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Watch: Ford GT walkaround with the man who made it

Published: 10 May 2017

► New Ford GT walkaround video
► Claimed top speed of 216mph
► We hear from its makers

We're only a few short days away from being able to tell you how the new Ford GT supercar drives. CAR will publish its review this Friday 12 May.

To whet your appetites, we've shot a quick video walkaround, as contributing ed Ben Barry is talked through the GT by the head of Ford Performance, Dave Pericak.

Watch the video above - and come back on Friday to read our full Ford GT review. 

Ford GT: how the switchable drive modes work

Ford has revealed that its new GT supercar will feature five switchable drive modes, each individually altering settings for power delivery, stability control system, gear changes, ride height and aerodynamic surface positions. Here's how they'll work:

  • Normal – everyday, baseline setting.
  • Wet – more tractable throttle map, tighter traction control
  • Sport – vice versa of the above
  • Track – most aggressive power delivery settings, minimal stability control intervention
  • V-Max – for maximum straight-line performance

The modes are selected via a dial on the steering wheel, and each changes the display on the digital instrument panel, as below:

Ford GT's instrument cluster in four of its five driving modes

Go for launch

Ford has confirmed the GT will feature a launch control function, available in every driving mode apart from Wet. Hold down the brake pedal with your left foot and push the throttle to the stop with your right – wait for the ‘LC’ icon on the instrument cluster to turn green and then lift your left foot to launch the GT from the line, and possibly your lunch all over the dashboard.

Ford confirms top speed and power output for the new GT

The Ford GT, and original GT40, have always been heralded as the flagships of the American manufacturer’s line-up – both in terms of status and outright performance.

Since 2015, and the reveal of the latest iteration of the GT, many have been waiting with bated breath to find out what Ford’s new supercar will be capable of. 

Now, however, with production cranking up and deliveries commencing, Ford has finally revealed some of the GT’s performance figures...

Go on, then. How fast is it?

The new Ford GT is claimed to be capable of 216mph, making it the company’s fastest production vehicle to date. Consider that top-drawer status retained, then.

Ford’s still keeping some of its cards close to its chest, however, and no 0-62mph times have been issued – but we’d hazard a guess that it’s in the region of 3.0sec. 

What about that EcoBoost V6? Any power figures?

Indeed – there are no longer any question marks over the twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6’s output. Ford states that, in US specification, the GT’s engine puts out 647hp (equivalent to 638bhp, if the quoted unit is taken as writ) and 550lb ft. 

Ford also says that the GT’s engine makes 90 percent of its peak torque from 3500rpm upwards, so it should prove pretty flexible in gear.

Any lap times yet?

Ford took the GT to the Calabogie Motorsports Park in Canada and pitched it against the McLaren 675LT and – inexplicably – the out-of-production Ferrari 458 Speciale. The lap times were as follows:

  • Ford GT 2:09.80
  • McLaren 675LT 2:10.88
  • Ferrari 458 Speciale 2:12.90

The test was reputedly carried out with fresh tyres, ‘optimal’ suspension settings and with the same driver in the same conditions. Still, worth taking with a pinch of salt. 

Ford, however, cites the GT’s main rivals as the aforementioned 675LT and the new twin-turbo Ferrari 488 GTB – but perhaps one wasn’t available to test...

Does it have much of a weight advantage?

So far, only a dry weight of ‘less than 1400kg’ has been quoted. That said, Ford quotes a power-to-weight figure of 2.14kg per horsepower in US specification, netting a weight figure of 1384.58kg – again, presumably dry. 

For comparison, the McLaren weighs in at 1230kg dry, while the Ferrari clocks the scales at 1370kg dry. 

Somehow that’s not quite as impressive as I expected.

It’s hard to argue with a car capable of 216mph, but we know what you mean – particularly with regards to its kerb weight, considering it’s effectively a relatively small carbonfibre race car. 

That said, it’s also somewhat of a moot point. Owners will have bought into them purely for their collector appeal, and the GT’s also not really new. It’s been around since 2015, after all, and the competition has continued to inexorably advance.

The supercar stats showdown

So, how does the new Ford GT stack up against the McLaren 675LT and Ferrari 488 GTB otherwise? Here are the key facts and figures:

  • Ford GT 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6, 638bhp at 6250rpm, 550lb ft at 5900rpm, 3.0sec 0-62mph (est), 216mph
  • McLaren 675LT 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8, 666bhp at 7100rpm, 516lb ft at 5500-6500rpm, 2.9sec 0-62mph, 205mph
  • Ferrari 488 GTB 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8, 661bhp at 8000rpm, 561lb ft at 3000rpm, 3.0sec 0-62mph, 206+mph

Any other news?

At the Detroit motor show, we also had a chance to sit in the new GT. Ever been in a Lotus? It felt much the same, in terms of interior space and layout. For one thing, it certainly felt like a race car that had made the transition to road car, rather than vice versa.

‘The Ford GT is all about performance,’ said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, global product development and chief technical officer.

‘We achieved considerable weight savings with the carbon fibre architecture. We then reinvested some of that savings into where it counts most – performance, specifically, the active dynamics. The result is an even faster car.’

Read more Ford news

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