All-carbon fiber wheel migrates to the carbon fiber-bodied Ford GT

This carbon fiber wheel, manufactured by Carbon Revolution, already had been specified for the 2015 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang. Each wheel reduces unsprung wheel mass by 2 lb per wheel compared to the aluminum versions.

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The carbon fiber wheel manufactured by Australia-based Carbon Revolution reduces unsprung wheel mass by 2 lb per wheel compared to the aluminum wheel that comes standard on the Ford GT supercar.

Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI, US) says the carbon-fiber-bodied Ford GT will 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.

Unlike the Shelby GT350R’s black-painted carbon fiber wheels, Ford GT wheels will be offered in two finishes – either matte or glossy clearcoat. The finishes match the two exposed carbon finishes available on the sills, fascia and extractor of the supercar. The wheels are manufactured by supplier partner Carbon Revolution (Waurn Ponds, Australia).

“Ford was the innovator as the first to offer a mass-produced carbon fiber wheels as a standard offering on Shelby GT350R Mustang,” says 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.”

Carbon fiber wheels offer a wealth of advantages over traditional aluminum wheels, including weight savings, improved vehicle dynamics and ride quality. Beyond simply reducing overall vehicle weight for improved acceleration, braking and dynamic performance, carbon fiber engenders a reduction in unsprung weight and rotational inertia, which benefits suspension action, ride quality and dynamic performance.

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Ford GT.

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

Ford notes that 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.

Ford says that 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.