When Ford’s turn to start revealing new products at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show rolled around, the enthusiast world stood motionless and stared in awe. Ford revealed not one, not two, but three performance rigs that were each awesome in their own right, but none of them were nearly as awesome as the new GT.
When rumors of the GT began to surface, speculation ran wild. Most people, myself included, felt that the most likely scenario for the GT would be to borrow the flat-plane-crank, 5.2-liter V-8 from the Shelby GT350 and add in some boost. Well, that wasn’t the case, as the GT rolled in featuring a retuned 3.5-liter, twin-turbo, EcoBoost V-6 with more than 600 horses on tap. Ford didn’t make any mention of the engine’s twisting power, but I can only assume that is at least matches the horsepower number. This engine will mate to some form of dual-clutch transmission, but Ford did not formally announce how many gears it will have. The sheer thought of this much power coming from a Ford V-6 just blows my mind, but this is the new world of turbocharging technology, so I shouldn’t be surprised.
The GT’s acceptance into the world of supercars goes well beyond the powerful engine, as its body looks and acts the part too. With its swoopy body lines, massive front air intake, huge heat extractors on the hood, teardrop body, bridge-like winglets, and high center-mounted exhaust cannons all point to its status as a true American supercar. Thanks to a carbon-fiber passenger cell and body panels, and aluminum front and rear subframes, the GT will boast one of the best power-to-weight ratios in the industry and have the rigidity needed to carve up nearly any road.
Not only does the GT look sexy, but its body is one massive chuck of active aerodynamics. The teardrop shape of the body – much like the fuselage of a jet – directs airflow to minimize drag, and an active rear spoiler rises, lowers and adjusts its pitch to create massive downforce or to allow air to flow by unimpeded. The latter is controlled both by speed and driver input.
All this awesomeness sits atop a chassis that boasts an active racing-style torsion bar and pushrod suspension system with an adjustable height. Adhesion to the tarmac is the job of a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires wrapped snugly around 20-inch wheels. Hiding behind these wheels are carbon-ceramic discs at all four corners.
Inside the cabin, the GT remains purpose-built. Entering the GT is done through a set of upward-swinging doors, and you park yourself on racing seats that are integrated with the carbon-fiber passenger cell. Because the seats are fixed, the pedal box and F1-style steering wheel with a stalkless column adjust to the driver. This setup enhances safety and gives the driver a better connection with the car.
Giving the driver all the information that he needs is a customizable digital instrument cluster. This display changes its look with each driving mode, giving the cabin an attitude that matches the car’s performance.
The Ford GT will go into production in 2016, making it a 2017 model year, but there are no pricing details yet. I suspect this new American Supercar will fall somewhere between $125k and $150k.