A piece of duct tape led to a reduction in front end lift.

Regardless of the engine, buyers of the 2018 Ford Mustang get a more potent powerplant in the refreshed model, and now the Blue Oval confirms that they get a more efficient drivetrain, too. Fuel economy for the refreshed vehicle jumps by as much as 5.6 percent, and aerodynamic tweaks also contribute to a sharper handling pony car.

The table below compares Mustang fuel economy year over year.

 

 

2017

2018

 

City

Highway

Combined

City

Highway

Combined

Change

EcoBoost (auto)

21

30

24

21

32

25

4.2%

EcoBoost (manual)

21

30

24

21

31

25

4.2%

               

GT (auto)

15

24

18

16

25

19

5.6%

GT (manual)

15

25

18

15

25

18

No change


Ford vehicle dynamics engineer Mike Del Zio and aerodynamics engineer Jonathan Gesek also stumbled upon a way to improve the 2018 Mustang’s handling. During on-track development Del Zio found that high-speed cornering wasn’t as good as the wind tunnel numbers had indicated. Gesek had the quick idea to put a strip of duct tape over the lower gap of the grille. 

Del Zio took the Mustang back onto the track and found that it responded better in high-speed turns. “That little strip of tape made all the difference,” he said.

2018 Ford Mustang Aerodynamics


Del Zio and Gesek worked on the Mustang refresh team for years. Even when the latest generation arrived for the 2015 model year, their crew was "already setting targets" for these updates, they told Motor1

There are a lot of tiny aerodynamic changes that contribute to the 2018 Mustang producing lower drag, but the biggest improvements from the downward arching nose, according to Gesek. Del Zio also notes that the revised shape provides better visibility.

More 2018 Ford Mustang News:


Gesek told Motor1 that he would have liked to make the car lower to the ground, but that begins to affect usability. The Mustang needs to be usable, so drivers shouldn't have to worry about scraping the front end in every driveway.

The Mustang is now a global product, which also factors into the tuning. According to Gesek and Del Zio, the team works with their European partners when considering changes. However, they still make sure to retain the "experience uniquely of a Mustang."

Source: Ford

Gallery: 2018 Ford Mustang: Chicago 2017

Hide press releaseShow press release

How One Piece of Duct Tape Improved Handling and Efficiency in New Ford Mustang


In the data-driven, computer-monitored world of vehicle testing, sometimes there is no replacing the human touch. Ford engineers Jonathan Gesek and Mike Del Zio are proof that both the objective and subjective remain integral parts of car development.

 

After driving a high-speed lap at the test track in a prototype Mustang, Del Zio, a vehicle dynamics engineer – the objective one – reported that despite wind tunnel numbers that would indicate otherwise, the car wasn’t responding around corners to his satisfaction. Gesek, an aerodynamics engineer – the subjective one – had a quick solution.

 

Gesek applied a simple strip of duct tape over the lower gap of the grille. The goal was to reduce what is known as front-end lift. Del Zio re-tested the car, paying attention to the vehicle’s response when cornering at high speed. The result: a better-handling car and a modified grille.

 

“That little strip of tape made all the difference,” Del Zio said. “The key to the subjective is confidence. At the end of a straightaway, what confidence do you have in being able to brake and make a turn? Things start to come up fast at 155 miles an hour.”

 

In recent years, Gesek and Del Zio devoted hundreds of hours to improving the aerodynamic performance of the new 2018 Mustang, helping maintain or improve upon EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings over current models by up to 5.6 percent.

 

Front-end styling changes include a lowered nose, a larger front splitter that adds downforce and helps keep the front end planted to the ground, and a rocker shield that allows air to flow better underneath the car.

 

Active grille shutters are standard across the lineup on non-Performance Pack-equipped vehicles, reducing drag at higher speeds by completely closing off the grille, sending air over and around the car instead of into the engine compartment.

 

The changes improve aerodynamics by reducing drag (by up to 3 percent on the EcoBoost® model) and improve performance by helping Mustang keep a better grip on the road.

 

2018 Ford Mustang fuel economy improvements

 

 

2017

2018

Increase

City

Highway

Combined

City

Highway

Combined

Combined

EcoBoost (auto)

21

30

24

21

32

25

4.2%

EcoBoost (man.)

21

30

24

21

31

25

4.2%

GT (auto)

15

24

18

16

25

19

5.6%

GT (man.)

15

25

18

15

25

18

No change