we sell on the aftermarket… we have performance packages that are post-title, 50-state legal and CARB approved that can take you up there… I’m sure the FPP engineers are working on this current version of it.”

Jim Owens
Ford Mustang Marketing Man Jim Owens. Image copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Tires Too Cold For Winter

News came about in the fall of 2021 that Ford would have to reschedule some Mustang Mach 1 Handling Package as well as Shelby GT500 orders to the spring of 2022. Owens articulated the reasons for this, as well.

“We communicated with our dealers that we had to cancel some Mach 1 handling packages and some GT500s in (late) 2021, just because we can’t produce them during the winter. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires are too soft and get too cold. So generally speaking, we stop in November for the Handling Packages.”

Ford Mustang fans may have heard this before; because of tires, the automaker doesn’t produce any packages with the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tire in the cold months. Being that the Mustang is exclusively built at the Flat Rock Assembly plant just south of Detroit, Michigan – a state known for its bitterly harsh winters – all remaining orders are punted to the spring.

2021 2022 S550 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Muscle Car Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Performance Package
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks

While the automaker is normally able to time customer orders to avoid this seasonal delay, Owens cited the global microchip shortage for adding extra adversity to the production schedule of the Mustang. Ford Motor Company – which has the biggest automotive manufacturing footprint in the United States – still plans on fulfilling customer orders of Mustang Shelby GT500 and Mustang Mach 1 variants.

“We’re gonna make sure that these customers get their retail orders in there, and it won’t be substitutional to the volume that we’ve allocated on the Mustang GT500, because we’ve allocated those to the dealers… Mach 1 handling package we’re gonna put them in March. We are going to take care of those customers,” Owens continued.

Either way, these special Mustangs never sit around for very long.

“Shelbys and Mach 1 Mustang spend the least amount of time on the lot of any Mustang,” Owens told us. The Ford Mustang Mach 1 Handling Package was also a retail-only order for the 2021 model year.

“The Mach 1 Handling Packages were retail order only for the 2021 model year, so you had to have a customer in the system,” said Owens. “By definition unless the customer is outside the country or something, they’re going to spend less time on the the lot. On the GT500 we allocate them at the beginning of the year to the dealers.”

2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 S550
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

2022 Mustang Details

The 2022 Ford Mustang family sees a few minor additions and changes, highlighted by the additions of several limited-edition packages. This includes the re-introduction of the Mustang GT/CS, the arrival of the Mustang Coastal Limited Edition, the Mustang Ice White Edition, Mustang Stealth Edition, and the Mustang GT500 Heritage Edition.

Is the 2022 model year the finale for the S550 Mustang? Well, based on the most recent reports, the S650 Mustang is expected to debut soon for the 2023 model year, with production happening as soon as March 2023. Spy photos of any kind teasing new sheetmetal continues to elude us.

2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 GT350 Heritage Edition
Image copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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