Many of us are still reeling from the shock unveiling of the new Ford GT at the Detroit Motor Show in January, but there’s now reason for more excitement as it’s finally off the show plinth and testing on the roads.
The dramatic supercar will be delivered to the first customers at the end of 2016, but it’s already out on Michican plates being put through its paces. Ford is aware there’s no point in disguising it as its been seen by the world, so a vicious-looking matt grey paintjob is the only attempt at camouflage.
That low, wedgy stance is clearer than ever amongst the SUV-heavy Michican streets, as are the enormous flying buttresses, rakish rear end and aerodynamic body slits. It’s Ford’s second attempt at a modern take on the retro GT40 Le Mans racer of the 1960s.
We know that the new GT sports a mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 EcoBoost engine, and is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. The body is made primarily from carbon-fibre, and Ford promises “one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car”.
Ford hasn’t given us a pricetag yet, but it’s strongly hinted at around the £250,000 mark. Ford will build it in fairly limited numbers (around 250 a year) in order to preserve its exclusivity.
2016 Ford GT: motorshow debuts
The Ford GT made its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show, having been revealed for the first time at the Detroit Motor Show back in January 2015.
With a price tag expected to be pushing £250,000, the all-new supercar has been benchmarked against the likes of the Ferrari 458 Speciale, confirmed by Ford’s chief technical officer, Raj Nair.
The new GT is a key part of Ford’s promise to deliver 12 global performance models by 2020. Also included in that list are the new Focus RS, F-150 Raptor and Shelby GT350.
Set to be built in Canada, the GT is powered by a mid-mounted 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine delivering upwards of 600bhp. That’s paired with a unique seven-speed dual clutch transmission. From power output alone, the GT should produce performance that strikes fear into the world’s most prominent supercar manufacturers, such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren.
While it’s still 18 months away from showrooms, Ford officials also confirmed that 95 per cent of the car’s design will be carried over to the production model we see next year.
“It’s a showcase for all our latest technology, including EcoBoost performance and aerodynamics,” Mark Fields, Ford CEO and president, told us earlier in the year at Detroit. “We’ve been working on it for a little over a year.”
Ford’s return to Le Mans with the new GT
Fields fuelled speculation that Ford will return to the race track, specifically the GT class at the Le Mans 24 Hours, when he added: “It’s worth remembering that our first innovation as a company was not in a laboratory, but on the race track.” Another spokesman said it was “a nice idea”. The timing couldn’t be better – 2016 is the 50th anniversary of Ford breaking Ferrari’s six-year winning streak at Le Mans, and going on a four-year winning run of its own.
New Ford GT styling
The stunning GT supercar concept is a modern take on the retro styling of the first Ford GT remake we saw back in 2004, with a shape that harks back to the 1960s racer. The front end is immediately recognisable, but the enormous flying buttresses, wider stance, deployable rear spoiler and rifled exhaust give it an agressive and far more modern look.
— Jack Rix (@jack_rix) January 12, 2015
Despite the dramatic styling details on the GT, the low stance and profile is instantly recognisable to fans of its predecessors. There’s 20-inch wheels clad in Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tyres, and the suspension is a torsion bar and pushrod setup that is height-adjustable. Carbon ceramic brakes are also standard.
Slide into the two-seat cockpit through the scissor doors, and the interior is clearly race-influenced, with seats that are mounted directly to the floor. A huge number of functions are transferred to the F1-style steering wheel, with a configurable digital instrument display behind it.
Would you prefer a Ford GT or a Lamborghini Aventador? Let us know in the comments section below…