2023 Ford Mustang Dark Horse with Australian carbon fiber wheels

2023 Ford Mustang Dark Horse with Australian carbon fiber wheels

The Ford Mustang Dark Horse is the latest sports car with high-tech wheels from Carbon Revolution in Geelong. Now the Australian start-up plans to develop lightweight wheels for SUVs to save weight and cut fuel costs.

The flagship of 2023 Ford Mustang Range – the limited edition Dark Horse with Handling Package – is the latest sports car to feature high-tech lightweight carbon fiber rims manufactured by an Australian start-up.

High-strength, lightweight wheels from Carbon Revolution were first fitted to a Ford Mustang in 2015 when the Geelong-based company won an order for the Shelby Mustang GT 350R and 2017 for the reborn Ford GT supercar.

Now the little-known company has struck a deal to supply its highly specialized wheels for another flagship Ford Mustang.

In the future, Carbon Revolution also wants to expand into manufacturer supply contracts for SUVs and electric vehicles.

“What’s special about Ford is that it’s not a Shelby car. This is a Mustang that falls outside the Ford Performance range. It’s part of the core business,” said Carbon Revolution CEO Jake Dingle journey.

He said the new Ford Mustang program would help underpin Carbon Revolution’s production expansion through its Mega-Line factory after producing its 50,000th wheel earlier this year.

While Mr. Dingle likes to talk in general terms about the company’s future hopes for SUVs and electric vehicles, he doesn’t go into specifics.

“The Mega Line is underpinned by four programs that need the capacity. The Mustang is one of them,” he said.

“We launched an SUV program with another manufacturer.”

Carbon Revolution was founded in late 2007 and Ford was one of the first customers, followed by Ferrari, General Motors and Renault.

“First was Ford, then Ferrari with the 488 Pista. And then the Renault Megane RS Hot Hatch and then the GM program that was announced last year with the Chevrolet Corvette,” he said.

Despite the success, Mr Dingle said non-disclosure clauses in his car company contracts meant he couldn’t discuss the number of wheels involved or even their price to buyers.

In the case of the 2023 Ford Mustang Dark Horse, he can only highlight the detail of the handling package for the 2023 Ford Mustang Dark Horse in Ford’s official press release.

It shows 19 x 10.5-inch rims up front and 19 x 11-inch rims as part of the handling package, fitted with Pirelli Trofeo tires, but reveals nothing about the use of carbon fiber rims or Carbon Revolution origins.

Despite this, Carbon Revolution is now firmly in the third phase of its original business plan – what Mr. Dingle calls “industrialization and scaling” – after initiating research and development and then commercializing it.

“Commercialization was about making it something that could be sold on an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) vehicle,” he said.
“The difference between an aftermarket product standard and an OEM standard is quite significant. It’s a whole other level, a quantum higher.”

Mr Dingle said the new Mustang deal is a milestone for Carbon Revolution and would help with the next phase of development and production.

“The Dark Horse is still a pretty special vehicle. But what it indicates is the progress that has been made with the technology,” he said.

“I think it reflects the way it was received by Ford as a customer. Of course, everything we do with the company aims to improve efficiency.”

Paul Gover

Paul Gover has been a motoring journalist for more than 40 years and has worked for newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television. A qualified general news journalist and sports reporter, his passion for driving has taken him to Wheels, Motor, Car Australia, Which Car and Auto Action magazines. He is a champion racer as well as a World Car of the Year judge.

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