At the 2015 North American International Auto Show and at the unveiling of the 2015 racing video game Forza Motorsport 6, a new Ford GT was introduced and is set to be produced and released in 2016. It will mark 50 years since the GT40 won the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans and has run successfully in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans to mark the anniversary, winning the GTE class.
2017 Ford GT – Specifications
|Body type||2 seater fixed-head coupé|
|Number of doors||2|
Dimensions & weights
|Kerb weight||1385 kg||3053 lb|
|fuel tank capacity||57.6 litres||12.7 UK Gal||15.2 US Gal|
|Frontal area||1.78 m²|
|Engine type||turbocharged petrol|
|Engine code||EcoBoost 3.5|
|Cylinders||V 6 in 60° vee|
(213.4 cu in)
|Bore × Stroke||92.51 × 86.7 mm|
3.64 × 3.41 in
|Valve gear||double overhead camshaft (DOHC)|
4 valves per cylinder
24 valves in total
|Maximum power output||656 PS (647 bhp) (482 kW)|
at 6250 rpm
|Specific output||185 bhp/litre|
3.03 bhp/cu in
|Maximum torque||746 Nm (550 ft·lb) (76.1 kgm)|
at 5900 rpm
|Specific torque||213.33 Nm/litre|
|Fuel system||direct fuel injection|
|bmep (brake mean effective pressure)||2680.7 kPa (388.8 psi)|
|Unitary capacity||582.83 cc|
|Maximum speed||348 km/h (216 mph)|
|Power-to-weight ratio||473.64 PS/tonne (1000 kg)|
348.35 kW/tonne (1000 kg)
467.15 bhp/tonne (1000 kg)
|Weight-to-power ratio||2.87 kg/kW|
|Fuel consumption||11/18/14 US MPG EPA city/highway/combined|
|universal consumption (calculated from the above)|
|litres/100km||21.4/13.1/16.8 l/100km city/highway/combined|
|km/litre||4.7/7.7/6.0 km/l city/highway/combined|
|UK MPG||13.2/21.6/16.8 UK MPG city/highway/combined|
|US MPG||11.0/18.0/14.0 US MPG city/highway/combined|
|Drive wheels||rear wheel drive|
|Steering||power assisted rack & pinion|
|Tyres front||Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 245/35 R 20|
|Tyres rear||Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 325/30 R 20|
|Gearbox||7 speed automatic|
|Top gear ratio||0.63|
|Final drive ratio||3.67|
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
I’m still not sure about the steering wheel. It might ape the racing car’s with all the controls on it and the odd hexagonal shape, but it’s just not quite as good to hold as it should be, despite the Alcantara trim. It’s a small point – and here’s another. The seats aren’t as aggressively shaped and bucketed as you might expect. They’re slightly soft with shallow thigh bolsters and mounted a touch high in relation to the rest of the cockpit. I was doubtful about how hard they’d hold you, but on track I never felt like I was falling out of them, so I’ll chalk them down as deceptively supportive.
Two people fit much better than you might expect given they’re sat as close to each other as the occupants of a Lotus Elise, but there’s very little space to put anything. The 11-litre boot is smaller than most gloveboxes. There isn’t one of those. No cupholders either. Barely anywhere for a phone or wallet.
But forget all that, because what matters is the way the cabin makes you feel, which aside from your comfy buttocks, is very, very eager to get going. The controls on the steering wheel are ergonomically fine, and there’s a delicious tactility to the knurled metal knobs that control the driving modes and wipers, and the gearbox on the centre console. It feels eventful and exciting.
Driving – Ford GT
Given that the GT started life as a racing car, the most astonishing thing about it is the quality of its ride. Thumb the button that softens the suspension’s dampers and, like most supercars, which have their suspension settings mulled over to the nth degree by fastidious engineers, the GT can shame a few family hatchbacks when it comes to smoothing over bumps.
That’s in terms of the physical shocks you receive, but as far as interior noise goes, it’s a completely different story. This is where you appreciate wholeheartedly that this was never designed as a road car, in the way that a McLaren 720S was, for example. The carbonfibre tub you sit in, with precious little soundproofing, acts like an echo chamber as you ride rough roads. You can hear stones pinging off the car’s underbody, and within the carbon bodywork, all the things that make the GT go are fizzing, clonking and whirring away.
Most notable, of course, is the big V6 engine. This barks angrily, gutturally even, just inches away from your ears. When you’re on the throttle, it’s a cacophony of induction roar and the violent explosions from within the cylinders; when you’re off the throttle, it’s the wheezing from the wastegates, hurriedly venting the turbochargers’ colossal boost pressure out into the atmosphere. It’s intoxicating, but never anything but very loud.
What about performance, then? Well, it’s mighty – Ford claims that the GT can blast from 0-60mph in 2.8sec and go on to a top speed of 216mph. There’s a little lag between you putting your foot down and the car gathering up the horizon at a stupendous pace. This is mostly noticeable below 2500rpm, but past 3500rpm the delay is fractional.
In first and second gears, the biggest surprise is that (in the dry, at least) the two rear wheels will actually accept full throttle, even on a bumpy road, without spinning up. It’s when you get into third that you can start to appreciate fully how quick the GT is, with the rate of acceleration seeming never to drop below epic.
Surprisingly, considering this car’s genesis on the track, it’s manageable. With weighty and accurate steering, the GT darts in to corners extremely keenly, and the trick suspension keeps the body supremely flat. You get more feedback from the 720S on the road, but the GT is still entertaining and, if you get brave, playful without feeling like it’s about to throw you into a hedge.
On a circuit, for which the suspension drops 70mm in an instant when Track mode is enabled, it’s mightily fast and involving.
Then there are the brakes: those big carbon-ceramic discs and the flip-up rear air brake haul you to a stop so quickly they could tease tears from the eyes of even the happiest soul.