The 2020 Shelby GT500 will be the quickest-accelerating, most aerodynamically advanced street-legal Mustang ever, thanks to supercomputers and 3D printing.
Borrowing best practices from more than a century of racing, Ford Performance designers, powertrain and aerodynamics engineers functioned as a virtual racing team to test hundreds of designs both digitally and physically. They used state-of-the-art digital and additive manufacturing prototyping tools as part of a mission to make the ultimate, most advanced performance street-legal Mustang of all time.
More than 500 3D cooling and aerodynamic designs were analysed to maximise aero performance and cooling, with more advanced design models driven on full chassis simulators at the Ford technical centre with professional racing drivers. Key modeling simulations included cooling systems, front fascia and splitter designs, along with brake ducting, rear spoiler designs and a large louvered hood vent.
Speeding development time, the most promising designs were printed in a matter of days, not months, allowing the team to increase the fidelity of performance and aerodynamic refinement. For example, more than 10 front splitter wickers were printed and tested, some with minute modifications to perfect their design, with multiple versions of parts simultaneously sent out for track evaluation.