Saving weight is the best way to make your car faster. It might not be the cheapest way to increase your performance, but less weight means less fuel used and ultimately less pollution. The aftermarket has embraced carbon fiber, not only for looks but also the incredible strength of the composite. Supercars were the first to use it on the street, and now that the technology has become more affordable the aftermarket s poised for a revolution. SpeedKore Performance is located a few miles north of Milwaukee, and their autoclave is turning out everything from mirrors to full quarter-panels. That’s because they have developed a complete carbon copy of the 2016 Ford Mustang GT350R.
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After scanning every panel into their CAD system, the car was literally skinned down to the chassis. Instead of spot welds and a thousand 10mm bolts, the new panels are bonded to the chassis. The result is additional strength, lower center of gravity and around 600 lb reduction in curb weight. The Ford Mustang GT530 and GT350R are the first American car to use a flat-plane crankshaft, which means it can spin to over 8,000 rpm. It makes a majority of its power above 4,500 rpm. Maximum torque of 429 lb-ft happens at 4,750 and max horsepower of 526 at 7,500. The effects of less weight are hard to immediately notice in traffic, so Jay hit the highway with SpeedKore VP David Salvaggio. Car engines are most efficient when cruising because the transmission is not stealing power.
In most manual transmissions, 4th gear is 1:1. That means the engine and drive shaft are turning the same speed. This is where any change in weight makes a big difference. Jay notes the car pulls much harder in the upper gears, and we would love to get behind the wheel. If you have ever put your car on a diet, tell us in the comments below and stay with us for more footage from Jay Leno’s Garage.