Ford Performance designers, powertrain and aerodynamics engineers functioned as a virtual racing team to test hundreds of designs both digitally and physically.
They used state-of-the-art digital and additive manufacturing prototyping tools as part of a mission to make the ultimate, most advanced performance street-legal Mustang of all time.
“We created and studied designs among the engineering teams and proved out different strategies long before we built our first prototype cars,” said Matt Titus, Ford Performance vehicle engineer. “Not only did this improve the effectiveness of the designs, it dramatically reduced the time it took to develop the GT500 – and the costs associated with that.”
Every millimeter counts for the Mustang Shelby GT500 to deliver on downforce, braking and cooling targets.
The team leveraged Ford’s vast resources of advanced design simulation tools, including the Ford Performance technical center in Concord, North Carolina, and rapid 3D prototyping systems at its Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Michigan.
To physically validate the improving designs, Ford’s wind tunnels in Michigan and Windshear rolling wind tunnel in Concord were also used.
Real-world testing still matters, so the Shelby GT500 team ran extended high-speed tests on some of the most notable racetracks across the United States – including Virginia International Raceway, NOLA Motorsports Park and GingerMan Raceway – to refine the aerodynamic designs and help the all-new Shelby GT500 deliver the fastest track times ever in a production Mustang along with improved driver control for greater confidence behind the wheel.
Delivering more than 700 horsepower using 93-octane fuel, maximizing cooling at the front is critical to the Shelby GT500’s vigorous track performance, and where the team focused much of its efforts.
At wide-open throttle, the cooling system needs to extract up to 230 kilowatts of heat energy, enough to heat a dozen homes.
The massive front brakes reject another 100 kilowatts of heat at maximum braking, so the team utilized advanced 3D airflow modeling to maximize overall cooling while working to minimize impact on front-end lift and drag.
The 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 goes on sale this summer.