Some serious weight losses are afoot.
Ford is showing off its carbon fiber wheel option for the 500-horsepower Mustang Dark Horse at the Chicago Auto Show. The track-focused variant will be part of the Mustang's next-generation lineup, and now we know it will have an option for wheels typically reserved for supercars and race cars. The Dark horse's carbon fiber wheels not only look awesome but weigh just over 20 pounds each, making for a weight saving of approximately 37% over the Dark Horse's standard aluminum wheels. Ford also assures us that the wheels have undergone over 200 tests for structural and environmental validation to ensure strength and rigidity alongside weight savings. This is important, as replacing them after hitting a pothole would be costly if the price of similar wheels from the Shelby GT500 is anything to go by.
The carbon fiber wheels are designed and built in collaboration with long-time Ford partners, Carbon Revolution, and come with a list of firsts. The wheels are Ford's first five-spoke carbon fiber wheels; Carbon Revolution's first production wheel with lug nuts located between spokes, which is a classic Mustang signature; and it's the first production wheel to use blue carbon fiber material.
The flat-face wheel design is created using Carbon Revolution's aerospace-derived plasma arc spray process to deposit a combination of ceramic and metal materials inside the front wheels for protection from heat generated by the brakes.
It's an amazing piece of technology that the aerospace industry uses to treat the materials used to make turbine blades. It's also used in Formula 1 and other top-tier open-wheel classes. Carbon Revolution uses a proprietary thermal barrier coating system to protect its wheels.
Ford and Carbon Revolution's relationship dates back to the Mustang Shelby GT350R and Ford GT, and we're excited for a new era with the Dark Horse, which essentially replaces the Mach 1 in the lineup. The carbon fiber wheels will no doubt be costly, but their lightness and structural rigidity will be worth it for those who take their track times seriously.
Join The Discussion