The Blue Oval stunned the Detroit motor show with the long-rumoured GT supercar, due for launch in 2016.
That date is no coincidence: the carbonfibre supercar will mark 50 years since the company pulled off its 1-2-3 at Le Mans with the original GT40.
Suddenly, 2016 has become a whole lot more exciting… Click here for our story in October predicting a GT would be shown at the North American International Auto Show.
Ford GT (2016): a carbonfibre sports car
The new GT will head a renewed sports car range; Ford claims it will have a dozen new high-performance vehicles on sale by 2020, including the new Focus RS, F150 Raptor and Shelby GT350.
However, the new GT will be very much in tune with its times. No V8 engines here – just a ‘next-generation twin-turbocharged Ecoboost V6 producing more than 600 horsepower.’
No performance figures have been issued yet (we suspect the full story will dripfeed out over the coming 12 months), but those ponies will have their lives made easier by the lightweight spec of the GT.
It is made almost entirely from carbonfibre and lightweight aluminium, the company says, to keep mass at a minimum and boosting performance, handling and economy. Ford claims it will offer one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car.
Interestingly, the technology deployed on the new two-seat GT will eventually filter down across the rest of the range, officials claim.
Tech spec of the new GT
That 3.5-litre V6 is mounted amidships, for the classic supercar layout to echo the 1966 original’s. It is rear-wheel drive, naturally – no four-wheel drive here, just some hyper-sticky 21-inch Michelin Pilot Super Cup 2 tyres – and to help squash it into the tarmac there’s a deployable rear spoiler.
More amateur dramatics are witnessed with the doors, which are scissor-mounted in the best supercar tradition, lifting to showcase a very modern kind of sporting Ford cockpit.
Seats are fixed, so the F1-style steering wheel and pedals move to accommodate the drive. Ford has taken a leaf from one-time arch-rival Ferrari with its manettino; the GT’s wheel is festooned with minor controls and because there are no indicator stalks, there’s unimpeded access to the gearbox paddle shifts.
Instruments can be configured any which way, depending on the driving mode selected. It is already clear that the GT will be a very digital kind of supercar.
What else do we know about the 2016 Ford GT?
You might need your periodic table to hand when you look at the spec of the Blue Oval’s new supercar. Even the brakes have composite rotors, helping wipe off what will surely be 200mph+ speeds with nonchalance.
We also know that Ford has spent a great deal of time perfecting the aerodynamics of the GT, with what it calls ‘fully active aerodynamic components to improve braking, handling and stability.’ We will be reporting back soon once we’ve clarified what bodywork does what, in its quest to keep the GT stable, cool and planted to the road.
Expect to see the new Ford GT in production spec ‘in late 2016.’ No word yet on prices, but this is clearly going to be a very upmarket kind of Ford – we’d predict the cost will easily exceed £150,000.