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Jarstang

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AERO FIRST: 200 MPH WIND TUNNEL TREADMILL HELPED DESIGN THE MOST AERODYNAMIC, TRACK CAPABLE ALL-NEW FORD MUSTANG

JUN 13, 2023 | DEARBORN
  • Ford has a new state-of-the-art Rolling Road Wind Tunnel (RRWT) which enables improved aerodynamic research and development for next-generation Ford electric, hybrid and gas vehicles
  • Rolling Road surface in the wind tunnel is capable of reaching 200 mph along with air speed so aerodynamicists can replicate conditions similar to those experienced on the road or track, aiding research while allowing more opportunity for additional development
  • The Rolling Road Wind Tunnel was used to help develop the all-new Mustang® Dark Horse™, which has the most downforce of any 5.0-liter Mustang when equipped with the available Handling Package that helps the vehicle stick to the ground both on the street and on the track.






DEARBORN, MI, June 13, 2023 – Wind tunnels have long been used to design and test aerodynamic and energy efficient vehicles. Now, Ford has combined the latest wind tunnel technology with the equivalent of a vehicle-sized treadmill to help create its next-generation of production vehicles, including the all-new Mustang Dark Horse.

Capable of simulating wind and road surface speeds of 200 mph, the Rolling Road Wind Tunnel (RRWT) supports testing for efficient and performance-driven vehicles across the Ford lineup – including the next generation of Ford electric, hybrid and gas vehicles.
“The amount of air moved by our wind tunnel is enough to fill a K-Class blimp in just over 5 seconds.”
-John Toth, North America Wind Tunnels Engineering Supervisor
One key benefit of the RRWT is that it gives more accurate data in terms of both wind drag and downforce compared to other earlier wind tunnel designs, which are key factors when optimizing for range and efficiency. It also allows for more in-house testing that simulates open-road conditions, which can help reduce design costs while also accelerating the design process.

“The closer we can get to reality in the lab, the better and faster we can create more energy efficient vehicles with great on-road and track stability,” said Toth. “Testing while the wheels and tires move is instrumental to improving aerodynamics for track-ready vehicles, like Mustang Dark Horse which has to balance both aerodynamic drags and downforce.”

A new five-belt rolling road system can replicate real-world drag through a rolling road aerodynamic tunnel that enables Ford to bring the road to the vehicle, rather than the vehicle to the road.

To test for optimal aerodynamic performance, each wheel gets its own belt, making up the first four belts. A large fifth belt runs under the center of the vehicle. A crane is used to switch between the five belt and single belt systems – an industrial-sized plug-and-play. The single belt – which operates at up to 200 mph – opens up a new breed of testing for high-speed performance vehicles.

Maximizing downforce on Mustang Dark Horse

The Mustang Dark Horse is among the first of many vehicles to be tested in this wind tunnel.
Tailored aerodynamics are a key step in the development of new vehicles.

For passenger vehicles and trucks, the goal is to achieve low drag, creating a more efficient vehicle. However, for vehicles such as the Mustang Dark Horse that prioritize track-ready performance, aerodynamicists will trade low drag for increased downforce, which helps cars stick to the road or track and improves handling feel while cornering.

The Mustang Dark Horse comes with an available Gurney flap, which is an extra plate attached to the rear wing to help generate additional downforce, as well as three vertical plates coming off the under body near each front wheel called strakes. The strakes help disrupt airflow generating greater downforce on the underside of the vehicle, which can help the car stick better in corners at higher speeds.

Overall, Mustang Dark Horse includes multiple changes and additional features, including a redesigned front bumper, a lower valence, a spoiler, and unique wheels. The front design is optimized to potentially increase air flow for engine cooling, brakes and air intake, while also reducing front lift. On the Mustang Dark Horse, the lower air spoiler and splitter is unique allowing the car to be tuned for greater downforce. The upgraded handling package on the Dark Horse provides a unique splitter, spoiler, and wheels – changes that may seem small but that make all the difference when hitting the road or track with performance in mind.
"We spent approximately 250 hours in the wind tunnel developing the 2024 Ford Mustang which includes Dark Horse,” said Program Aerodynamicists for Mustang and Bronco, Jonathan Gesek. “The aerodynamics of Mustang Dark Horse along with several other factors have created the most track- and street-capable 5.0-liter Mustang to date.”


VIDEO




PHOTOS

S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Rolling Road Wind Tunnel_Mustang Dark Horse_10


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Rolling Road Wind Tunnel_Mustang Dark Horse_02


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Rolling Road Wind Tunnel_Mustang Dark Horse_05


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Rolling Road Wind Tunnel_Mustang Dark Horse_06


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Rolling Road Wind Tunnel_Mustang Dark Horse_08


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Rolling Road Wind Tunnel_Mustang Dark Horse_09


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Rolling Road Wind Tunnel_Mustang Dark Horse_01


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Rolling Road Wind Tunnel_Mustang Dark Horse_03


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Rolling Road Wind Tunnel_Mustang Dark Horse_11


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Rolling Road Wind Tunnel_Mustang Dark Horse_12


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Rolling Road Wind Tunnel_Mustang Dark Horse_07


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Aero visualizations_Mustang Dark Horse_01


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Aero visualizations_Mustang Dark Horse_02


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Aero visualizations_Mustang GT_Mustang Dark Horse


S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel Aero visualizations_Mustang Dark Horse_03
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IceGamer

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This is Awesome!

You would think with all the technology, they would have a robotic smoke wand. Instead of a dude standing there holding it. LOL
It looks absolutely cool.

However, these tests should be made before the sheet metal is finalized… At this point only fine-tuning is possible (angle of the rear wing and so on).
 

Pyroguy

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I agree. I just think they made the video for promotional purposes. And to show off a shiny new Blue Ember Dark Horse. Looks better that way.

Very nice pictures, new wallpaper
 

Evo1986

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At the end of the day it doesn't matter for us Europeans since we will not get the handling package, the unqique weels or the gurney flap. So what is the point then to get a DH over a GT apart from a minor different look from the front, a few blue elements and stiches in the interior and 20 BHP more? :D
 


unfairslide

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At the end of the day it doesn't matter for us Europeans since we will not get the handling package, the unqique weels or the gurney flap. So what is the point then to get a DH over a GT apart from a minor different look from the front, a few blue elements and stiches in the interior and 20 BHP more? :D
Tremec trans, diff-trans-oil coolers, specific tuned magne ride suspension, stiffer chassis reinforcements, forged/stronger engine internals, etc.

If you want to have a track focused car go DH. If you want a daily cruiser/part time canyon carver go GT.
 

Evo1986

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Tremec trans, diff-trans-oil coolers, specific tuned magne ride suspension, stiffer chassis reinforcements, forged/stronger engine internals, etc.

If you want to have a track focused car go DH. If you want a daily cruiser/part time canyon carver go GT.
I am going for the AT so Tremec isn't a option for me. GT also has oil coolers and the magne ride suspension on paper is more or less the same. I am never on track, so at GT is more of an option for me whereas I have to say I like the dark bezels of the DH in the interior.
 

Rio Lobo

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This is Awesome!

You would think with all the technology, they would have a robotic smoke wand. Instead of a dude standing there holding it. LOL
Probably a union job. My smoke wand is made by drew estate. I'll be damned if I have a robot use it.
 

unfairslide

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I am going for the AT so Tremec isn't a option for me. GT also has oil coolers and the magne ride suspension on paper is more or less the same. I am never on track, so at GT is more of an option for me whereas I have to say I like the dark bezels of the DH in the interior.
I am going GT as well but would love if it came with the Tremec. I have no real plans on tracking either.
 

Gogoggansgo

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It looks absolutely cool.

However, these tests should be made before the sheet metal is finalized… At this point only fine-tuning is possible (angle of the rear wing and so on).
Yes exactly it’s kinda of a moot point, it’s like look we have this CAD program that lets us design revolutionary heads and intakes but let’s use it after the fact lmfao
 

Piotr

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At the end of the day it doesn't matter for us Europeans since we will not get the handling package, the unqique weels or the gurney flap. So what is the point then to get a DH over a GT apart from a minor different look from the front, a few blue elements and stiches in the interior and 20 BHP more? :D
I know that we didn't get it for mach1 but how do you know we won't get it for dark horse too ?
 

Evo1986

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I know that we didn't get it for mach1 but how do you know we won't get it for dark horse too ?
Some time ago there was the 59th annual birthday event in UK where the DH was shown. It was a european model and there you can clearly see that it is a DH light when it comes to these aero parts of the car and I am pretty sure this will be the production car in a few months time for us Europeans.

S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel dh_uk1.JPG

S650 Mustang Mustang Dark Horse Was Shaped by Ford's New Cutting Edge 200 MPH Wind Tunnel dh_uk3.JPG
 

Piotr

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Mach1 was not only missing the track pack but we didn't even get a Torsen differential. I want to buy the dark horse but If fords butchers it for Europe again I'll just buy an audi rs3. Looking at the US pricing dark horse will cost the same as a fully loaded rs3 with carbon ceramic brakes.
 

Evo1986

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Mach1 was not only missing the track pack but we didn't even get a Torsen differential. I want to buy the dark horse but If fords butchers it for Europe again I'll just buy an audi rs3. Looking at the US pricing dark horse will cost the same as a fully loaded rs3 with carbon ceramic brakes.
Yes, that is why was questioning why I should pay probably 10-12K more for a DH than GT (even though I prefer the DH interior). As you mentioned with the Mach 1, they leave some important components out and sell it for the same price. Someone can argue about rules and regulations in Europe, but then you need to adapt the pricing model imo. Anyway we will see....
 

62Telecaster

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...they literally did the same PR about "brand new, cutting edge, state of the art, blah!!!!!!!" wind tunnel crap with the S550 a decade ago lol.

I'm not digging up the videos or articles, but trust me lol. Just google search it; it's all over the net/youtube still the exact same way that this is lmfao.
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