2006 GT New Car Test Drive
Ford first showed a GT40 concept in Detroit at the 2002 North American International Auto Show and planned to build the mid-engine supercar to celebrate the Blue Oval's Centennial. Public response to the resurrection of the record-setting winner of four consecutive Le Mans 24-Hour races in the 1960s was so overwhelming the company decided to build a limited run in production form.
The 2005 Ford GT is that car. Ford plans to make approximately 1500 annually for two or three years, depending on demand. Powered by a 550-horsepower V8, fitted with a six-speed manual transmission and capable of speeds in excess of three times the legal maximum in most states, the two-seat GT is an exotic car in everything but price, although its manufacturer's suggested retail price of $150,000 puts it in exclusive company.
It's worth every penny. Although bordering on what some might consider Spartan in amenities, it's surprisingly comfortable and accommodating for a high-performance sports car. And it earns that high performance label, delivering an exciting driving experience, exhilarating speed and superior handling. It will stretch most drivers' personal limits on winding mountain roads while feeling not entirely out of sorts in commuter mode.
Still, it's not intended for weekend getaways, as there's really no trunk to speak of. Think of it as an occasional escape from the everyday, as rapid transport to the mountain cabin, not as an alternative way of life.
Put another way, it can't be the only car in the garage, but it'll be the car you'll want to drive.
Ford has made it easy to choose a GT: there's only one model, one engine and one transmission. It's a two-door, two-seat, much-massaged and softened rendition of the purpose-built racecar that won Le Mans. The engine is a high-tech, supercharged, midship-mounted, 5.4-liter V8 making a truly scintillating 550 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a six-speed manual transaxle.
The MSRP ($139,995) buys everything and more that anybody really needs to enjoy this car the way it should be enjoyed. This includes air conditioning, AM/FM/CD/MP3 two-speaker stereo, tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, power windows, seats and mirrors, abundant leather trim, keyless remote, and textured rubber floormats.
An optional McIntosh stereo ($4000) adds an eight-inch subwoofer and one-inch A-pillar speakers but still accommodating only a single CD and minus the MP3 capability. Other options: forged aluminum wheels ($3500), painted brake calipers ($750) in choice of red or gun metal gray (stock is black), and painted racing/bodyside logo stripes ($5000). Buyers looking for understatement can opt to delete the standard 'Ford GT' bodyside tape stripes.
Standard safety equipment includes frontal airbags, antilock brakes, a child seat tether bracket and latch assembly on the passenger seat and a tire inflation kit in lieu of a spare tire.
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