See my Cardomain page on the EATC (Electronic Automatic Temperature Control) mod swap. That is for the temp sensor. That little vent couldn't move enough air behind the dash to help anything, lol. In the mod, it needs a tube down to the fan inlet to force it to aspirate air through the sensor.
So, no use arguing: it was put there for a single purpose, and economy of scale dictated using the same dash everywhere in the derivative models.