With Ford’s recent announcement that it would kill off basically every car in its US portfolio except for the Mustang, enthusiasts became understandably worried that Ford Performance was doomed.
After all, the only ST product Ford has right now is the Edge ST, which is a far cry from the beloved Focus ST and Fiesta ST and has not been well-received by the media. It may be keeping the Mustang around, but the loss of fast Ford hatchbacks still stings.
Not all hope is lost for Ford enthusiasts, though. The automaker is still very much interested in performance, even if it won’t be as accessible as it was before. Ford recently filed a whole bunch of patents for active aero parts and other performance-related designs, a clear sign that the ol’ Blue Oval still loves to go fast.
One of the more interesting patents is for an active hood vent. Using a Ford Focus RS as an example, the patent drawing (above) shows two vertically placed vents on the hood that can be opened and closed via an electronic module. The vents could be used to balance the aerodynamic flow over the car, or to modulate air flow to the engine as needed. We’ve seen similar systems implemented via grille shutters to improve fuel economy, but it’s interesting to see it used in a performance application like this.
There are a couple other interesting ones as well. The below drawing, which uses a Mustang GT350 as an example, is for active brake cooling ducts that could open and close to adjust air flow to the brakes as needed. If the brakes need to be cooled, the vents stay open. If they don’t, they stay closed to reduce drag. Simple enough!
Another drawing shows a rather robust-looking strut tower brace which we can’t recall seeing on any Ford road or race car to date. Perhaps it’s for the Shelby Mustang GT500, or an evolved version of the Mustang GT4 race car. It’s hard to say, but it sure looks intricate.
Ford recently filed other patents for active underbody aero and a front splitter with and without dive planes. It’s hard to say what Ford has planned for these various go-fast addendum, but we’re glad to see it still cares about performance.
[source: USPTO via Jalopnik]