Efficient, purposeful, radical: Ford GT’s tech secrets, CAR+ March 2016

Published: 17 February 2016

► We tell you how the Ford GT works
► Features finely engineered aero package
► Four-step guide gives you the lowdown 

1) Teardrop of joy

The GT’s defining feature is the teardrop fuselage, a form beloved of drag-phobic designers. ‘All the LMP prototypes use the same teardrop shape – it’s extremely efficient in terms of drag,’ explains Ford Performance chief engineer Jamal Hameedi. ‘But the GT was challenging from a packaging standpoint: in the densest part of a mid-engined car, we halved the amount of space. You need a compact powertrain to do it. Also, while other manufacturers feel their cars need to be able fit weekend bags or golf clubs, we designed to the legal minimum – I’m afraid golf’s out.’

2) Working the airstream

Those delicate planes of bodywork spanning the aero channels around the engine? They’re hollow, and they’re key to the GT’s induction system. Air is drawn into the airbox, passed through the turbos, then fed to the outboard intercoolers in the pontoons. The cool, compressed charge then passes up through the hollow buttresses and directly into the engine bay and the V6’s throttle bodies. The warm, spent air leaving the intercoolers exits through the centres of the tail lights at the rear of the car. Cool.

3) A lean, compact engine

The GT is powered by a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6. Most of its road and race rivals have at least two more cylinders, nonsensically according to Ford. ‘The regulations let you run around 500bhp on the racer. You can easily make that with a V6,’ continues Hameedi. ‘Le Mans is a fuel consumption competition, and for that this engine can’t be beaten. It’s vastly superior to a V8 on horsepower and torque for the weight of the engine, and its centre of gravity. If the other guys wanna haul another two cylinders not really doing anything, they can have at it.’

4) Clever wing

The racer uses a fixed wing. The road car’s rises to optimise its angle of attack and function as an airbrake. The clever bit is an additional Gurney flap, hidden when the wing is in its low-drag position but that extends on a mechanism linked to the wing’s when required, to cheat more downforce for little additional drag.

New Ford GT takes on the 24 hours of Daytona, CAR+ March 2016

Read more from the March 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three