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Ford gt supercar gets hitech wheels made by geelong company carbon revolution




A GEELONG start-up company has won a multi-million dollar contract to export lightweight wheels for the fastest and most expensive Ford supercar ever made.

Detroit executives confirmed overnight the $500,000 Ferrari-fighting Ford GT will be fitted with wheels made in Geelong with world-first technology.

Carbon Revolution is one of 63 companies that will continue to supply parts to Ford after the Broadmeadows and Geelong factories close in October 2016.

Last year the company which started in an old shearing shed but now has a production and research facility on the Deakin University campus won a contract to supply wheels for a limited edition Ford Mustang.

Following that success, it has now been given responsibility to supply wheels for Fords most expensive car of all time.

The wheel technology was previously used in Formula One motor racing and this is its first application on road cars.

No-one has been able to do what weve been able to do, the chief executive officer of Carbon Revolution, Jake Dingle, told News Corp Australia in October 2015. Even the aerospace industry couldnt figure out a way to do it.

Ford heard about the start-up company by chance three years ago, and then began torture testing the wheels, including hitting pot holes at 100km/h to see if they would shatter.

A lot of people think theyre going to turn to dust when they hit a pothole, but these wheels are stronger than alloy wheels, said Jamal Hameedi, the global head of Ford Performance, at the opening of the Geelong facility last year.

This shows Ford is prepared to go to the ends of the earth to get an advantage over our competitors, he said.

Carbon Revolution has doubled the number of employees from 50 to 100 since signing the Ford deal.

The only bad news for local revheads is they will only get to see the wheels in photos or shipping containers.

Both the special edition Mustang and the GT supercar will not be sold in Australia as the cars are made only in left-hand-drive.

Even then it will be slim pickings; Ford has reportedly taken 6500 orders for the new generation GT, but only 500 will be made, making it more exclusive than a Ferrari.

The Ford GT has other local input: it was styled by a team led by Ford Australia designer Todd Willing.

Willing, who was born and bred in Hobart, but studied industrial design at Monash University in Melbourne, had previously worked on the Ford Territory family SUV.

He was posted to Detroit three years ago to work on the secret supercar project.

Willing has since returned to the Broadmeadows design studios, which will remain operational for foreign Ford markets once the local car assembly line closes.

Why is the Ford GT such a big deal?

The original Ford GT40 won the LeMans 24-hour race four consecutive times from 1966 to 1969 after a bitter battle with Ferrari, which had won the previous six years in a row.

The 1966 event was the first European race victory by an American car manufacturer since 1921; Henry Ford himself was there to witness the momentous win.

Ford built a modern version of the GT between 2004 and 2006 but it was axed earlier than planned because only 4000 of the 4500 it forecast had actually sold.

In a controversial move Ford has fitted a twin-turbo V6 rather than a V8 to the new model, but the company says it makes more power (600 horsepower) than its predecessor without burning as much fuel.

The new Ford GT is due to go on sale next year, but only 500 customers globally are likely to own one.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling

The Ford GT, shown at the auto show in Detroit, packs a punch in design and performance that?s completely unexpected, says WSJ's Dan Neil. And he can't wait to test drive it.

How thailands playboy prince could stop australians getting their hands on a new car




AUSTRALIA’S supply of nice new Hiluxes could be in peril. But the reason is not one you might expect.

Toyota makes a lot of its Hiluxes in Thailand and they are not alone. In fact, Thailands car industry has rapidly become huge. It is the second biggest source for vehicles sold in Australia, only just behind Japan.

All those highly reliable cars and Australias other trade with Thailand might be at risk following the recent death of King.

The old king had been on the throne for over 70 years when he died. He was universally loved and had a calming influence on the country. His son, however, is world famous for making his pet poodle the commander of the Thai Air Force.

Foo Foos official role as Air Chief Marshall (Foo Foo is the poodle) was revealed via Wikileaks in 2011. This is a quote from a secret cable sent by the US ambassador:

Foo Foo was present at the event, dressed in formal evening attire complete with paw mitts, and at one point during the bands second number, he jumped up onto the head table and began lapping from the guests waterglasses, including my own. The Air Chief Marshals antics drew the full attention of the 600-plus audience members, and remains the talk of the town to this day.

The Crown Prince recently moved on from his third wife and he lives in Germany for some of the year, where his mistress is a former flight attendant.

He was seen in Germany recently wearing a crop top and fake tattoos.

The ascendancy of the Crown Prince raises the question of whether he will be the same steady hand as his father, which is why Australias trade relationship could be at risk.

The political situation in Thailand has been complex for years without ruining it as a trade partner or travel destination. But this time could be different.

The late King had been very ill for about a decade and that decade has been especially messy. There was a coup in 2006 and another one in 2014.

In between them were many protests, bombings and killings. Without him, things could get worse.

Since 2014, democracy in Thailand is on hold and the military is ruling. Prime Ministers keep getting rolled by the military because they are perceived to be corrupt. The Crown Prince and one former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra are seen to be allies. If he becomes king after the period of mourning is over, Shinawatra or one of his allies might expect to return as PM, and Thai politics could change.

The military might come under pressure to let go control. That could to cause a large scale ruckus. Large parts of the community support the military (the yellow shirts), while many support Shinawatra (the red shirts). In 2009 and 2010, red shirts and the military clashed on the streets and people died.

If Thailand falls into even more turmoil, Australia has a lot at stake. Thailand is one of our top holiday destinations, for one thing. More Aussies go there than Fiji or Japan or China.

We depend on Thailand for far more than just cars and holidays. We signed a free-trade agreement with them in 2005 and since then trade has risen severalfold.

They buy our oil, gold and coal, while we buy from them cars and trucks, air conditioners and heaters.

The risks of are very real. In 2014, plenty of headlines said the country was on the brink of civil war. Without the beloved king, that risk may well be even higher.

The Australian government is already warning travellers of civil unrest and the threat of terrorist attack and says large scale public gatherings may turn violent.

And thats without even mentioning the south of Thailand where an ongoing insurgency has killed thousands of people. For now that is separate from the political turmoil, but as weve seen in Syria, things can get complicated fast.

The prince is supposed to become king in 2017. If Thailand can do that peacefully remains to be seen.