Ford Becomes First to Feature PPG's Fuel-Saving Technology

PPG Industries is helping Ford Motor Co. become the world's first car manufacturer to feature a panoramic glass roof using Sungate infrared reflective (IRR) technology. The fixed-glass roof rejects more than 95 percent of the sun's infrared energy while allowing more than twice the visible light of a conventional glass roof, providing a unique "open air" look to the vehicle. The rejected infrared energy keeps the car interior significantly cooler and contributes to fuel savings when the air conditioner is running.

"The Sungate panoramic roof glass technology provides the equivalence of 50+ SPF ultraviolet (UV) protection, rejecting more than 99% of the UV energy," said Mukesh Rustagi, PPG global product market manager. "It's basically the sun without the burn. You couldn't buy a sunscreen lotion this good."

Because the panoramic glass roof reduces transmission of UV and IR solar energy, it helps reduce interior heat buildup, shortening cool-down time and reducing heat gain while driving. Consumers do not feel as hot when they enter the vehicle during hot weather and the vehicle gets to a more comfortable condition quicker once the air conditioner is turned on because it has less heat built up in the vehicle.

"PPG's long partnership with Ford and Webasto led to the use of the Sungate IRR technology, which provides the look drivers want with the added benefit of a more comfortable driving experience," said Rustagi.

According to Rustagi, the Sungate IR-reflective technology reduces the initial workload on a vehicle's air conditioning system, which represents the biggest use of power for climate control in a vehicle. "Because the air conditioner doesn't have to work as hard, fuel efficiency increases and emissions are reduced," he said.

The Mustang fixed-roof glass uses the same technology PPG features in its Sungate windshield. The company believes the use of Sungate will help automakers meet the tougher emissions and fuel economy requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) revised Supplemental Federal Test Procedure (SFTP) without compromising vehicle affordability, safety or performance. In addition, using Sungate technology enables automakers to better satisfy consumer demand for environmentally responsible technology.

According to Rustagi, PPG's panoramic glass application in the Mustang also utilizes the company's enhanced acoustic glass, as found in PPG's SoundMaster windshield. The Mustang glass roof enables noise reduction of greater than 8 decibels (dB) better than standard tempered glass roofs at certain frequencies relevant to human hearing. The result is a quieter and more pleasant ride.

The 2009 Ford Mustang will make its debut at the North American International Auto Show, January 13-27 in Detroit, Mich. The new roof will be available on both the Mustang GT and the V-6 Mustang beginning in summer 2008.

Consumer market research shows that 62 percent of buyers in the sports car segment are interested in a sunroof or moon roof on their next vehicle. In fact, production of large sunroofs has increased nearly 200 percent in North America since 2003, according to, the automotive industry's leading online resource. This trend is being driven, in part, by consumers' daily commute time. Consumers with commutes lasting more than 60 minutes grew by almost 50 percent between 1990 and 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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