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Car and Driver: You Drive Me Ape: Ford GT to Utilize Gorilla Glass Glazing Technology

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2017-Ford-GT-301-876x535Here’s another bit of innovative technology to add to the 2017 Ford GT’s already impressive list of stats: The first use of Gorilla Glass technology for a production vehicle windshield. While this news may not carry the same weight as the GT’s carbon fiber construction or active aerodynamics, it does promise to shave weight, and when it comes to extreme performance, every ounce counts.


Ford-GT-concept-103-876x535Developed jointly by Ford and Corning, the maker of the Gorilla Glass material used for the screen on smartphones and tablets, the new windshield material is said to be approximately 30 percent lighter than traditional automotive glass. Technically a hybrid substrate, the Gorilla Glass windshield is constructed from three layers: Gorilla Glass for Automotive as the inner layer, a noise-absorbing thermoplastic adhesive interlayer, and annealed soda lime glass as the outside layer.


Ford plans to use the glass for the GT’s windshield and rear engine cover, which it says will save 12 pounds, or about 32 percent, in comparison to standard automotive glass in the same applications. Ford also plans to use a specific high-tech glass of non-disclosed specification for the bulkhead between the engine and passenger compartments, and claims that the overall weight reduction of windshield, engine cover, and bulkhead glass positively impacts acceleration, fuel economy, and braking performance of the GT. Handling will benefit from a lower center of gravity provided by removing the weight of glass high in the vehicle.


In addition to being lighter, Ford says the finished product is 25 to 50 percent thinner than a traditional two-part automotive laminate windshield while maintaining the same or better strength. To ensure the technology was suitable for automotive use, it was subjected to stone and rough road conditions, as well as specific projectile, rollover, and wind tunnel testing.


Although the GT is the first production use of the new glass, Ford and Corning previously worked together on the on the Fusion MMLV (Multi-Material Lightweight Vehicle) concept car, where Gorilla Glass windshield and side windows reduced glazing weight by more than 30 percent.


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