Easy isn’t a great word in itself. It’s kind of like if you were to do a movie about people taking an airplane to a park to get some golf. You’d probably want to leave those actors some options for what to do with the airplane once it landed, but you’d still want to see some variety on each flight.
“That’s what we focused on as far as design goes.”
The Mustang concept’s two-tier tail fins had to be eliminated and replaced with a vertical fin to reduce drag. Other changes included the introduction of the large “punch” spoiler and an updated grille.
The engine and transfer case changes were particularly striking, considering the engine was originally supposed to sit just in front of the cockpit. The original car also required a special “airbrake” to prevent wheels from bouncing. It wasn’t the most aerodynamically pleasing design.
“We knew we had to be pretty aggressive to create a car that you would want to drive,” said Miller.
So much of the Mustang’s exterior evolution was done by Miller and fellow engineer Jim Naylor. They worked with Ford research engineer John Wirtz to build the Ford GT350.
“They’d had their eye on the car from day 1,” said Miller. “They went to Ford and said, ‘Can we have this car?'”
“It wasn’t a car that would have been produced if not for the Mustang, which was really interesting,” says Ford. “The GT350 was something we’ve never had the opportunity to make at least one for.”
Miller says he liked this GT before it got made. “You have to imagine a car, a very different car built by three engineers and a scientist,” he said. “If you’re going to change from something that’s not very comfortable to something that’s much more comfortable, there’s a lot of research we’re doing to improve the car.”
The GT350 isn’t a great car; the engine is a turbocharged 4.2-liter V8 that’s mounted low in the hood, making it a bit difficult to get moving in the corners.
Miller and his team made a number of tweaks to the car, including reducing intake manifold volume to save weight, and the rear differential was enlarged.
“You’re not going to get as much downforce as you’d like from the diff as it’s located so deep in those corners,” says Miller. “You can’t really go out
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