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Each year, Popular Science reviews thousands of new products and innovations and chooses the top 100 winners across 10 categories for inclusion in its annual Best of What’s New issue. To win, a product or technology must represent a significant step forward in its category.
“The Best of What’s New awards honor innovations that shape the future,” said Kevin Gray, Popular Science executive editor. “From life-saving technology to incredible space engineering to gadgets that are just breathtakingly cool, this is the best of what’s new.”
The 2016 Shelby GT350R won the award thanks to its ultralight carbon-fiber wheels – the first of their kind on a production car.
The two front wheels are insulated with a ceramic thermal barrier coating adapted from technology that is similar to what NASA used on the space shuttle. Each 19-inch carbon-fiber wheel weighs about 15 pounds less than an equivalently sized aluminum wheel, improving the vehicle’s acceleration and handling.