It is, let's be honest, absolutely insane that Ford is setting this car loose on the American public. The 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is a tire-pulverizing, tail-spinning menace to society, and the Prius nerds already hate it.
One thing's for sure, it is durable. Proof? Within about a two-and-a-half-hour window, five Shelby GT500s made 152 quarter-mile passes without a single failure. No overheating, no fried clutches, no broken driveshafts.
... The GT500's engine block is an evolution of the Ford GT engine (5.4 liter aluminum block), without steel cylinder liners but instead a plasma spray coating derived from the aerospace industry.
Didn't I hear that phrase somewhere else before?
CarPhreakD wrote: [ ... ]
During the Industry Preview days at the NAIAS. Here a couple of quick unedited JPEGS (no time to photoshop these for the next little while), but seriously... NSX... it looks better in real life than it did in photos. RDX... not so much.
I was doing benchmarking, so of course I made my way to the powertrain presentation, where Honda had their I4 CVT Earth Dreams engine on display. There isn't much you haven't already heard or seen:
-Direct Injection. The interesting bit here is that the piston dome is significantly changed to increase air swirl (a DI disadvantage at low engine speeds) with a valley dip where the fuel and air would normally hit. The high pressure fuel pump runs off the exhaust camshaft, which I presume is for friction reduction purposes (the exhaust cam in NA engines has less radial lobes than the intakes). Most manufacturers put it on the exhaust, but the American manufacturers like Cadillac and Ford put it on the intake lobe (possibly because they are force inducted... in which case the exhaust has a slightly higher lobe profile).
-Friction reduction tech that I can see mostly consists of graphite coating and moly-dot matrix on the piston skirt. I would like to say that I can tell that there's the trademark sheen you find on WPC treated parts as well, but it's probably just because this is a demo engine
-The cylinder bore... if what I'm seeing is correct, looks to be plasma sprayed or something rather than utilizing the usual iron sleeves. This is a pretty huge change.
-Very basic plastic intake manifold- long runners leading from a plenum into the ports. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head and a short pipe leads to the catalytic converter; and while I couldn't get a great look it seems like Honda might have actually done a "4-2-1 manifold" design within the confines of the engine.
-You have intake VTEC, but no exhaust VTEC. I only see one cam phaser as well (intake side), unless I'm missing something?
-The CVT unit isn't the most compact transaxle unit at the auto show (I'd wager that ZF's new 9 speeder is actually the smallest... it looks MINISCULE), but it seems a bit shorter longitudinally than the old automatic. Nothing crazy here... it's a belt with two pulleys that vary in ratio.
[ ... ]
So they use the same technology from Honda's next generation mainstream cars?
Ford’s Chief Technical Officer was talking about PTWA (Plasma Transfer Wire Arc), an advanced coating technology that debuts next year on the cylinder bores of the GT500 Shelby Mustang 5.4-L V8.
The PTWA process enabled Ford to shed approximately 8.5 lb (3.85 kg) of steel cylinder liners in the new Shelby’s 5.4-L aluminum block. Compared with the 2010 GT500 V8, which used a cast-iron block, the 2011 engine weighs 102 lb (46 kg) less, due mainly to the linerless 356-alloy Al block.
Ford engineers indicated that moving to linerless aluminum blocks on other engine families can save the company significant mass, at a time when every kilo counts toward improved fuel efficiency.
The PTWA process was co-developed by Ford and Flame-Spray Industries of Long Island, NY. It is widely used in aerospace gas turbines, where it provides an extremely durable surface coating for various high-stress/high-temperature components. It is also employed by Caterpillar in remanufactured heavy-duty diesel engine cylinders.
The process uses compressed air and electricity to create a plasma jet of 35,000°F (19,427°C), which melts a steel wire that is fed into a rotating spray gun. The pressurized air blows atomized droplets—20 to 30 µm (790 to 1180 µin) in size—onto the cylinder walls, which have been specially machined to accept the coating.
The molten steel wire oxidizes and builds up a laminate structure on the bore consisting of a nanocrystalline material—iron and ferrous-oxide (FeO, known as Wuestite)—to a final thickness of 150 µm (5905 µin).
“The coating requires no curing; it solidifies in 10-6 seconds,” said David Cook, Vice President of Flame-Spray. Cook is a former Ford Research engineer who was part of the team that began investigating PTWA in the early 1990s.
After the coating process, the bore is diamond-honed to create the final production surface. “We have noted benefits in heat transfer and reduced internal friction, as the PTWA process creates micropores that help improve oil retention on the bores,” noted Matt Zaluzec, Manager of Ford’s Materials Science & Nanotechnology Department.
“Durability tests have proven this is very durable. We have aggregated over 3 million miles of fleet testing, and we have test engines that have done 250,000 miles and they still have the cross-hatches on the bores—with no issues,” Zaluzec said.
(For more information, see “Thermal Spraying of Nano-Crystalline Coatings for Al-Cylinder Bores,” by Clemens Verpoort of Ford Research and Thomas Schlaefer of Aachen University, SAE Technical Paper 2008-01-1050.)
CR-V9 wrote: Ok, ok, ok. I'll phrase it differently.
So Honda will use the same technology as Ford's GT500 in their mainstreet cars?
Ford might be planning to use this technology more as new engines are developed. Honda has been working on their new engines for some time now. I think the point is, efficiency is on manufacturers' minds - in this case, reducing engine weight in a way that is production friendly and doesn't compromise durability.
In the past, would we equate Ford with innovative solutions like this? More likely than not, we'd say Ford is too cheap to implement something like that or too slow or set in their ways to think like that. This thread is just to say other manufacturers are out there, too, doing their thing, and maybe it's important to look beyond Honda every now and then, and see that others have access to technology and are using it, and in this supposed time of ever smaller engines, more restrictions, where if you listen to some people on TOV the lid on the box is closing, the paradigm is collapsing... here's this monster GT500 to rip the box apart.