The carbon fiber wheels they remain a rare item on the automotive market. They made appearances in multi-million dollar Koenigseggs and even made their way to some of Ford’s most popular muscle cars in recent years. However, the Michigan automaker is not content to stop there and now. the Blue Oval is considering installing carbon wheels on its trucks and SUV’s.
A technology that can be further exploited
Ford Icons and Ford Performance Vehicle Program Director, Ali Jammol, thinks there are more vehicles in the Ford stable that deserve carbon fiber wheels, including the Ford F-150 pickup. Speaking at a recent Ford Ranger Raptor event, Jammoul stated that “you can actually migrate that technology to trucks and SUV’s for sure,” adding that “I think we need to experiment with that, I really like that technology.”
The benefits of using carbon fiber wheels
Ford is no stranger to the world of carbon wheels, having created the world’s first mass-produced examples for the Mustang Shelby GT350R. The Ford GT and Mustang Shelby GT500 also get carbon wheels, chosen to help reduce unsprung mass in the quest for handling and performance. Lighter wheels require less suspension effort to keep them on track over bumps and also less energy to accelerate and brake. Reducing even a few ounces from the weight of the wheel can have measurable performance benefits on the track.
However, the benefits of carbon wheels are a bit more confusing when it comes to a truck or SUV. Few F-150 owners are trying to set personal bests on the trail, and those who drive off-road may be worried about damaging a set of carbon wheels.
While not as brittle as some myths suggest, any wheel can be damaged when things go sideways on an off-road trail, and carbon wheels are much more expensive to replace than their conventional steel or aluminum counterparts.
Carbon fiber wheels could improve fuel economy
That does not mean that there are no benefits. Lighter wheels would be ideal for an F-150 Raptor tackling bumpy dirt roads at speed, and fuel economy bonuses can be had as well. In fact, the efficiency benefits of lighter wheels that can also be made to have aerodynamic benefits are cited as one of the key reasons why carbon wheels could be a big thing in the world of electric vehicles, as well. like in trucks.
Ford hasn’t made any firm plans public, but it’s clear there’s enthusiasm within the company for the idea. It may not be long before Ford’s performance trucks and SUVs are rolling around the neighborhood in a nice set of carbons. If your ride is properly equipped, consider investing in some wheel lug nuts to protect your investment.
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