The Ford GT is in many ways a mysterious car. We know the history; Henry Ford II desperately wanted a Le Mans win and was in talks to buy Ferrari. Those talks broke down, so the Ford company came up with its own car to trounce Ferrari at Le Mans – and it did, 4 years in a row. But as quickly and powerfully as it stormed onto the scene, it was gone. Poof. Vanished. One of the most compelling, special cars to date just rode off into the sunset. A new generation popped up in 2005 (just the GT, no 40), but its run lasted less than half as long as the original GT40. Now, Ford is gearing to release a whole new generation of its beloved supercar in 2017. Let’s take a look.
It’s as beautiful as ever.
Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane, shall we?
Taking a look at the GT through the years, one thing jumps out: the design has remained remarkably similar. Whether it’s the 1966, 2005, or 2017, the car remains low, wide, and streamlined – just like a supercar should be. While the new 2017 is the biggest design departure relative to the previous two iterations, it still retains the soul of the GT.
It’s a V6, not a V8.
This revelation may scare you, and frankly, that’s completely understandable. There’s something a bit unsettling about a supposed supercar having anything less than a V8, but that’s what Ford is choosing to do. As far as V6s go, this one is top-notch. Their 3.5L EcoBoost packs a projected 600+ horsepower and more than 500 lb-ft. of torque. Very V8-ish numbers, to be honest, so perhaps I need to revise my rule about the minimum amount of cylinders allowed in a supercar.
The weight renders the V8 concerns irrelevant.
The body is made of carbon fiber, significantly stronger and lighter than steel, and its aluminum structures are also designed to keep the weight very low. The low weight alone improves things like acceleration, handling, and braking. The GT’s curb weight will come in under 2,900 pounds, which is more than 100 pounds lighter than the Ferrari 458 and more than 1,000 pounds lighter than the Lamborghini Aventador. When you start comparing power to weight, you’ll realize that this GT will have the highest power-to-weight ratio of any production car. That’s a better indicator of its capabilities than any pure power stat.
Price tag: $400,000.
Ford isn’t messing around with its price. They’re putting it in a league that competes with the Aventador and McLaren 650S — pricier than the Ferrari 488GTS and anything made by Aston Martin or Porsche. Does it stack up? Well, on paper — yes. In real life? That could be a different story, and we won’t really know until these cars are on the road side-by-side, which brings us to …
Yes, it will be at Le Mans.
It really would be disappointing if the GT didn’t make an appearance at Le Mans, so of course Ford is committing to this grueling endurance test to reclaim the 24-hour gold that once belonged to them.
So, what’s the verdict?
Let’s be clear: The jury is still out on this one. It hasn’t been tested rigorously. We haven’t seen it perform on the racetrack. Compared to the level of stats available on most performance cars, there really isn’t a wealth of information available on the new GT just yet. But looking at what we do know…well, it sure looks promising.