New Ford GT supercarEnlarge Photo
Which is more complicated: keeping an airplane in the air, or keeping a car pointed in the right direction on the road? Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] engineers apparently believe it's the latter, because they loaded the new GT supercar up with more lines of computer code than some of the most modern jet aircraft.
The GT has 10 million lines of code, which is about eight million more than what Lockheed used in the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, and at least three million more than Boeing needed for its 787 Dreamliner.
The reason for that is the car apparently has too much computing power. It's rare to hear claims of there being too much of anything when it comes to other aspects of automotive engineering, but apparently that's possible when it comes to software.
Recently, aircraft manufacturers have tried to cut the amount of code needed to keep their planes in the air. Boeing reportedly bragged about using less code in the 787, but Ford can't do that. In a recent technical briefing on the new GT, Ford Performance chief engineer Jamal Hameedi said the car has more lines of code than is strictly necessary because the company used off-the-shelf components, meaning tailored software was not possible.
Yet Ford also claims the extra computing power will allow the car to provide more assistance to non-expert drivers. Hameedi said the GT will actually be faster around a track with the traction control left on—even in the hands of an expert driver.
While the GT's 50 onboard sensors and 28 microrprocessors will probably make driving easier, the roughly-estimated 600 horsepower from its twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 will probably make more of an impression.
Based on the engine used in Ford's Tudor United SportsCar Championship Daytona Prototype, the V-6 pushes a body made mostly from lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum, and styled to look like a modern update of the original GT40 that thrashed Ferrari at Le Mans.
Ford is expected to build just 250 cars per year, priced at around $400,000 each. At least buyers will be getting plenty of code for that price.