Carbon wheels reduce Ford GT unsprung weight

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Ford Performance is introducing carbon fiber wheels as an option for the Ford GT supercar, which will enhance the drive and handling characteristics.

Beyond simply reducing overall vehicle weight for improved acceleration, braking and dynamic performance, fitting carbon fiber wheels will reduce unsprung weight and rotational inertia compared with the aluminum versions, which benefits suspension action, NVH, ride quality and dynamics.

The Ford GT arrives standard with 10-spoke forged aluminum wheels, sized 8.5 x 20in/front, and 11.5 x 20in/rear. The optional carbon fiber wheels are the same size, but are structurally stiffer, and save more than 2 lbs of unsprung weight per wheel. Compared to the standard wheels, this weight saving reduces inertia by a claimed 25%.

The 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 the Shelby GT350R Mustang,” said Dave Pericak, global director of Ford Performance. “Now, the 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 carbon fiber weave to show through.

Working with supplier partner Carbon Revolution, the wheels are constructed with the latest generation of fiber and resin technology that permits greater design flexibility – resulting in flowing, more intricate spokes.

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