Shelby GT350R Mustang’s Carbon Fiber Wheels Win Popular Science Award
The 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang was bound to win awards for performance; winning a top honor for its wheels, however, might come as a bit more of a surprise.
The Shelby GT350R earned a 2016 Popular Science Best of What’s New Award for its carbon-fiber wheels, which are the first wheels of its kind on a production vehicle and signal Ford’s seriousness about implementing the lightweight and highly durable material on future production vehicles.
The Shelby GT350R’s win is revealed in Popular Science’s annual “Best of What’s New” issue, where it awards 100 products and innovations over 10 different categories. Each award-winner represents an innovation in a respective field, as is the case with the GT350R Mustang’s lightweight wheels.
“The Best of What’s New awards honor innovations that shape the future,” said Kevin Gray, Popular Science executive editor. “From life-saving technology to incredible space engineering to gadgets that are just breathtakingly cool, this is the best of what’s new.”
The 19-inch carbon-fiber wheels standard on the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang weigh an estimated 15 pounds less than a comparably-sized aluminum wheel. This not only helps to lower the GT350R’s curb weight a not-inconsiderable amount, but it increases the performance and handling of the vehicle overall. By undertaking numerous other lightweighting techniques, Ford has been able to stake the claim that the new Shelby GT350R is the most track-capable Mustang it has ever built.
Ford also offers carbon fiber wheels on the all-new 2017 Ford GT supercar.