It’s difficult to turn something as classic as the Mach 1 into something modern for today’s automotive world. That was the challenge facing the Ford design team when it came to the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1.
The styling had to be a perfect blend of classic with modern updates. And while some people were critical of the lack a shaker hood and the rear louvers, the overall reception of this classic muscle car has been positive.
Beyond some of the actual styling cues on the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1, there was another challenge facing Ford’s design team – the iconic Mach 1 logo. That classic logo brings out so many emotions and stands the test of time, but how do you modernize such a logo while still honoring its legacy and heritage? That’s what Dave Mahoney, Ford design manager, and his team of graphic designers, were focused on.
Mustang Mach 1 Logo
Mahoney and his team drew inspiration from their design colleagues – as they were working on the new Mach 1’s interior and exterior – who were writing a new chapter of Mach 1 history themselves by paying homage to the vehicle’s past while looking toward 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 graphic design team incorporated an updated, bolder sans-serif font to achieve a more modern look. 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.”
The updated logo appears in various places on the new Mach 1, 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.
Grille of 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Mahoney’s team not only worked hard on the logo, but also giving the Mach 1 a new look, but also having it hold true to its iconic look. As such, the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 does a pretty good job of walking the line between heritage and modern design.
The all-new Mach 1’s grille harkens back to the original with a deep 3-D mesh, shark-nosed section and faux lamp elements. Flanking the fascia are new side grilles below each turn signal lamp. A low-gloss Magnetic pony badge is centered on the grille. Low-gloss magnetic and black accents throughout the vehicle provide a premium look while staying true to Mach 1’s bold, muscular heritage, including low-gloss Magnetic mirror caps and rear spoiler.
As mentioned, most enthusiasts were disappointed to not see the shaker hood, and I understand the disappointment. I do believe Ford missed the boat on that.
Other Classic Mach 1 Design Cues
Even without the rear louvers, which would’ve been a sexy addition, there’s other notable tips of the cap to the classic Mach 1, that can be found in the 2021 Mustang Mach 1.
New 19-inch x 9.5-inch, and 19-inch x 10-inch five-spoke Tarnished Dark-painted aluminum wheels are a modern version of the classic Magnum 500 style wheels. Handling Package vehicles come standard with unique, wider 19-inch x 10.5-inch front, and 19-inch x 11-inch rear Tarnished Dark-painted aluminum wheels.
Satin Black side and hood stripes are included with reflective accent stripes in any of three colors: Red, White and Orange (Appearance Package only). Exterior color options include the Mach 1 exclusive Fighter Jet Gray (Appearance Package only), as well as Iconic Silver, Shadow Black, Oxford White, Velocity Blue, Twister Orange, Race Red and Grabber Yellow.
When Will The 2021 Mustang Mach 1 Be Available?
According to Ford, the 2021 Mach 1 will arrive in the U.S. and Canada in the spring of 2021. As of now, there are no production delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How Much Will The 2021 Mustang Mach 1 Cost?
This information, of course, is not available. It’s expected that the Mach 1 will start around the $50,000 price level.
Okay Mustangers, I like to think I have my finger on your pulse and that I do a decent job of representing you. I am, afterall, the guy who started the #NotAMustang petition when Ford messed with Mustang heritage and the put the pony badge on the Mach-E. But let’s not beat a dead pony.
Instead, I want to know what you think about the new Mach 1 logo. Does it have enough of that old-school look, and does it excite you? Leave me a comment with your thoughts.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.