The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is riding on some awesome wheels

We'll be missing the Mustang Shelby GT350 along with the rest of the muscle car community, but Ford is spicing up the Mach 1 to make up for it. Part of the Mustang Mach 1's optional Handling Package, those new wheels drew inspiration from bridges, roll cages, and – believe it or not – bird's nests.

"In some ways, I see the wheels as jewelry for the vehicle," said Mark Kaski, Ford Lead Designer, and the man responsible for designing the Mustang's wheels for the past decade. "The design is different than anything we've ever done, but I think it's perfect for this new Mach 1," continued Kaski. "It's going to influence Mustang wheel design going forward."

The new 19-inch wheels are one inch wider than the standard rollers in a 2021 Mustang Mach 1. Despite having more girth, the wheels are two pounds lighter than stock, reducing unsprung mass. The result is a comfier ride, sharper handling, and more grip.

The wheels benefit from a layered three-dimensional construction, forged from cast aluminum for maximum durability. "It's the result of a whole lot of engineering, a lot of design, and a little artistic talent," added Kaski. "And there was probably some magic involved."

Mind you; Ford wasn't kidding when it said the wheels were inspired by bridge truss construction and bird's nests. The unique Y-spoke design consists of long straight lines intersecting shorter, angled lines. "There aren't many in the industry doing layering like this on a production wheel," said Kaski.

However, the wheels are only a small part of the equation. With the Handling Package comes a higher downforce front splitter, a bespoke rear swing spoiler with a gurney flap, and MagneRide suspension. According to Ford, the changes offer 150-percent more downforce than a Mustang GT equipped with a Level 1 Performance Pack.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 remains motivated by a 5.0-liter V8 with 480 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The standard fare is a Tremec 3160 six-speed manual gearbox (as seen in the now-defunct Mustang Shelby GT350) with a short-throw shifter and a rev-matching feature. If you don't like driving a stick, Ford's 10-speed automatic is optional, although the Handling Package (along with those great wheels) is only available with the manual.

The Handling Package is available to order starting January 4 while the first deliveries are arriving this spring. Meanwhile, the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is expected to arrive at U.S. dealerships early this year.