The 2017 Ford GT will be the first vehicle to come with a new option on the market. This option could revolutionize the automotive industry for the future if it ever reaches an affordable level, as it improves almost everything to a degree.
Carbon-fiber wheels are proving to be a safer and more lightweight option than the standard metal equivalent. One of the banes of changing a tire is the weight, as you not only need to lift it, but also get it on the lugs without scraping the threads if possible. A lighter wheel could significantly reduce that problem by at least two pounds, and it’s about to be an option on Ford’s latest super-car.
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Of course the 2017 Ford GT isn’t the first car to have carbon-fiber wheels. The Shelby Mustang GT350R came with the new advancement standard, and Ford has officially made it possible to mass-produce them. What this means is that eventually the wheels could be so popular that Ford will be able to produce them for less and less money, passing the savings down to the consumer.
A similar phenomenon hit the entertainment industry when DVDs first came out. It required a completely new kind of media player, but offered the public the chance to skip content without endless hunting with the fast forward and rewind buttons. It didn’t wear out as easily as the video cassette, and thanks to Sony’s inclusion of a DVD drive in their PlayStation 2 console, it became so popular that the media format became affordable for more people.
The same thing is happening with Blu-Ray as higher definition formats are still being introduced.
For now, the carbon-fiber wheel is still extremely expensive, up in the thousands of dollars. Due to the demand for the 2017 Ford GT and its Shelby counterpart, both currently being sold out, it probably won’t matter for a while.
Carbon-fiber is an improvement over the steel and aluminum we use for wheels today, reducing weight and, in turn, reducing the amount of torque needed to turn it. It should cut down on the wear and tear of the engine itself, and give more speed, power, and performance per piston alone. The light weight construction of the 2017 Ford GT helps with this as well, further reducing strain on suspension. Of course the super-car comes with a drawback for its greater performance and lower potential maintenance.
The car would cost you over $400,000, which is enough to obliterate the budget for anyone not currently earning that kind of money. However, the demand is so high for the super-car that every one made is already sold before it’s even off the production line.
Ford Performance global director Dave Pericak raved about this advancement in automotive technology.
“Ford was the innovator as the first to offer a mass-produced carbon-fiber wheel as a standard offering on Shelby GT350R Mustang. Now, [the 2017] 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.
“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.”
If you’re one of the wealthy who can afford the 2017 Ford GT, are the carbon-fiber wheels enough to convince you that it’s worth the purchase?
[Image via Darren Brode/Shutterstock.com]