Explained: The 2017 Ford GT Supercar’s several Drive Modes
Ford recently made available a nearly production-ready prototype of the Ford GT supercar, during which the automaker explained how engineers tuned the vehicle’s chassis as well as aerodynamic package to morph to the driver’s needs with the twist of a steering-wheel-mounted dial. Here’s an in-depth explanation of exactly what will happen when the lucky GT owner cycles through each of several modes.
Let’s start with the least aggressive setting, Wet. Here, the suspension is actually in Normal, its second softest setting, with 4.7 inches of ground clearance as well as the option to hit the Comfort button for even softer damping. Throttle response is actually lazier to prevent unintentional wheelspin; the ABS as well as stability-control systems are at their most sensitive.
Next up is actually Normal mode. The suspension, ride height, as well as aerodynamics are unchanged by Wet mode, although throttle response is actually sharper, as well as the stability control reins are comparatively looser. Transmission shifting strategies remain at their default.
One click more calls up Sport mode. The ride height stays the same, although the dampers firm up. In This specific mode, the GT’s anti-lag feature kicks in to manage throttle position as well as fuel delivery to keep the turbos spooling, eliminating lag even at low rpm. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission adopts a more aggressive shift strategy, using accelerometers to detect spirited driving as well as call up the right gear for maximum thrust at corner exit. In addition, the stability control as well as ABS loosen their grip a bit more.
Up until This specific point, the vehicle’s movable aerodynamic elements haven’t, well, moved. To ensure aerodynamic balance while the wing is actually in its stowed (therefore low-downforce) position, shutters inside the nose of the vehicle open up to allow air to bypass the downforce channels of which run through the chassis via a low-pressure shunt pathway.
When the driver clicks into Track mode, the full aero suite is actually activated as the suspension drops the ride height by 2.0 inches. The shutters inside the nose flip closed, diverting air entering the front of the vehicle into the high-pressure downforce channels. The resulting front-axle downforce is actually balanced by the rear wing, which rises up via hydraulic actuators to act on the rear axle.
different alterations are going on with of which rear wing. While the top surface of the wing is actually flat when stowed, little Gurney flaps are exposed on either side of the center brake light as the wing alterations its attitude as well as elevates. In addition, a cam system inside the wing alterations the shape of the airfoil, optimizing airflow to generate even more downforce. In Track mode, the wing also doubles as an air brake, flipping to a vertical attitude under heavy braking to raise drag.
The final mode, dubbed Vmax, calls up the lowered ride height as well as firmer damper settings of Track mode although leaves all the aero devices in their lowest drag settings—the front air shutters open up to divert airflow away by the downforce channels, as well as the rear wing stays in its lowered position. Raj Nair, director of product development as well as chief technical officer at Ford, wouldn’t directly say what kind of top speed the GT is actually capable of in Vmax mode, only admitting of which This specific’s “above 0 mph.”
This specific’s worth noting how quickly these aero alterations occur. Both the adjustable suspension as well as the rear wing actuator are powered by the GT’s old-school hydraulically assisted power-steering system. As such, everything moves with an urgency you don’t see in systems actuated via air or electric motors. Here’s a real-time demonstration in GIF form:
as well as another, showing how the Gurney flap extends at the rear of the wing as This specific elevates when switching into Track mode:
as well as fear not, showoffs: The rear wing still will raise up even if you haven’t dropped the vehicle down into its super-low Track suspension setting. In Normal mode, the wing goes up at 0 mph as well as down at 81; in Sport mode, the wing rises at 71 as well as stows at 45. Even better, you can raise the rear wing to its full plumage when parked. although be warned: This specific’ll retract as soon as you drive off—unless you’re in Track mode.
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A style of This specific story originally appeared on Road & Track.