Ford and Corning have teamed up to develop the first ever car windows made with super-strong Gorilla Glass, which is more commonly used for smartphone and tablet screens.
Set to debut on the 2017 Ford GT supercar, the specially-designed material is said to both reduce the weight and increase the crack-resistance of the windows compared to typical automotive glass. It will be used for the GT’s windscreen, engine cover, and partition between the cabin and engine bay.
The windows are comprised of three layers of transparent material, with a Gorilla Glass-based hybrid on the inside, traditional annealed glass on the outside, and noise-absorbing thermoplastic in between. Ford says they’re up to 50 percent thinner than traditional windows, and will knock 12 pounds off the GT’s weight.
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The glass seems like a good match for the car, which also uses lightweight and strong carbon fiber for its chassis, bodywork, wheels and brakes in an effort to deliver world-class performance. A racing version of the GT (sans the special glass) is scheduled to compete in the 24 Hours of Daytona in January, and will be looking to score a class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, 50 years after its inspiration, the Ford GT40, first won the illustrious race.
The production GT, powered by a 3.5-liter twin turbocharged V6 with at least 650 hp, active aerodynamics, and a 7-speed dual clutch transaxle will follow later in 2016 at a price expected to be around $400,000. Only 250 GTs will be built annually, but Ford is using it as a test bed for the new glass, as it considers it for further, more mainstream applications.