Ford Camouflage Team Hides Mustang from Paparazzi
The all-new 2015 Ford Mustang has been wildly anticipated over the last several months, and before it was unveiled, we all were doing everything we could to catch a glimpse of the new pony car. The task wasn’t easy, however, thanks to the Ford camouflage team that kept the Mustang one of the Blue Oval’s best-kept secrets.
“Ford designers and engineers spend a lot of time developing new cars, and part of my job is to make sure people don’t see the result until it’s completely ready,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “Professional spy photographers have been stalking prototype cars for decades, and now, the addition of camera phones has made it even more critical to hide our cars from prying eyes.”
And what a successful job they’ve done, despite the constant surveillance by car spy photographers who know exactly where to wait to see the new vehicles when they are being tested.
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Al Wilkinson, the coordinator for the Ford camouflage team, explained the process of outfitting a car in its camo package: “Before a single one of these test vehicles is allowed to leave the prototype plant, a camouflage package is developed and must be approved by the design, engineering and test track safety departments. With all of the camo in place, even a good photograph should not give away the design details of the new car.”
Designing the camo is difficult; for the Mustang, the design team still had to make sure the Mustang was safe and aerodynamic while also disguising the car from the skilled paparazzi. The initial camo design didn’t pass the test, so the Ford camouflage design team had to rework it. The final camo package weighed just 49 pounds, hardly having an effect on vehicle dynamics while effectively shielding the ‘Stang from pesky photographers.
Within an hour of its initial test, however, photographers still leaked photos online. “After spending weeks refining the camo package for the Mustang, it was a bit frustrating getting snagged by the paparazzi almost immediately,” said Tom Barnes, vehicle engineering manager. “On the other hand, when we saw the photos later that day, it was a relief to realize you really couldn’t tell what the car looked like.”
For a complete look at the camouflaging process, check out the video below:
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