The engineering team shows up early to check out the supercar's aerodynamics.
Ford doesn't start customer deliveries of the GT until the end of the year, and the engineering team continues to refine the supercar’s shape in the wind tunnel. In a new video, the Blue Oval shows off the process of perfecting the GT’s aerodynamics.
At this point, the GT is nearing the end of development and is now in pre-production verification. These 124-mile-per-hour (200-kilometer-per-hour) wind tunnel tests make sure that the company’s computer-based aerodynamic design actually works in the real world. “The prime reason we come to the tunnel is to get the actual physical data on the vehicle,” Ford engineering supervisor Nick Terzes said in the video.
The GT’s body includes a ton of little tricks to direct air exactly where the engineers want it. This video shows the flaps in the lower front fascia activating and the adaptive rear wing. The supercar’s bevy of arches and flying buttresses make it look like a gothic cathedral for driving down the road.
While Ford doesn’t mind talking about the GT’s development, there are still some major mechanical questions about the supercar. For example, the Blue Oval still doesn’t publicly admit how much power its 3.5-liter biturbo V6 produces. The company confirms the figure is above 600 horsepower, and Forza Motorsport 6 puts the number at 630 hp (469 kilowatts) and 539 pound-feet (730 Newton-meters). However it's possible in the time since the game's release last year, the engineers could have found a few more horses.
FORD GT WIND TUNNEL TESTING CONTINUES TO TUNE SUPERCAR’S FUNCTIONAL DESIGN AND ACTIVE AERODYNAMICS
Allen Park, Mich., July 13, 2016 – Development of the all new Ford GT continues unabated, with the carbon fiber supercar expected to go on sale before the end of this year. An innovation showcase in efficient EcoBoost engines, lightweighting and aerodynamics, the Ford GT is a study in functional design and active airflow management.
Ford engineering supervisor Nick Terzes takes us behind the scenes at Wind Tunnel 8 in Allen Park, Michigan, where a Ford GT pre-production verification prototype undergoes wind tunnel testing. The footage is of just one of multiple sessions to prove out the extensive computer aided aerodynamic models with physical wind tunnel data, at airspeeds approaching 125 mph (200 km/h).
Part of working on a program with compressed timing, Terzes and the Ford GT engineering team were in the Allen Park facility in the early a.m. hours of a Monday, demonstrating the non-stop nature of vehicle development. “Being the GT program,” Terzes said, “we effectively test 24/7.”
“The prime reason we come to the tunnel is to get the actual physical data on the vehicle,” Terzes explained. “We’ll look at interior wind-noise acoustics, and the aerodynamics of the vehicle.”
Footage in the clip demonstrates the active rear wing, part of a suite of active aerodynamic features on the 2017 Ford GT, designed to improve performance, stability and efficiency.
“One of the great things about this car, as dynamic and beautiful as the design is, every single opening has a purpose on the car. So If you see a large grille, if you see a scoop, it’s wasn’t just put there to look good,” Terzes said. “It was put there because it has a function.”
“In the end, all these late hours, all these weekends that we work, are absolutely worth it to be a part of a program like this, and to create the ultimate GT.”
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 201,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.