Launched on the floor of the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, the new Ford GT picks up where the last one left off the better part of a decade ago – similarly taking its cues from the original, Le Mans-winning GT40, but in a less retro, more modern form. Instead of the atmospheric V8 in the original or the supercharged one in the retro revival, the new GT packs a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 nestled in the middle of its wheelbase and driving "more than 600 horsepower" to the rear wheels. Although Ford hasn't revealed the specific output or performance figures, it says the engine – derived from its Daytona Prototype unit and mated to a seven-speed DCT – is its most powerful production EcoBoost ever.
Fortunately it's got carbon-ceramic brakes to keep it all in check, packed into 20-inch wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 rubber. The discs aren't all that's made from carbon on the new Ford GT, though: it's built around a carbon monocoque with structural carbon-fiber body panels, but with aluminum sub-frames front and back.
Ford designed the new GT with a narrower canopy than its predecessors, cutting the frontal aerodynamic profile and tapering towards the back. It's also equipped with active aero elements including an active rear wing. Upwards swinging doors ought to make ingress and egress easier to and from the cockpit that's fitted with fixed seats, adjustable pedals and F1-style steering wheel and a fully digital instrument cluster.
The new GT is set to enter production next year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the GT40's famous 1-2-3 finish at the 1966 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. By the time it does, we're sure Ford will let us know just how fast America's newest supercar will be.
Ford Redefines Innovation in Aerodynamics, EcoBoost and Light-Weighting with All-New Ford GT Carbon Fiber Supercar
- All-new Ford GT supercar sets new standards for Ford innovation through performance with advances in light-weighting, aerodynamics and ultra-efficient EcoBoost® engine
- Ford GT features the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever – a new twin-turbocharged Ford EcoBoost V6 producing more than 600 horsepower
- Ultra-high-performance supercar is Ford's most extreme offering, infused with race-proven technology engineered to keep company with exotics when it goes into production in 2016
Ford today unveiled the all-new GT, an ultra-high-performance supercar that serves as a technology showcase for top EcoBoost® performance, aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fiber construction.
The GT is one of more than 12 new Ford Performance vehicles coming by 2020. It joins Focus RS, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R in the growing Ford Performance lineup.
Beginning production late next year, the GT hits the road in select global markets to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.
"As we at Ford drive innovation into every part of our business, it's worth remembering that our first innovation as a company was not in a laboratory, but on the racetrack," said Mark Fields, Ford president and chief executive officer, referring to Henry Ford's win of a 1901 car race that inspired financial backers to invest in his company. "We are passionate about innovation through performance and creating vehicles that make people's hearts pound."
The all-new GT supercar features rear-wheel drive, a mid-mounted engine, and a sleek, aerodynamic, two-door coupe body shell. It is propelled by the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever – a next-generation twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 producing more than 600 horsepower.
The GT makes extensive use of lightweight materials, including carbon fiber and aluminum – enabling outstanding acceleration and handling with improved efficiency.
Ford's commitment to and capability in delivering technologies typically offered only in elite vehicles is evident in the GT. These include advanced active aerodynamics, such as a deployable rear spoiler, and a host of material and technology innovations to help better serve the driver, such as SYNC® 3 – the latest version of Ford's advanced connectivity system.
"The GT is the ultimate execution of an enthusiast supercar," said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. "GT includes innovations and technologies that can be applied broadly across Ford's future product portfolio – another proof point that Ford continues raising the performance bar while ultimately improving vehicles for all of our customers."
Carbon fiber innovation
Few innovations provide a more wide-ranging performance and efficiency advantage than reducing weight. All factors of a vehicle's capabilities – acceleration, handling, braking, safety, efficiency – can improve through the use of advanced, lighter materials.
The all-new GT features advanced lightweight composites, which will help serve Ford's entire product lineup moving forward. With the broad application of structural carbon fiber elements, the GT will exhibit one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car.
Anchored by a carbon fiber passenger cell, the GT features aluminum front and rear subframes encapsulated in structural carbon fiber body panels. Carbon fiber is one of the world's strongest materials for its mass – enabling an ultra-stiff foundation for chassis components, while creating a lighter overall package for increased dynamic performance and efficiency.
Most powerful production EcoBoost ever
Ford EcoBoost technology is available in every new Ford car, utility and light-duty pickup in North America beginning this year.
EcoBoost engines power a growing number of Ford performance models, including the new Mustang, just-announced F-150 Raptor, as well as Fiesta ST and Focus ST.
Based on the same race-proven engine architecture serving Ford's IMSA Daytona Prototype endurance racing efforts, the next-generation twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 in the GT features a wide powerband with impressive time-to-torque characteristics.
The engine demonstrates remarkable efficiency – a key attribute of its endurance racing-derived powertrain, where exceptional performance combined with efficiency is a critical competitive advantage.
Ford's twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 raced to three wins in its first season of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014, including a win in the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring, along with seven podiums over more than 15,000 endurance racing miles.
The GT features an all-new, port/direct dual fuel-injection setup to improve engine response, plus a low-friction roller-finger-follower valvetrain. The twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 will be paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle for near-instantaneous gear changes and exceptional driver control.
Aero innovation gets active
Aerodynamic efficiency is at the heart of the GT design, actively reducing drag while aiding downforce and stability.
From its optimum tear-drop shape to its aircraft-inspired fuselage and visibility-enhancing curved windshield, every slope and shape is designed to minimize drag and optimize downforce.
Although each surface on the GT is functionally crafted to manage airflow, it also features fully active aerodynamic components to improve braking, handling and stability.
An active rear spoiler is keyed to both speed and driver input, reactively deploying and adjusting its height and/or pitch angle depending on conditions.
Designed for purpose
While it shares a legacy with classic Ford racing and performance cars, GT is a fully contemporary and functional shape that communicates modernity and pure beauty.
The state-of-the-art chassis is suspended by an active racing-style torsion bar and pushrod suspension, with adjustable ride height. The 20-inch wheels are shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires featuring a unique compound and structure designed specifically for the Ford GT. Multi-spoke wheels encircle carbon-ceramic brake discs at all four corners.
The narrow-profile canopy reduces frontal area and caps a purposeful interior that provides state-of-the-art technology to ensure control, comfort and safety. The two-seat cockpit is accessed by upward-swinging doors, and features driver and passenger seats integrated directly into the carbon fiber passenger cell.
This configuration significantly reduces seating hardware and weight, and provides a consistent and direct sensory connection to the chassis. The fixed seating is combined with adjustable pedals and steering column to accommodate a very wide range of driver statures.
An F1-style steering wheel integrates all necessary driver controls, creating a stalkless steering column that allows uncluttered access to the transmission paddle-shift controls. A fully digital and configurable instrument cluster provides a wealth of driver-focused data. The display is configurable for multiple driving environments and different driving modes.
"While we hope enthusiasts rejoice about this all-new GT, all Ford customers will benefit from the ultimate performance Ford and its new-generation innovations," said Nair.