Ford Engineers Find Yet Another Use for Duct Tape


They say that duct tape can fix everything, but for the engineers working on the all-new 2018 Ford Mustang, it actually did solve the problem.


After completing a high-speed lap on a test track in a prototype Mustang, Mike Del Zio, a vehicle dynamics engineer described that despite wind tunnel numbers that would indicate otherwise, the car wasn’t responding around corners the way it should be. After hearing of Del Zio’s dissatisfaction, Jonathan Gesek, an aerodynamics engineer had a quick solution.

Gesek simply applied a single strip of duct tape over the lower gap of the Mustang grille. The objective was to reduce what is known as front-end lift. Del Zio re-tested the car, paying attention to the vehicle’s response when completing corners at high speed. The end result: a better-handling car and a modified grille.

“That little strip of tape made all the difference,” Del Zio said. “The key to the subjective is confidence. At the end of a straightaway, what confidence do you have in being able to brake and make a turn? Things start to come up fast at 155 miles an hour.”


In recent years, Gesek and Del Zio have spent considerable time on improving the aerodynamic performance of the new 2018 Ford Mustang, helping maintain or improve upon EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings over current models by up to 5.6 percent.


Due to the new improvements, The Mustang EcoBoost now achieves 31-32 mpg on the highway, as opposed to 30. The automatic-transmission Mustang GT saw gradual improvements, as well, boosting highway economy to 25 mpg from 24, and city economy saw numbers rise from 15 to 16.


Front-end styling changes on the 2018 Mustang include a lowered nose, a larger front splitter that adds more downforce and helps keep the front end planted to the ground, and a rocker shield that allows better air flow underneath the vehicle.


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