Ford Motor Company [NYSE:FCAU] is going all out when it comes to adding technologies and innovations to its upcoming GT supercar. In addition to building the car almost fully from carbon fiber, Ford is endowing it with a 600-plus-horsepower version of its EcoBoost V-6 as well as a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle and specially developed Michelin tires. Now we’ve learned that it will feature Gorilla Glass windows.
Gorilla Glass is the light yet tough glass developed by industrial giant Corning, and the first production car to use it was BMW's i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. It was made popular by Apple which favored its scratch-resistant qualities for the iPhone. Soon Gorilla Glass will be used on more cars: Ford is using a hybrid of conventional glass with Gorilla Glass for both the windshield and rear engine cover of its new GT debuting in production trim next year. And it's only a matter of time until other makes adopt it, too.
Traditional automotive glass consists of two layers of annealed glass sandwiched around a clear, thermoplastic interlayer binding agent. For the GT, the designers swapped one of these layers (the one facing the interior) with Gorilla Glass. Because of the strength of the Gorilla Glass, less glass is used overall, helping to reduce weight by 32 percent or in the case of the GT around 12 pounds.
According to Ford, the Gorilla Glass hybrid is approximately 25 percent to 50 percent thinner, and has equal to, or greater strength than traditional automotive glass. Traditional glass ranges from 4-6 millimeters in thickness, where the Gorilla Glass hybrid ranges from 3-4 millimeters.
And as we all know, reducing weight leads to improved acceleration, fuel economy and braking performance. Perhaps most important is the benefit on handling—removing the weight of glass high in the construction of the vehicle lowers the center of gravity and contributes to the car’s agility.
But the benefits don’t end there. Ford says the Gorilla Glass hybrid is also more robust due to advanced processes for contaminant reduction, chemical strengthening, unique edge treatment and laminate construction. Of course, the material needed to be extensively tested. Watch below as Ford’s test team shoots it with balls of ice to simulate driving through hail.