NAIAS 2015| The Ford GT Is Spectacularly Revived
“If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” — Henry Ford
This supercar has more than 500 horses.
13 years after the first GT was introduced in concept form, Ford decided to revive one of its legendary concepts at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. An exciting revival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first of the GT40’s four consecutive wins at the 24-Hour Le Mans race.
If the previous concept screamed a retro-inspired breath, the new car looks consummately modern and is designed to be as aerodynamically-efficient as possible. A futuristic dual-tier headlight and a set of aggressive lower air intakes and splitters give the car a tantalizing look. From the back, the fuselage-shape body and canopy tapers towards the rear, terminating at a pair of centrally-mounted exhaust exits. Over this, a pair of flying buttresses spread outwards to join the massive rear haunches and encapsulate the large rear air intake. An active rear spoiler adjusts its height and pitch depending on the driving conditions.
What makes the new GT concept recall the previous GT as well as the earlier GT40 racers are the twin “nostrils” at the front, the low, flat surfacing, the iconic glasshouse shape, and the pair of large round tail lights. “As we add Ford-drive innovation into every part of our business, it’s worth remembering that our first innovation as a company was not in a laboratory but on the racetrack. We are passionate about innovation through performance and creating vehicles that make people’s hearts pound,” said CEO Mark Fields.
Not just refreshing the outlook, Ford also re-designed its GT’s cabin with a simple horizontal dashboard and relatively few buttons. Most of the controls appear to have moved to the F1-style steering wheel and the SYNC 3 infotainment system. To reduce weight and improve performance, designers deleted items they considered unnecessary, including the air conditioner, stereo system, rear seats, trunk floorboard, carpet and backup camera. The seats are fixed directly to the monocoque for less weight. Very adjustable!
The GT concept was developed over the past year by a small team with Ford’s efforts to show how technological advances are transforming the company and the transportation industry. It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 and made of carbon fiber aluminum and other lightweight materials. There is also a new 10-speed transmission, a racing-style active torsion beam and pushrod suspension, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires over 20-inch wheels and carbon-ceramic brakes. “I think people want scintillating performance with this kind of vehicle, this kind of supercar. And they’re going to get it,” said Fields.
Ford said that the company will make a limited number of GTs for sale in the second half of 2016, and the first sales will be in the U.S.