AS we move ever closer to a cleaner, greener motoring industry cars like the mighty Ford Mustang Mach 1 could become a dying breed, which will be a real shame.
That's because this track-based Mustang, complete with naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre V8 engine, delivers all the thrills associated with performance cars and has a matching soundtrack too.
It costs about £11,000 more than the standard Mustang but gains extra power and a number of other styling and engineering revisions.
Priced at £56,995 (£57,555 with options) this two-door coupe, with 460ps and 529Nm of torque, can power to 62mph from a standing start in 4.8 seconds and tops out at 166mph.
Impressive performance stats, but the running costs are not so friendly on the pocket with a combined 22.8mpg (if you are very careful) and carbon emissions of 284g/km.
When it comes to styling, the Ford Mustang Mach 1 is aggressive, muscular and very difficult to ignore, especially with the optional Shadow Black paintwork on the test car. Eye-catching features include a dark grille with the Mustang Pony emblem, a sculpted bonnet,distinctive triple tail lamps, sweeping headlights, four chrome tipped exhaust pipes, 19-inch Mach 1 alloy wheels and Brembo brake calipers.
The interior is driver-focused and very sporty with powered seats that can be heated or cooled, along with a white cue ball-styled gear knob as seen in the Mustang Bullitt. There are plenty of aluminium trim accents, ambient lighting, a neat 12-inch digital dash display, toggle switches and Mach 1 badging with a unique chassis number on show.
On-board tech is good with full smartphone connectivity and Fords SYNC3 Navigation set-up, a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, reversing camera and dual-zone climate control.
But bells and whistles aside, this rear-wheel drive Mustang is all about performance and it delivers on all counts. There have been a number of chassis tweaks and there is enhanced engine power making this the fastest Mustang on sale in the UK.
It's loud, garish and very attention-seeking as it powers through the country lanes. And with the all-newTREMEC six-speed manual transmission there is rev-matching technology for seamless down-shifts.
A MagneRide suspension system enhances both the track and road performance and there is retuned electric power steering with plenty of driver feedback.
The road holding is confident and it's also a car that eats up motorway miles for fun. There are drive modes called Normal, My Mode, Sport+, Race Track, Drag Strip and Snow/Wet that alter the characteristics of the Mach 1, but there is a problem. You can only toggle through these modes in one direction, so getting from Sport+ back to Normal is a lengthy process.
But that minor gripe aside, the Mach 1 is fabulous fun to drive and although we didn't venture onto the track, it still oozed class out on the quieter B roads.
There are volume controls for the engine and exhaust note - Loud is deafening and Quiet is still quite raucous to be honest.
The two rear seats inside the Mach 1 slope backwards and leg space is very limited in the back. This is the norm in two-seater sports coupes, but the space is ideal for a coat or bag.
The boot can hold 408 litres of kit and there are storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin with wide door bins, a central cubby box with USB port, lockable glovebox, seat back pockets, a pop-out compartment beside the driver's right knee and cup holders. However, drinking a hot coffee on the fly inside this car is not recommended.
While the Mach 1 does have a considerable list of safety features including track-specific brakes to slow the car down in a controlled manner, the Mustang did score poorly when tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating.
Some extra kit was added in 2017 and the car was reassessed and its score was increased from two to three stars out of five. But some rivals do a lot better than that even though they will never have the uniqueness the Mustang Mach 1 brings to the mix.