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Gymkhana TEN star Ken Block’s love affair with Ford pick-ups runs deep. He learned to drive in one, did his first burn-out in one and made a 1977 Ford F-150 the star of his latest video.
The “Hoonitruck” has the same twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 EcoBoost engine as the Ford GT, tuned to deliver more than 900 horsepower, and the largest 3D metal-printed part for a working vehicle in automotive history.
The project was a global effort. Ford Performance engineers in the U.S. ran engine performance simulations and collaborated with a team of Ford research engineers based in Europe to design the part and conduct structural analysis. Working together with RWTH Aachen's Digital Additive Production Institute, in Germany, the team built an intricate aluminium intake manifold that supplies air from the turbochargers to the engine's cylinders.
Watch the video here https://youtu.be/6GsuRCGEZno
“We are fortunate to have access to incredible technology, but this was one project that pushed us – and our computing power – to the absolute limit. The manifold has a complex web‑like structure that couldn’t be made using traditional manufacturing methods. We ended up dissolving the support systems in acid,” said Raphael Koch, engineer, Advanced Materials and Processes, Ford of Europe.
3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is a tool-less production method that offers design flexibility to help reduce weight and improve performance. The technology is usually used in the development of Ford vehicles to help test and refine different design approaches and to create tools more quickly and cost-effectively. For the manifold for the “Hoonitruck” – that weighs almost 6 kilogrammes – the whole build process took five days.
“I think Ford did an exceptional job. This is my favourite part of the ‘Hoonitruck’. You could not have made it any other way,” said Block.
Ford recently received awards from the Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers for 3D-printed parts that went into Ford Ranger and Mustang vehicles.
Gymkhana TEN is available here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_KBvP0_8Tc
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 200,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 53,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 68,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (16 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and eight unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.