US – The GT is the second Ford Performance vehicle with carbon-fibre wheels, after the 2015 Shelby GT350R Mustang. Ford says the lightweight wheels further improve the drive and handling of the new supercar, which also has a carbon-fibre body.
“Ford was the innovator as the first to offer mass-produced carbon-fibre wheels as a standard offering on Shelby GT350R Mustang,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director. “Now, Ford GT will offer the next generation in carbon-fibre wheels, with an advanced resin and fibre technology that gives our designers more freedom, while also showcasing the structure of the material’s weave.”
The carbon-fibre wheels are offered as an option; the car comes as standard with ten-spoke aluminium wheels measuring 8.5 by 20 inches at the front and 11.5 by 20 at the rear. The carbon-fibre versions are the same size but lighter and stiffer. The lightweight wheels help to reduce the mass of the vehicle, improving acceleration, braking and dynamic performance. The 2lb decrease in unsprung weight and 25% drop in rotational inertia additionally aids suspension action, ride quality and dynamic performance, says Ford.
A lighter wheel lessens the burden on the suspension in controlling the attached hardware, while maintaining consistent contact with the road surface and therefore boosting traction and driver control. According to Ford, the carbon-fibre wheels act like gyroscopes, requiring less energy to accelerate or turn and therefore enhancing vehicle responsiveness and steering feel. Vehicle efficiency is also increased by the reduction in energy needed to get the wheel spinning. The dense, insert nature of the carbon fibre also improves noise, vibration and harshness in comparison with metal.
Ford worked with its supplier, Carbon Revolution, to develop the wheels. They will be available in a matte or glossy clearcoat finish, allowing the carbon-fibre weave to show through, and will match the carbon surfaces on the sills, fascia and extractor of the new GT.