2017 Ford GT preview


The spiritual successor to the Ford GT40 of the 1960s, the Ford GT is the second car to wear that badge. The first generation was built in limited numbers in 2005 and 2006. The reborn Ford GT will be even more restricted, with just 250 made each year for perhaps four years.

A mid-engine supercar, the Ford GT features a carbon fiber tub, carbon fiber body panels, and aluminum front and rear subframes. The springs and dampers are located in-board in a race-inspired long-arm, short-arm suspension setup.

CHECK OUT: How the Ford GT race car differs from the road car

The engine sits behind the passenger compartment in a mid-engine layout. Power is derived from a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that sends 647 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch transaxle. Despite the name and the use of both port and direct injection, the engine is painfully short on Eco, delivering fuel economy ratings of 11 mpg city, 18 highway.

The GT's swoopy, seemingly space-age body uses active aerodynamic and it's teardrop shape was inspired by an airplane fuselage. The rear spoiler raises and tilts and there are active grille shutters up front. The air also flows through portions of the body to increase stability and improve aerodynamics. These areas include the duct-like portions on the hood, which provide a pathway for air from the front grille, and the buttresses at the rear sides. In addition, the car's adjustable ride height affects its aero.

Ford offers 20-inch wheels in either forged aluminum or carbon fiber, and the tires are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s. The brake are carbon ceramics.

Ford GT instrument cluster Track mode

Ford GT instrument cluster Track mode

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Inside, the two-seat cockpit has a Formula 1-style steering wheel with shift paddles and no stalks to get in the way.

The interior features a new digital display that changes based on the car's five drive modes: Normal, Sport, Track, Wet, and V-Max. These modes adjust the throttle, traction control, electronic stability control, suspension damping, active aerodynamics, and ride height. V-Max is meant for going as fast as possible. 

Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system is also part of the interior package.

A limited number of 2017 Ford GTs will be offered as '66 Heritage Edition models to commemorate Ford's win at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. These cars (lead image) are painted Shadow Black with Silver Stripes and Frozen White #2 hood and door graphics. They have gold-colored aluminum wheels, Ebony leather interiors, and blue seat-belt webbing, among other details.

Safety features? Schmafety features. Ford makes no mention of them, but expect the GT to get those that are mandated and no more. This is a supercar meant to go fast, after all. It doesn't need to be bogged down with frivolous extras.

The Ford GT is built by Multimatic in Canada, the same company that helped develop it and race it. Pricing hasn't been announced, but it is expected to be in the $400,000 range. The first deliveries are happening now.

 
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