Design

A unique challenge: How Ford's design team updated the Mustang Mach 1 logo for 2021

Ford has redesigned the Mach 1 logo for the 2021 Mustang.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford Mustang is one of the most iconic vehicles ever made. It's 100-percent American muscle with design lines that are instantly recognizable even as the car evolves from generation to generation. The logo of the Mustang Mach 1 is in keeping with that theme. Generations of Americans know that branding as the model that gave them hours of pleasure behind the wheel.

When Ford decided to bring back the Mustang Mach 1 for the 2021 model year, Dave Mahoney, Ford design manager, and his team of graphic designers were tasked with modernizing the classic Mach 1 logo.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 logo

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

They didn't stare at photos of track days or the mountains or cityscapes or history to find inspiration for the change. They went down the hallway.

Mahoney and his team visited the designers working on the interior and exterior of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1. These designers were writing a new chapter while balancing the expectations of the past with the possibilities of the future.

"From a brand standpoint, that vintage Mach 1 logo has such a classic look, there was a lot that we didn't want to lose," said Mahoney. "The unique letters, the outline – it was important to keep those features. What we did do is make it more modern, which really suits the new car."

The logo was changed to include an updated, bolder sans-serif font in order to achieve a more modern look. According to Ford, "The nod to the past comes largely in the form of the playful letter styling, which includes the easily identifiable down-sized lowercase 'h'."

"When a nameplate like a Mach 1 comes back, you need to play up the heritage, but we didn't want this to be a retro badge," said Dean Carbis, Ford chief designer. "We wanted it to be modern, while still calling back to the original. I think the team nailed it."

You can see the updated logo throughout the exterior and interior of the new car including on the hood stripe, front fenders and rear appliqué, on the strut tower brace under the hood, as well as inside on the door sills, digital instrument cluster and center stack touch screen during vehicle startup. An etched dash badge shows the new logo along with every vehicle's unique identification number.

The limited-edition 2021 Mustang Mach 1 will arrive in U.S. and Canadian Ford dealerships next spring.

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Ford just announced specs for the new hardcore off-roader.

Ford

After years of speculation over the Bronco's return, Ford finally pushed the revived SUV to market last year. The rumor mill immediately kicked back into action with speculation of a higher-powered Raptor version of the Bronco to match Ford's F-150 Raptor here in the U.S. We've seen teases and a short film on the SUV, but today, The Blue Oval announced specs for what will surely be a highly desirable new vehicle in 2022 and beyond.

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor The Bronco Raptor gets upgraded cooling and engine tuning to handle high-temperature operation.Ford

The Bronco Raptor gets an exclusive twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 that makes 400 horsepower, which is a big improvement over the standard SUV's V6 that makes an already healthy 330 horsepower. Four-wheel drive and a ten-speed automatic gearbox are standard. Ford says the Raptor also comes with a new towing mode that allows a max tow rating of 4,500 pounds - a 1,000-pound improvement over the base Bronco. Trail Control, trail Turn Assist, and Trail One-Pedal driving are also present here.

The Raptor gets seven of the standard Bronco's G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) driving modes, including a new Baja Mode that works with the engine's turbo system to reduce lag and improve performance during high-speed runs in desert temperatures. An active exhaust allows four selectable sound modes, including normal, sport, quiet, and Baja, and the Raptor's intercooler helps keep operating temperatures at reasonable levels when running in hot weather.

Using the Bronco's modular design, Ford gave the Raptor unique front and rear quarter panels, fender flares, and door appliqués. The new body components add 9.8 inches to the Raptor's width, and removable running boards help improve rock crawling abilities. Model-exclusive amber LED running lights accent the Raptor's front end, and Raptor logos set the hardcore model apart from its "lesser" counterpart.

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor Amber LEDs and special badging designate the much-upgraded Raptor model.Ford

Inside, the Bronco Raptor gets a 12-inch digital gauge cluster with configurable view for vehicle performance and other information. Black marine-grade vinyl seats and rubberized flooring are standard. Orange accents on the dash vents, door netting, and steering wheel help break up the all-black interior, and Ford offers a synthetic suede upholstery upgrade for buyers wanting a little more comfort with their capable off-roader. A 12-inch infotainment touchscreen and 360-degree camera system are also standard.

Bronco Raptor hopefuls can start placing orders in March, but be aware that there will be a wait involved for everyone. Ford says that the majority of 2022 Bronco Raptors will go to existing reservation holders based on their reservation timestamp. It's worth noting that many 2021 Bronco buyers are still waiting for the SUVs, which are being converted into 2022 orders, so the wait time for the Raptor could be severe for anyone without a standing reservation.

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Off-road performance truck

Shelby American announces new Ford F-150 Raptor

Shelby just announced the new truck, which has a starting price of more than $124,000.

Shelby American

The third-generation Ford F-150 Raptor is a true off-road menace, with a strong turbocharged V6, beefy tires and shocks, and a luxury-level interior. Most people would consider the truck overkill for all but the hardest-core off-road enthusiasts, but the wizards at Shelby American have other ideas. As it has done with Ford vehicles for years, Shelby gave the new Raptor a performance makeover, and the finished product is quite impressive.

Shelby F-150 Raptor There's no mistaking a Shelby-tuned Raptor. Shelby American

The F-150 Raptor is already a capable beast, but Shelby turns things up a few notches. Performance upgrades include a performance intake and high-flow filter, an aluminum intercooler, a tune that pushes power to more than 525 ponies and 610 pound-feet of torque, a Shelby exhaust, and a BDS lift kit. The Shelby Raptor rides on 18-inch wheels with 37-inch BFG KM3 Mud Terrain tires.

If you’re thinking Shelby slaps a few go-fast parts on the Raptor and calls it good, think again. The truck’s interior features embroidered custom leather upholstery and exclusive floor mats. A unique serial number plate is mounted in the dash. Shelby also fits billet racing pedals, carbon fiber accents, and deep tinted windows.

Outside, the Raptor gest several touches to let everyone know it’s not a standard Ford. A special Shelby hood with intake and extraction vents is standard, along with power side steps with rock sliders. A bevy of Shelby logos and badging grace the truck’s body, and both bumpers have been replaced with steel units to accommodate light bars and additional tow points.

Shelby F-150 Raptor Shelby fits performance parts and gives the truck a tune.Shelby American

If you’re hoping to be one of the insane few to own a Shelby Raptor, get your wallet ready. The truck’s base price starts at $124,820, which includes the MSRP of the truck itself. That said, it’s unclear how extreme demand and supply chain issues will impact Shelby’s ability to get new trucks to modify.

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