Hemmings Find of the Day Ė 1979 Ford Probe I | Hemmings Blog: Classic and collectible cars and parts
We've all seen this car by now, but perhaps there is some additional tidbit of information here for someone.
" As a facet of Fordís Project Alpha, Kopka, head of Fordís design department, reasoned that a design based upon serious aerodynamic science was an attainable solution to the fuel economy issue. At that time, there was a considerable bugaboo regarding aerodynamics in automobile design. It was argued that cars would all look like jelly beans and all look alike. Kopka believed there was considerable room for implementing advanced aerodynamics without sacrificing style and individuality.
Probe I was considerably more immune to the fluctuations of the petroleum market. Its sleek and angular aerodynamic shape achieved a drag coefficient in the wind tunnel of 0.22, some 37 percent less than the 0.40 then typical for a two-door, four-passenger coupe. Its use of the newly developed W Code Mustang Cobra engine was able to double the average fuel economy of the conventional 2 +2 sports sedan without sacrificing horsepower. "