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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

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.

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