Due in late 2016, the GT has been one of Ford's most closely guarded projects and was developed under a veil of secrecy. The prototype revealed at the Detroit Auto Show stunned enthusiasts, and these shots illustrate that it's making the leap to production reality.
As our spy shooter wryly notes, the mule captured in these photographs looks like a Mad Max prop. It's colorless, is missing key body parts – note the ringless taillights and lack of a rear bumper or diffuser. It also looks to be even lower to the ground than the concept from the Detroit show. It appears to have different mirrors and windshield wipers. The lack of some body panels also calls out the exhaust pipes, which look like tail guns in these shots.
Otherwise, this test car looks just like the auto show star, and sans paint it manages to appear even more sinister. Though these spy shots indicate the GT is on track for production, Ford has been pretty up front about what the car will be when it arrives in showrooms. We know it will have a twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It will make extensive use of carbon fiber and feature a driver-oriented, contemporary-styled interior. Canadian company Multimatic will build the GT.
The Le Mans-inspired supercar is the standard-bearer for Ford's renewed performance push. The automaker plans to roll out at least 12 sporting cars by 2020 as it looks to lure new buyers to its fold. Ford also using developments from these high-end cars to improve its lineup, and will it spread aerodynamics and materials technologies across its portfolio.
"It's another proof point about how serious we are in developing innovation through performance," Ford product chief Raj Nair has said.