With McLaren, Lamborghini, Audi, Chevrolet, Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari, Porsche, and soon Aston Martin, to worry about, Ford’s entering a supercar segment that’s never been more packed with competition, horsepower, tech and design.
The GT is the Blue Oval’s fastest production model of all time, and this will also be the first time a mainstream manufacturer such as Ford will try charging something like Dh1.5 million for a product on one end of its portfolio scale, and Dh40K for a Figo on the other end.
Engineers in Detroit designed the GT to go racing first (well, actually racecars and production cars are made in Canada by an outfit called Multimatic) and hit the road second. The car already won its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last June, just in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford’s first-ever overall win at the La Sarthe circuit in 1966 (in fact, the first for an American marque) sweeping the entire podium with a trio of GT40s. Kiwis Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon were the winning pair.
For racing reasons, the car has an exotic carbon fibre monocoque tub (hence the magic weave boffins at Multimatic who help Ford with its carbon fibre manufacturing mastery), which goes a long way in explaining the high price. So with that Ford’s narrowing its rivals down to perhaps only the Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren 675LT, and Ferrari 488 GTB, although even stuff like the V10-engined R8, Corvette Z06, AMG GT R, and upcoming AMG-engined Astons will have a go at it.
According to Ford, the car is capable of a top speed of 348kph, but curiously there is no quoted 0-100kph time. Focus on power-to-weight means the engine makes 647 horsepower and 745Nm of torque for a kerb weight of around 1,360kg. The 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbocharged lump is tuned for a wide useable power range so that 90 per cent of the torque comes in from 3,500rpm.
With active suspension, low drag and high downforce, Ford claims that around some obscure 5.0km-long circuit in Canada, the 647bhp GT outruns the more powerful 666bhp McLaren 675LT and 661bhp Ferrari 488 GTB. Ford says the GT laps the track in 2:09.8, compared to the McLaren’s 2:10.8 time and the Ferrari’s 2:12.9.
Ford’s vice president and chief technical officer Raj Nair says, “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.”
Production of the GT starts later this year with annual build numbers limited to 250 units by Multimatic’s capacity and if you want one, well, all 1,000 planned cars are already spoken for.