Ford has released new details about the carbon fiber wheels that will be used on the Shelby GT350R Mustang.

Ford has released new details about the carbon fiber wheels that will be used on the Shelby GT350R Mustang.

Billed as the world's first mass-produced carbon fiber wheels, the wheels were jointly developed with Australian supplier Carbon Revolution and weigh just 18 lbs  (8.1 kg) apiece.  Considering traditional aluminum wheels weigh 33 lbs (14.9 kg) each, the carbon fiber wheels significantly reduce unsprung weight and help to deliver "unprecedented chassis performance, massive weight savings and improved driving dynamics."

To ensure they're tough enough to handle daily driving, Ford and Carbon Revolution subjected them to an extensive testing regimen to ensure they can handle curb strikes, UV and chemical exposure as well as extreme heat.  

Speaking of the latter, the wheels feature a ceramic coating which can handle temperatures in excess of 900 degrees Celsius (1652 degrees Fahrenheit).  The companies also developed several new proprietary processes to ensure the wheels maintain their high-gloss black finish despite being subjected to road chemicals, corrosive salts and ultraviolet light.

If that's not impressive enough, the wheels are subjected to 61 individual checks that examine more than 246,000 data points to ensure they're in perfect condition before they ever leave the factory.  They're also analyzed using a 3D computerized tomography (CT) imaging process in which more than 18,000 X-ray images are taken.

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