A car’s speed isn’t just a measure of it’s raw horsepower, aerodynamics play a big part in this as well. For supercars like the Ford GT, that means lots of time in the wind tunnel where different designs are tested, modified and retested to ensure the best possible performance.
Ford engineering supervisor Nick Terzes takes us behind the scenes at Wind Tunnel 8 in Allen Park, Michigan, where a Ford GT pre-production verification prototype undergoes wind tunnel testing. The footage is of just one of multiple sessions to prove out the extensive computer aided aerodynamic models with physical wind tunnel data, at airspeeds approaching 125 mph.
Part of working on a program with compressed timing, Terzes and the Ford GT engineering team were in the Allen Park facility in the early a.m. hours of a Monday, demonstrating the non-stop nature of vehicle development. “Being the GT program,” Terzes said, “we effectively test 24/7.”
“The prime reason we come to the tunnel is to get the actual physical data on the vehicle,” Terzes explained. “We’ll look at interior wind-noise acoustics, and the aerodynamics of the vehicle.”
Footage in the clip demonstrates the active rear wing, part of a suite of active aerodynamic features on the 2017 Ford GT, designed to improve performance, stability and efficiency.
“One of the great things about this car, as dynamic and beautiful as the design is, every single opening has a purpose on the car. So If you see a large grille, if you see a scoop, it’s wasn’t just put there to look good,” Terzes said. “It was put there because it has a function.”
“In the end, all these late hours, all these weekends that we work, are absolutely worth it to be a part of a program like this, and to create the ultimate GT.”