The new Ford GT is a very high-tech vehicle. It eschews the previous GTs’ fuel-sucking, supercharged V8s for a far more efficient twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, for one. It’s made almost entirely from hand-laid carbon fibre, rather than comparatively heavy aluminium and steel. Since the GT is destined for Le Mans endurance racing, it has to be light. One of the most interesting weight-saving measures is windows made out of Gorilla Glass, the same toughened material covering your smartphone’s display.
AutoBlog says that the 2017 Ford GT’s Gorilla Glass, made in conjunction with Corning, will use a triple-layered combo of soda lime outer glass with a plastic internal layer covered in adhesive and an inside layer of Gorilla Glass. The combination is up to 30 per cent lighter and 50 per cent thinner than conventional automotive-grade safety glass, but still retains the same noise deadening properties, light transmission and will break safely and properly in case of accidents.
The new Gorilla Glass hybrid window laminate is approximately 25 percent to 50 percent thinner, and has equal to, or greater strength than traditional laminate. Traditional laminate glass ranges from four millimeters to six millimeters in thickness, where Gorilla Glass hybrid window ranges from three millimeters to four millimeters. This remarkable reduction in thickness greatly reduces the weight of each panel. Plus, the glass is more robust due to advanced processes for contaminant reduction, chemical strengthening, unique edge treatment and laminate construction. The new technology was tested over stone and in rough road conditions, and had to endure specific projectile, rollover and wind tunnel testing.
The reduced weight of the windshield, engine cover and bulkhead glass on Ford GT positively impacts acceleration, fuel economy and braking performance. Perhaps most important is the benefit on handling – removing the weight of glass high in the construction of the vehicle lowers the center of gravity and contributes to the car’s outstanding agility. Ford’s use of the new hybrid glass underscores the company’s aggressive goals for innovative engineering and light-weighting technologies that will one day benefit all Ford customers.