Geelong’s Carbon Revolution in world-first deal with Ford

Ford’s Shelby Mustang GT350R will be fitted with carbon fibre wheels from Geelong’s Carbon Revolution, the first original equipment use of CR’s high-performance wheels.

The Australian Financial Review and others report that Carbon Fibre will supply the lightweight, one-piece wheels to the Ford Motor Company in the US.

"This is a great day for Carbon Revolution and Australian advanced manufacturing," the paper reports industry minister Ian Macfarlane as saying.

A statement from Ford notes that the product employs a heat-resistant ceramic coating previously used in space shuttle engine turbine blades. The high-tech wheels offer improvements including in weight savings and chassis performance. 

The Geelong-based company has supplied its wheels previously as an aftermarket offering for luxury vehicles, but this is the first mass-production order for their product. It is also the first ever example of mass-produced carbon fibre wheels.

Carbon Revolution is based at Waurn Ponds, a cluster of high-tech composite research and enterprises such as Deakin University‘s Carbon Nexus facility and, from 2017, Quickstep’s automotive division.

Carbon Revolution received a $5 million grant last year from the tripartite (state and federal government and Ford Australia) Geelong Regional Innovation and Investment Fund, aimed at helping the region adapt following the end of Ford’s manufacturing operations next year.