2017 Ford GT Preview
By Jeff Youngs, January 22, 2015
- 2-seat supercar made of carbon fiber and aluminum
- Twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine making more than 600 horsepower
- Dual-clutch transmission, racing suspension, carbon ceramic brakes
- On sale in 2016 to celebrate 50th anniversary of Ford's 1966 LeMans victory
When the new Ford GT debuted at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the automaker reminded its audience that Henry Ford inspired investors to back his car company by winning a 1901 auto race.
In a statement, Mark Fields, Ford president and chief executive officer, emphasized that Ford Motor Company is "passionate about innovation through performance and creating vehicles that make people's hearts pound."
When the 2017 Ford GT goes on sale in 2016 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original GT40 race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, it will be the most technologically sophisticated automobile Ford has ever produced.
Ford says that its new GT supercar displays aircraft-inspired design combined with clear paths of lineage to the previous Ford GT and LeMans-winning GT40.
Structural carbon fiber is used for the passenger cell and body panels, while aluminum is employed in the construction of the car's front and rear sub-frames.
A curved windshield enhances the aeronautic design theme, and an active aerodynamics system includes an active rear spoiler that automatically deploys and adjusts both height and pitch angle depending on speed and conditions.
Equipped with seating for two people, the Ford GT's doors power up for access to the cabin. The seats are integrated directly into the carbon fiber passenger cell, and both the pedals and the steering column are adjustable to accommodate drivers of varying sizes.
The driver faces an F1-style steering wheel and long, slender, fixed paddle shifters for the transmission. The steering column has no stalks; Ford has integrated all of the necessary controls within the steering wheel.
Additional highlights include configurable digital instrumentation, automatic climate control, Sync 3 touch-screen infotainment system, and a badge on the dashboard that displays the car's serial production number.
Under the Hood
Mounted amidships behind the passenger cell and under a transparent cover, the Ford GT's twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter V-6 engine is said to make more than 600 horsepower. It employs a new port- and direct fuel-injection system, and Ford says it has improved the powertrain's "time-to-torque" characteristics in an effort to reduce turbo lag.
A 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox delivers the power to the car's rear wheels. The driver uses a rotary-style shift knob mounted on the center console for normal driving. The "M" button in the middle of the knob activates the transmission's manual mode, and the driver switches to the paddle shifters to select gears. A launch control system is also present to maximize acceleration and minimize wheelspin.
Ford employs a racing-style torsion bar and pushrod suspension design for the low-slung GT, and it includes the ability to adjust the car's ride height. The Ford GT sits on 20-in. wheels wrapped in high-performance tires with a tread pattern and rubber compound crafted specifically for this car. Carbon ceramic brake discs bring the GT to a halt.
Ford did not detail specific safety features of the new GT, but given the presence of Sync 3 technology, buyers can expect the ability to program certain vehicle traits to limit performance characteristics, as well as 911 Assist service that automatically summons emergency rescuers in the event of a collision. A reversing camera will be standard and Ford may offer a blind-spot information system for the GT.
In addition to its configurable instrumentation display, Ford has confirmed that its next-generation infotainment technology will be offered in the new GT. Called Sync 3, this touch-screen system includes smartphone connectivity with access to mobile applications, a navigation system, premium sound system, and more.
- Highlights From the 2015 Detroit Auto Show
- Ford Car, Truck & SUV Quality, Dependability & Performance Ratings
- 2015 Ford Cars Buyer's Guide