Optional carbon fiber 20-inch wheels will be offered in two different finishes.
As had been rumored, the 2017 Ford GT supercar will shave even more weight thanks to carbon fiber wheels. Compared to the car’s standard forged aluminum wheels, each optional carbon 20-inch wheel is about two pounds lighter, which Ford says reduces rotational inertia by 25 percent.
The wheels are manufactured by Carbon Revolution, which also provides the carbon fiber rolling stock that come standard on the Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang. In addition to saving ever-important pounds, Ford says that the carbon wheels help damp vibrations that can cause road noise or a stiffer ride. Primarily, though, for a supercar like the Ford GT, the benefit is in reducing unsprung mass for the benefit of acceleration, braking, and handling.
Ford GT buyers will be able to select their carbon wheels either in a matte finish or with a glossy clearcoat. Of course, many aspiring purchasers won’t be able to buy a Ford GT at all: Though Ford plans to build just 500 copies of the carbon-fiber coupe, 6,506 people submitted an application for a spot in line to buy one.
Ford still has not revealed a price tag for the new GT, saying only that the car will start in the mid-$400,000 range. The car, which was first shown at last year’s Detroit auto show, will pack a 3.5-liter biturbo EcoBoost V-6 with more than 600 hp.
2017 Ford GT carbon fiber wheels
FORD GT CARBON-FIBER WHEELS SHOWCASE THE DYNAMIC, WEIGHT, NVH AND EFFICIENCY ADVANTAGES OF INNOVATIVE MATERIAL
- All-new Ford GT will debut availability of next-gen carbon-fiber wheels, offering new clear-coated, bare-carbon finish and extensive benefits of lightweighting
- Latest iteration of carbon-fiber wheels on Ford GT feature new advanced fiber and resin compounds that allow more intricately styled wheel options
- Ford GT is the second Ford vehicle to take advantage of carbon-fiber wheels; first standard OEM application debuted on 2015 Ford Shelby® GT350R Mustang
DEARBORN, Mich., May 17, 2016 – The carbon-fiber-bodied Ford GT will also offer an all-new carbon-fiber wheel, further improving the drive and handling characteristics of Ford’s all-new supercar.
Ford GT is the second Ford Performance vehicle to offer carbon fiber wheels – following the world’s first mass-produced carbon fiber wheel application that debuted as standard equipment on the 2015 Shelby® GT350R Mustang.
“Ford was the innovator as the first to offer a mass-produced carbon fiber 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 fiber wheels, with an advanced resin and fiber technology that gives our designers more freedom, while also showcasing the structure of the material’s weave.”
Unlike the Shelby GT350R’s black-painted carbon fiber wheels, Ford GT wheels will be offered in two finishes – either a matte or a glossy clearcoat, permitting the stunning nature of the carbon fiber weave to show through. The finishes perfectly match the two exposed carbon finishes available on the sills, fascia and extractor of the all-new supercar.
Working with supplier partner Carbon Revolution, the new wheels are constructed with the latest generation of fiber and resin technology that permits greater design flexibility – resulting in flowing, more intricate spokes.
Light Is Right
Carbon fiber wheels bring a wealth of advantages over traditional aluminum wheels, including weight savings, improved vehicle dynamics and ride quality - making the innovative material the perfect complement for the all-new Ford GT.
Beyond simply reducing overall vehicle weight for improved acceleration, braking and dynamic performance, carbon fiber’s incredibly strong, light nature means a reduction in unsprung weight and rotational inertia, which benefits suspension action, ride quality and dynamic performance.
The Ford GT arrives standard with incredibly light, supercar-spec, 10-spoke forged aluminum wheels, sized 8.5 x 20 in./front, and 11.5 x 20 in./rear. The optional carbon fiber wheels on the Ford GT are the same size, but are structurally stiffer, and save more than two pounds of unsprung weight per wheel. Compared to the already featherweight standard wheels, this weight savings reduces inertia by a notable 25 percent.
A lighter wheel requires the suspension to do less work to control the hardware attached to it, and improves consistent contact with the road surface, improving traction and driver control. Each spinning wheel also acts like a gyroscope, so a lighter wheel can improve steering feel and dynamics as it requires less energy to accelerate or turn the wheels, improving vehicle response. Vehicle efficiency is improved as less energy is required to get the wheel spinning.
While metal wheels can act like a bell, the dense, inert nature of carbon fiber provides for overall improved performance in terms of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and a quieter ride – leading to greater comfort and refinement.
With optional carbon fiber wheels providing benefits in key areas – weight savings, vehicle dynamics, NVH and ride quality – they are the perfect, innovative complement for the all-new Ford GT.