The 2018 Ford GT supercar is a street-legal racecar — with heavy emphasis on "race" — so what better place to capture the tamed racing car than scorching around a racetrack? At Elkhart Lake, Wis.'s Road America, where the race version of the Ford GT has won in competition (in the IMSA series, 2017), we set our cameras on a GT that Ford Performance brought for demos at the Midwest Automotive Media Association's Spring Rally for journalists.
With a starting price in the mid-$400,000 range, you won't see the GT in many garages — only 500 for now, with 250 being built in the first two years of production (though a Ford rep at the rally suggested that an additional two years could bring 500 more through 2020). The GT is, as a result, no small deal: Its passenger shell and body panels are made from strong, lightweight carbon fiber, which is an integral part of the new Ford GT's construction. Ford says the flying buttresses that extend from the roof to the rear fenders are made of carbon fiber because the design wouldn't be possible with steel or aluminum. The thorough lightweighting makes acceleration a little easier for the twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter EcoBoost V-6 that pushes the Ford GT up to a claimed top speed of 216 mph.
Ford didn't need to go too easy on the six-cylinder, however, as those six cylinders are pushing out plenty of power: 647 horsepower and 550 pounds-feet of torque, to be exact. The mid-mounted engine pairs only with a dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission to send power to the rear wheels.
The twin-turbo V-6 and automatic transmission is a controversial choice given the GT's predecessors, the 427-cubic-inch, V-8-powered GT40 with its storied history at Le Mans in the 1960s, and version 2.0, the 2005-06 Ford GT that came with a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 and manual transmission. With the new Ford GT, there's no V-8 and no manual transmission. According to Ford, the compact size of the GT's V-6, which shares nearly 60 percent of its components with the extreme off-road Ford F-150 Raptor, gave designers additional room to taper the body work for a more efficient design.
The EcoBoost engine may not have the ground-pounding aural experience of its predecessors, but it does still have an appropriate supercar sound. Check out our video of the 2018 Ford GT in action to see and hear it at full song around Road America. Of note, pay attention at 1:05 to the GT's wing that also deploys as an air brake to help the GT slow along with its carbon-ceramic Brembos; those lucky Ford GT owners will be glad to know it continues to function with a GoPro attached.
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