There’s a new beat on the street – and it’s not quite as noisy as the previous, as Ford’s made an interesting change to its jewel, the Mustang Shelby GT350R – wheels of steel no more. Well, technically steel has been losing popularity in wheels for quite some time.
The American car manufacturer is struggling to come to terms with the new federal regulations regarding fuel consumption and emissions, which are due to arrive next year. And it’s not the only car firm having a bit of trouble with this, as BMW and Ferrari, to name two of the most important, are also thinking how to minimize fuel efficiency and emissions. BMW’s i3 – a very, very pretty, carbon covered, electric car – has already set the bar pretty high.
So, what’s Ford going to move in this exhilarating Monopoly game against the Electric Company?
Well, it’s promising that the Shelby, due to come this fall, will run on feathers. Well, that is, not actual feathers, but four carbon-fiber black beauties. With 19 inches of pure awesome, comes a weight of just 18 pounds – that is almost half of the aluminum version which weighs 33 pounds. That’s a whole minus 60 pounds for the whole car. This comes as a smart move after Ford having spent quite a lot rebuilding an aluminum body for the new pickup truck, the F-150. This cut about 700 pounds from the body it, but also a big part out of Ford Motor’s budget.
Still, carbon fiber wheels are expensive to make, as we can tell since we only see them on off-the-chart expensive vehicles, like this one. It’s not the one-car-every-hour business anymore. These cars take careful planning, engineering, and have a lot of their parts hand-made. This may not seem impressive, but in the corporate market today, as I’m sure you’ve heard the cliché – time means money.
The main problem people seem to be having with the new wheels is: how can such lightweight structures support the heavy car that is the Shelby GT350R? Writing about the new model, many have used the term “brittle” to describe the unusual wheels (for a mustang). Ford officials begged to differ as they’ve said that the wheels have passed all the tests the company has thrown at them – even literally crashing the wheels into a wall at a staggering speed.
The results of the tests showed that not only did the wheels perform perfectly, they even surpassed results from normal, aluminum wheels.
As expectation grows higher and higher, leaked info places the car at a starting price of $63.495. So, are you saving money?
Image source: automobilemag.com