Ford GT: raw computing power

Date:20 July 2017 Author: Lindsey Schutters Tags:, , , ,

“We developed the Ford GT road car and race car side-by-side, and that led to some creative engineering, such as the road car’s fully integrated roll cage that also meets FIA racing safety requirements using only a small number of add-on components,” said Dave Pericak said, Ford Performance global director. “From the turbochargers to the cup holders, every component of the Ford GT has been developed with the driving experience at its core.”

This approach has resulted in a number of advantages, like the more than 50 different sensors that monitor vehicle performance and behaviour, external environment, and driver inputs for an optimised driving experience. Data from these sensors is generated at a rate of 100 GB per hour and is processed by the 25 on-board computing systems, built from 10 million lines of code. That’s more code than a US-spec F-35 Lightning II. The car can crunch numbers at 300 MB per second – which equates to downloading a watchable episode of Game of Thrones, in one second.

“The Ford GT’s sophisticated computing systems work hand-in-hand with the vehicle’s core race car architecture to enhance performance, and also deliver greater versatility and flexibility,” explains Pericak. “By constantly monitoring inputs, vehicle loads and environment, and adjusting the car’s profile and responses to suit, the Ford GT remains as responsive and stable at 300 km/h as it is at 30 km/h.”

Many of Ford GT’s sensor and computing systems enable the performance of the supercar’s engine, electronic stability control, F1-derived active suspension damping, and active aerodynamics to be continuously adjusted within the parameters of the selectable Drive Modes, for optimal performance in any driving scenario. Others help deliver comfort and convenience whether on road or track, including Ford’s SYNC 3 (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) communications technology and automatic climate control.

The driver’s seat base is secured in a location and position that enabled Ford Performance engineers to develop a carbon fibre body with the lowest possible frontal area for optimised aerodynamic performance. Rather than moving the seat, drivers instead adjust the pedal assembly position and the multi-control steering wheel to suit their driving position.

Yet despite the focus on delivering a race car experience for just 1 000 customers across four years of confirmed production, the Ford GT also offers creature comforts familiar from Ford family cars. Retractable cup holders, for instance, are among the convenience features that distinguish the Ford GT road car from the race car. Made from aluminium for reduced weight, the cup holders are concealed within the centre console. A hidden storage bin is located under the driver’s seat, with further storage pockets behind the seats.

The Ford GT even features the Ford Easy Fuel capless fuel filler system that is standard on models across the Ford range. The system is designed for ease of refuelling and to prevent misfuelling of the 476 kW 3,5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine that’s capable of powering the car to a top speed of 347 km/h