NEWS

Ford GT: First Look

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Competes with: McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari, Lamborghini Aventador

Looks like: Ford’s nostalgic GT meets a modern-day racecar

Drivetrain: 600-plus-hp, twin-turbocharged V-6, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic rear transaxle, rear-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Late 2016

Ford’s supercar stable has been empty since the departure of the limited-run Ford GT in 2006, but that’s about to end with the introduction of the next-generation Ford GT announced at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new GT is a radical street car with heavy inspiration from Ford’s involvement in racing.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage 

Strong, lightweight carbon fiber is used extensively throughout the GT as the cockpit’s primary construction material and used heavily elsewhere. Ford expects the GT to have one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car thanks to the use of carbon fiber paired with the more than 600-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V-6, which is Ford’s most powerful EcoBoost engine to date.

Exterior

The GT’s exterior shape is a dazzle of aerodynamic work with huge air passages running past the doors and around the teardrop-shaped cockpit back to the massive rear deployable spoiler, which features both height and pitch adjustments based on speed and driver input. Ford says every shape and slope is designed to minimize aerodynamic drag and optimize downforce for improved braking, handling and stability. The sleek teardrop-shaped body shell and curved windshield combined with the gaping radiator and grille openings look ready for a 24-hour endurance race.

Interior

Drivers and passengers enter the carbon-fiber cockpit through upward-swinging doors, and once inside are greeted with exterior-inspired cues, including a Formula One-inspired steering wheel with a multitude of controls to eliminate stalks from the steering column. The stalk-less steering wheel is designed to create uncluttered access to the transmission’s paddle shifter. The GT’s dashboard is a fully digital and configurable for various driving environments. Occupants sit in a pair of fixed seats integrated directly into the carbon-fiber passenger cell for a “consistent and direct sensory connection to the chassis,” Ford says in a statement, and adjustability will instead come from adjustable pedals and an adjustable steering column.

Under the Hood

“Under the hood,” may be a bit misleading as the GT’s 600-plus-hp, twin-turbocharged V-6 is a mid-mounted engine showcased prominently through the rear glass. The most powerful production EcoBoost engine to date gained experience on the racetrack in Ford’s IMSA Daytona Prototype endurance racing before the architecture made its way to the production GT. For production duty, the EcoBoost engine uses an all-new port/direct-injection fuel-injection system that Ford says will improve engine response. Pairing with the engine is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle sending power to the rear wheels.

Rounding out the GT’s seriousness are carbon-ceramic brakes and a race-inspired active torsion bar and pushrod suspension that’s also height adjustable. Many automakers use racing experience in their production designs, but the all-new GT looks like one of the truest depictions of a racecar we’ve seen in a production car in some time.

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