When spy pictures of the 2015 Mustang independent rear suspension were published in the early summer of 2012, we took note of several interesting features and wrote about them in this post. For this evolution (because it is not brand new, but a CAD exercise) of the S197 platform, now known as S550, there will likely be dozens of patent submissions and hopefully a couple of SAE papers written by Ford engineers. Here’s an application of what appears to be one such patent, a special exhaust resonator located well forward of the differential, as shown in the photo below.
Here’s the patent award overview. We’re still not sure what is non-obvious about this patent, certainly the staggered baffles are a simple enough concept that anybody would apply. But the application was found to have merit, and a patent was awarded 2 years after the initial application in 2010.
Read the full patent document here. In summary, from the document:
“The systems and methods described herein enable a single resonator to be used to attenuated targeted frequencies within a dual-flow exhaust system while decreasing the amount of back-pressure generated by the resonator when compared to other resonation devices used in dual flow exhaust systems including two separate housings. In this way, the acoustic characteristics of the exhaust system may be improved while reducing losses in the exhaust system, thereby increasing engine performance.”
The new resonator will save packaging space, both in width, length, and height, and fits particularly well forward of the “saddle” type gas tank (which crosses over and above the exhaust). It also saves cost, complexity, and weight over separate inline resonators.
For enthusiasts there are two things to consider from an examination of this patent, and from the picture above. First, clearly some very thorough engineering and testing has been undertaken to provide an efficient exhaust and to tune to the desired sound characteristics. This means that while there will still be power gains from aftermarket exhausts, they will be smaller. The second thing to consider is the packaging of the S550. A fixed-position differential carrier (aka the IRS), versus a solid axle (where space has to be provided to swing the entire assembly – drive shaft, cast iron axle, brakes – all of it unspring weight) up and down several inches, can provide room for a lower and flatter trunk area above the suspension. And it can also allow a much smaller transmission tunnel in the rear passenger compartment, since the driveshaft position is also fixed and won’t also have to move up and down several inches. The remaining question is whether or not the S550 platform is designed solely for an independent rear suspension or if the floorpan will be left as is, with space wasted for a solid axle system that only the aftermarket might provide.
The current Mustang has very poor rear seat space, and continuing this type of poor space usage will be noted in reviews of the 2015 Mustang – especially in Europe. We’d like to see Ford get this new platform world-class right from the start, with a low trunk floor height, and the minimum transmission tunnel.
Read more 2015 Mustang news on DrivingEnthusiast.net!