Minimizing mass on your latest supercar is critical and Ford clearly understands this. The new Ford GT has a carbon fiber body and innovative carbon-fiber wheels to keep mass light. However, new resin compounds are allowing the GT to have more intricately styled wheels without ditching the carbon fiber lightness.
Ford has actually been at the forefront of carbon-fiber wheels. The brand was the first to mass-produce them for the Shelby GT350R Mustang. While that particular car likely doesn’t gain much benefit from the light weight wheels, it’s a fun performance credential for owners to lay claim to nonetheless.
On the Mustang the carbon fiber is painted black, covering up the iconic carbon fiber weave that car guys have come to love. Fortunately, the six-figure GT will have the carbon fiber weave exposed in a matte or glossy finish.
“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.”
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 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.
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.