Ford’s Window In The Mustang GTD’s Cabin Allows You To Watch The Suspension Work, And We Need More Of That In This World – The Autopian

Ford’s Window In The Mustang GTD’s Cabin Allows You To Watch The Suspension Work, And We Need More Of That In This World – The Autopian

I’m gonna level with you: Ford called me this morning and wondered why the hell we have’t responded to their pitch about the new Ford Mustang GTD. Expecting to hear some carefully crafted words about how the car is going to showcase Ford’s incredible engineering prowess via state-of-the-art dampers and blah blah blah, I still listened because Ford’s PR reps are actually really cool folks. But then,  it turned out, the pitch was about something I believe in quite strongly: Cars should do whatever they can to show people how things work.

It’s one of the things I love most about the secod-gen Toyota Prius, whose name I tried scrubbing after it was smeared for decades by the car community. That old Prius features a screen that shows the driver when the motor is working, when the gasoline engine is working, when regenerative braking is working — it helps the driver understand how the system behaves, and that’s a great thing. I love when automakers include features to help people learn how their car actually functions.

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Here’s that Prius screen I’m talking about. It’s called the “Energy Monitor”:

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Anyway, back to this Ford Mustang GTD, the absurd race car-inspired supercar that Ford is building alongside Multimatic. It’s an 800 horsepower carbon fiber “race car for the road,” as Ford puts it, and its suspension is wild, as our in-house engineer Huibert Mees shows in the clip below:

Ford, knowing what I and pretty much all engineers have known since birth — that hardware is sexy — has decided to make that suspension visible from inside the cabin, which is just cool in my view. Here’s Ford explaining its two-foot by 10-inch window in the back of the cabin:

“The rear suspension is designed for purpose, but it’s also just a beautiful thing to look at,” said Jim Owens, Mustang GTD marketing manager. “It would have been a shame for us to hide it away never to be seen. With the suspension window, owners can admire the blue and gold accents on the dampers without removing the tech panel, and the passenger can literally watch the suspension in action.”

Measuring roughly 24 inches wide by 10 inches tall and made of polycarbonate with a scratch-resistant coating added to both sides, the suspension window puts the hard work of the engineering teams on display like a finely crafted precision timepiece.

“With a car as capable as Mustang GTD, we had to do something that’s just plain cool and owners will appreciate,” said Owens.

Here’s a look at some stills of this window, along with a video below that:

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Here’s a bit about the suspension, via Ford’s press release:

The Mustang GTD’s inboard rear suspension – where the shocks and springs sit low and between the rear wheels rather than in line and above them – is yet another example of Ford bringing learnings from the track to the road. Combined with a strong, stiff, and weight-efficient motorsport-style tubular subframe, the track-derived DNA on display in the Mustang GTD’s rear end is impossible to ignore. Multimatic’s proprietary Adaptive Spool Valve dampers, meanwhile, go beyond what’s allowed in the world of racing.

Capable of going from their softest to firmest setting in just 15 milliseconds – six times quicker than the human eye can blink – the ASV dampers continuously adapt based on the drive mode, road surface, and driver inputs to maximize the Michelin tires’ contact with the road.


Each damper has two springs, and when driving on the street, they work together to allow a comfortable ride. Activating the driver-selectable Track mode hydraulically compresses one of the springs, nearly doubling the spring rate overall and lowering the vehicle approximately 40 millimeters (about 1.6 inches) to maximize capability on the track.

The stiffer spring rate aids mechanical grip, but just like on a race car, firmer springs improve aerodynamic grip, too. As the Mustang GTD’s active aerodynamics press down on the car at high speeds, the firmer spring rates of Track mode counter aerodynamic squat and help keep the tires’ contact patch as broad as possible while accelerating, braking, and cornering.

OK, not a bad pitch from Ford, here. We’d have covered this regardless; anyone slapping a window into a car’s body just to show people how things work? That gets a big things up from me.