Dive planes look cool and serve an instrumental purpose for performance cars by increasing downforce, which we all know is vital for cars that take turns at high speeds. While they’re more commonly found as an aftermarket addition to a vehicle, Ford has recently filed a patent application that hints at a more sophisticated version of dive planes, which deploy on demand. And, based on the graphic, we could see them on future S650 Mustang variants.
Ford Dive Plane Patent: Details
According to Motor Authority, the patent was published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on June 8, 2023, but filed initially on December 7, 2021. Based on the information on the application, the dive planes differ from standard ones because they are deployable rather than fixed in place. These deployable versions can be adjusted based on different vehicle parameters, and actuators would control movement.
These retractable dive planes (AKA “canards”), likely for the S650 Mustang, would be mounted to the vehicle’s front corners of the vehicle and help generate additional downforce and improve the car’s aerodynamic balance. Ford notes in the application that any fixed aerodynamic device will only work properly in certain conditions. In contrast, having dive planes that can deploy when needed and retract at other times offers more flexibility. An excellent example of this would be retractable rear spoilers that are now common on higher-end performance cars, where the wing is raised for maximum downforce and lowered to reduce drag.
Ford seems to hope that this system would “optimize drag, lift, and other aerodynamic properties” to improve customer confidence and vehicle capability with less compromise to other aspects of the vehicle when not driving at optimum speeds. That said, since this is just a patent, there’s no guarantee that Ford will ever put the concept into production. However, since Ford makes some pretty nifty performance vehicles, there are plenty of products where this idea can be applied, including EVs, so we may see this as a feature in the future.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an automaker file for active aerodynamics. From the looks of things, the Corvette should eventually get some, too. Perhaps on the upcoming C8 Corvette ZR1, or even more extreme Zora hypercar that’s farther out.