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Ford GT's optional carbon-fiber wheels save 2 pounds each

We now have confirmation that, just like the Shelby GT350R Mustang, the new Ford GT supercar will offer carbon-fiber wheels. While they're standard on the R, the lighter wheels will be an option on the carbon-bodied GT. Ford says that these wheels use the latest carbon tech, including a new resin and more-advanced fibers.

The carbon wheels come from Carbon Revolution, the Australian company that also supplies the wheels on the top Mustang. By using a newer generation of wheel tech than the Shelby car's, Ford was able to make the GT's wheels lighter and with a more intricate design – 10 thin spokes as opposed to seven thicker spokes. The result is a wheel that's more than two pounds lighter than the GT's standard alloy, which we're told is already pretty light. (We asked Ford for a weight on either wheel, but those numbers aren't being shared just yet.) Like the standard aluminum wheels, these available carbon pieces measure 20 inches in diameter, with a width of 8.5 inches up front and a massive 11.5 in the rear.

Advantages of carbon-fiber wheels go beyond just reduced weight, because the carbon strands can be specifically aligned to optimize strength and response in the computer design phase. Carbon-fiber parts absorb shocks better than metal ones, so the wheel can reduce vibration transmitted from the road and sort of act as more of a suspension component. The weight difference reduces unsprung mass, making the suspension do less work and also improving the car's acceleration and braking.

Of course, that will come at a cost. Ford isn't sharing pricing for the optional wheels yet, but we know they will be available in matte or high-gloss finish. The GT350R's wheels are painted black, hiding the carbon awesomeness but likely making them cheaper to make, since carbon parts don't always come out looking pretty. (Yes, that means they have to recycle some and start over again.) Whatever they cost, we're pretty sure the 500 folks Ford chooses to grant the privilege of ownership will be able to tack on the extra dough to the car's roughly $450,000 starting price.


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