Monday, July 15, 2024
NewsHow Ford's Wind Tunnel Shaped the Mighty Mustang Dark Horse

How Ford’s Wind Tunnel Shaped the Mighty Mustang Dark Horse

Riding the Winds of Change: How Ford's Cool New Tech is Shaping Hot Cars

  • Ford’s RRWT shapes next-gen aerodynamics at simulated 200 mph speeds.

  • New Mustang Dark Horse developed with groundbreaking RRWT technology.

  • Wind tunnel advances lead to superior road and track performance.


Ford is embracing the cutting edge of aerodynamic research and development with a newly revealed state-of-the-art Rolling Road Wind Tunnel (RRWT). Notably, this impressive apparatus served as a crucial instrument in the development of the all-new Mustang Dark Horse. By simulating wind and road surface speeds of up to 200 mph, the RRWT enables Ford to refine aerodynamics for efficient and performance-oriented vehicles across their entire lineup, including future electric, hybrid, and gas models.

In the rapidly evolving automotive landscape, aerodynamics play a critical role in shaping the vehicles of tomorrow. The RRWT represents a significant leap forward in this aspect, as it offers a more accurate representation of real-world conditions, thus providing more precise data on wind drag and downforce. This fine-tuning is vital when optimizing vehicles for range, efficiency, and track-ready performance. Furthermore, this technology allows for robust in-house testing that simulates open-road conditions, potentially reducing design costs while speeding up the design process.

Taking this innovative technology for its first high-speed spin, the Mustang Dark Horse has significantly benefited from the RRWT. This latest Mustang model, when equipped with the available Handling Package, generates the most downforce of any 5.0-litre Mustang, ensuring superior road adherence on both street and track.

Four Things You Need to Know about 2024 Mustang Dark Horse

The RRWT’s unique five-belt rolling road system perfectly mimics real-world drag. Four of these belts serve each wheel individually, while the fifth, larger belt runs underneath the vehicle’s center. The road now comes to the vehicle, as Ford pioneers a new breed of high-speed performance testing. This setup, capable of operating at up to 200 mph, will be instrumental in improving aerodynamics and balancing drag and downforce for track-focused vehicles like the Mustang Dark Horse.

The Dark Horse itself is packed with aerodynamic enhancements. Its Gurney flap and strakes increase downforce, improving handling and cornering at high speeds. Additional features include a redesigned front bumper, a lower valence, a spoiler, and unique wheels, which collectively optimize airflow for engine cooling, brake ventilation, and air intake. These features also work to reduce front lift, making the Dark Horse the most street- and track-capable 5.0-litre Mustang yet.

As Ford’s advanced RRWT technology continues to break new ground, the future of automotive design looks more promising than ever. This is clearly embodied in the Dark Horse’s improved aerodynamics, and one can’t help but wonder which Ford model will next benefit from this wind tunnel revolution.

Rolling Road Wind Tunnel with Mustang Dark Horse | Photo: Ford
Rolling Road Wind Tunnel with Mustang Dark Horse | Photo: Ford
Rolling Road Wind Tunnel with Mustang Dark Horse | Photo: Ford
Rolling Road Wind Tunnel with Mustang Dark Horse | Photo: Ford
Rolling Road Wind Tunnel with Mustang Dark Horse | Photo: Ford
Rolling Road Wind Tunnel with Mustang Dark Horse | Photo: Ford
Rolling Road Wind Tunnel with Mustang Dark Horse | Photo: Ford
Rolling Road Wind Tunnel | Photo: Ford
Rolling Road Wind Tunnel | Photo: Ford
Rolling Road Wind Tunnel | Photo: Ford

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