Europe is home to some of the most known car brands in the world. So is the USA. However, there used to be a time when no one considered USA to even match Europe’s best, let alone beat them. Well, that changed with a storied rivalry which resulted in birthing the Ford GT40. After a stunning three-year domination at Le Mans, the GT40 was no more. On its 50th anniversary of Le Mans’ victory, Ford revived the GT nameplate to win at Le Mans again. Let’s see how good a job Ford did with the new GT.
Ford GT – Photo Gallery
What’s new about the Ford GT?
The new Ford GT is a race car first and a road car second. The rationale for this is simple – Ford created this car to go racing at 24 Hours of Le Mans. Any road-going car that has to be specced-up or down for racing would find it difficult to survive the race. A car built for the race specifically can be a good road-going car that can be specced to requirements.
To that end, the Ford GT race car makes over 500HP power while the road-going car makes 656HP power. By the way, both cars use twin-turbo 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engines.
That power difference should help the road car as it weighs 1,521kg vs race car’s near 1,270kg mass. Well, those are just some ways in which the road-going Ford GT is similar yet different when compared to the race car. Benefits of developing the latter first, I guess.
The Ford GT uses various aerodynamic tricks like ducts up front, the patent-pending rear wing, and those flying buttresses. All these help guide air around car with least resistance as possible. To develop a few of these bits, Ford enlisted the help of Canada-based Multimatic.
It features adjustable suspension and drive modes that prepare the car for the task ahead. For instance, Track Mode lowers the car 50mm (in comparison to Normal Mode), closes the front ducts, and deploys the rear wing for closed course driving.
The Ford GT has a sense of purpose to its design. It is not beautiful in the classical sense. However, you have to look closely to see just how aerodynamics shaped this car.
You may be forgiven to think this car has its engine up front. The car’s body has been shrunk to fit its parts as closely as possible. The only dead giveaway of this car’s mid-rear layout are those intakes on the rear wheel arches near the buttresses.
Given that this car is designed more by engineering needs than anything else, it is quite good looking. In fact, it looks a lot better than some of its more modern rivals. It manages to look modern while still paying homage to the old Ford GT and the GT40.
That is no easy feat and deserves kudos. The best part though is that it still sports the Ford’s Blue Oval on the front end. No skunkworks team badges like AMG or M or RS or whatever. It stays Ford throughout.
Speaking of the Blue Oval in front, I agree with Jay Leno on the Ford GT. While most automakers launch a new brand to suit their products’ image, Ford didn’t go that route ever.
You can even consider the 2005 Ford GT which wore the Blue Oval on its front end with pride. More than aerodynamics, powertrain, or priorities, it is that Ford logo on the car that makes it special. This is a treatment that even a Mustang doesn’t get.
Inside, the Ford GT is as spartan as it gets, without looking devoid of creature comforts. It offers manual air conditioning, a touchscreen infotainment unit, and an airy cabin aided by that double-layered dashboard.
While the passenger may not get much, the driver is greeted by a steering wheel with buttons for everything, turn signals and wipers included. There are paddle shifters behind the steering wheel as the car has no manual gearbox. The centre console has buttons for emergency signalling, engine start/stop, stability control, and damper adjustment.
The highlight of the GT’s interior is that digital instrument cluster for the driver. The display changes its layout depending on the drive mode selected. For a spartan interior, this is some ultra-modern stuff to have. Also, the seats look cushy and going by Jay Leno’s words, they are quite comfy too.
The only complaint is the positioning of those knobs next to the infotainment screen. Why not position them a little closer to the driver? Also, if you had moved so many controls to the steering wheel, might as well have moved that engine start/stop button up there too.
Now, if I were to take issues with those interior bits, I should be offended by a V6’s presence in the car. However, that would be disregarding the amazing gem of an engine this is. Featuring both port and direct injection, it has twin turbocharging too.
On top of that, it features an anti-lag system that keeps the throttle bodies open without asking fuel injectors to get to work. As a result, its responses are faster and more direct, says Ford. Further helping this engine is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The Ford GT is just riddled with so many nifty little touches that I can spend hours talking about them. One of them is that this car has fixed seats but adjustable pedals.
Then there are hollow tail lights that help draw hot air out of the engine bay. A small button on the windows of the car let you lock your Ford GT without using the key fob. Also, the windscreen is made of Gorilla Glass! The list goes on…
Is the Ford GT worth consideration?
The world is filled with six-figure super cars and Ford GT is one of them. However, what makes it worth your consideration is this – Ford made this car on the 50th anniversary of the GT40’s Le Mans victory.
The company gave its team less than two years to come up with a car that would help it win at Le Mans again. The Ford GT did exactly that and that too when it was detuned. Think about what it would have done when it was left as is.
There is a slight issue though – you will be able to get the car in 2020. Ford offered the GT to those people in 2019 who had been passed over in selection process for 2018 cars. 2020 will be the year when Ford will be able to open its order books to any and everyone looking for the Ford GT.
Ford GT – Specs at a Glance
|Price||US$ 5,00,000 (approx; Rs 3.44 crore at current exchange rate)|
|Engine||DOHC, 24-valve, twin-turbo, port and direct-injected, 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 petrol|
|Transmission||7-speed Powershift dual-clutch automatic|
|Front Suspension||Independent, double wishbone SLA type with DSSV dampers|
|Rear Suspension||Independent, double wishbone SLA type with DSSV dampers|
|Front Brakes||394mm carbon ceramic discs with 6-piston calipers|
|Rear Brakes||360mm carbon ceramic discs with 4-piston calipers|
|Fuel Consumption||6 kmpl|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||58 litres|