Ford Mustang Mach 1 Round Grille Inserts: Faux Or Functional?

Last week, Ford unveiled its latest Special Edition Mustang. The nickname of Mach 1 is absolutely legendary in the world of Mustang fandom, and with 480 horsepower (358 kilowatts) to operate from its 5.0-liter V8 engine, the 2021 version is easily the most powerful Mach 1 of all time . However, browsing the Mustang community, we find that not everyone is happy with the new look.

Two problems seem to emerge. We talked about Ford’s decision to give up the iconic scoop of the Shaker hood in our first article on Mach 1, but we didn’t delve deep into these cutouts of fake driving lights in the grille. They are absolutely designed to pull the strings of amateurs, paying tribute to the Mach 1 of 1969 and its round lights mounted in the grille. There is no light for the new Mach 1, and in fact it was suggested to us during a special preview event that these round inlets could improve the airflow to the engine.

So, are these fake lights just ornamental, or do they have a real purpose? Ford’s presentation of Mach 1 did not specify anything beyond aesthetics, but it was strongly suggested that better airflow was certainly part of the design. The round cutouts are clearly solid in the photos, but are they removable? The Detroit News quotes Mustang marketing director Jim Owens, saying there is no doubt that some customers will “punch” them for better cooling.

It’s always a little strange when automakers talk about vehicle modifications, especially those that involve cut a car. Does this mean that these fake light plugs were designed to be removable? If that’s the case, we can also easily see people putting lights on it, which satisfies at least one of the aforementioned retro theme issues. That is, unless the lights have a negative effect on the airflow, which, according to Ford, was a major reason not to go with a Shaker hood. Either way, the new Mach 1 certainly leaves room for aftermarket companies to step in and offer nostalgic upgrades.

Either way, the new Mach 1 certainly leaves room for aftermarket companies to step in and offer nostalgic upgrades. As for Ford’s true intent with these round grille inserts, we contacted the Blue Oval for a more in-depth understanding of the madness behind the method here. We will delete an update when we get the explanation.

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