2017 Ford GT in the wind tunnelEnlarge Photo
The first GTs are now in customer hands, but Ford is still revealing fresh details on the car.
We previously learned that the car features five driving modes. They are selected via a small dial on the left of the steering wheel, and each gets a unique display setting for the main instrument cluster.
The five modes include Wet, Normal, Sport, Track and Vmax. They’re designed to switch up a number of vehicle settings, with the focus being on aerodynamics and chassis setup. Now Ford has provided details on what exactly each of the modes does.
Wet and Normal modes are fairly self-explanatory. In both these modes, the ride height is maintained at the standard 120 millimeters and the traction and stability control systems are also in their standard setting. Throttle is also retarded in Wet mode, and both the Wet and Normal modes have a comfort setting for the suspension.
New Ford GT, 2015 Detroit Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Things start to get interesting once the dial reaches Sport. Here, the ride height remains at 120 mm but the suspension dampers are firmed and the traction and stability systems have three settings to choose from, allowing the driver to make them less restrictive: additional slip, yaw and oversteer are allowed so drivers can push harder and have more fun sliding the car around. The throttle and fuel delivery are also adjusted to help prevent turbo lag for the car’s twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 by keeping the turbo spooled. And finally the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission also becomes more aggressive in its shift strategy.
The next stage is Track mode which builds on the Sport mode but also lowers the car by 50 millimeters and brings to life the active aerodynamics package, much like on the McLaren P1 hypercar. Air channels up front are sealed so that more air is fed to high-pressure downforce channels further back in the body. The rear wing also extends (it also extends in Normal and Sport modes but only at high speeds), adding to the downforce and serving as an air brake during heavy breaking maneuvers. Spring rates are also increased while damping goes to its firmest setting.
Vmax is similar to Track mode when it comes to chassis settings but the aerodynamics are tweaked to reduce drag at the cost of downforce. The rear wing also stays in its lowered position and stability controls also remain active to help ensure the car moves forward in a straight line. Ford is yet to commit to a top speed for the GT, stating only that it will be above 200 mph.
In addition to these modes, the Ford GT also features launch control. It’s available in all modes except Wet and is activated through the steering wheel controls and, when activated, a white “LC” logo appears in the cluster. At this point the driver holds down the brake with their left foot and fully depresses the gas with their right foot. The car is ready to launch once the logo turns green.