2017 Ford GT takes advanced racing tech to the street (+VIDEO)

By Bob Nagy on January 12, 2015 9:21 AM

Due to start production late next year, the stunning 2017 Ford GT is the most sophisticated performance vehicle ever created by the automaker. From its lightweight composite/aluminum structure and competition-proven chassis components to its ultra-refined active aerodynamics and next-gen 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with over 600 horsepower, this new GT promises to be a landmark in supercar design. Timed to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the original Ford GT's 1-2-3 sweep of the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, this rebirth of that legendary icon will have implications that go far beyond its appeal to hard-core enthusiasts. "The GT includes innovations and technologies that can be applied broadly across Ford's future product portfolio," noted Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development at the reveal. 

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Matching a carbon fiber passenger cell and bodywork with aluminum front and rear subframes, the new Ford GT will hit the streets boasting one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production vehicle. Power comes from a new strain of the twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 currently used by Ford teams in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Series. The most powerful EcoBoost engine ever built, this GT-spec version benefits from an all-new, port/direct fuel-injection setup that further enhances throttle response and low-friction roller-finger-follower valvetrain that improves efficiency along with broader power and torque bands.  Nestled amidships, the engine drives the rear wheels via a paddle-shifted seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle capable of delivering near-instantaneous gear changes. 

Purposeful beauty and active aero, too 

Brilliantly balancing form with function, the exterior of the Ford GT is an exercise in advanced wind cheating. Every surface has been aero optimized to reduce drag and enhance downforce while an active rear spoiler responds to both driver input and vehicle velocity, reactively adjusting both its height and angle to improve braking, handling and stability under all conditions. Underpinning the Ford GT is a racing-derived active suspension that matches torsion bars and pushrods coupled with adjustable ride height. Lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels are wrapped in custom Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 performance tires while stopping is handled by carbon-ceramic brakes.

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Entry to the Ford GT's well-finished passenger compartment is done by raising its swing-up doors. Although the car's aggressively bolstered sport buckets are directly integrated into the carbon fiber core structure to help save weight, the steering column and pedal set can be individually adjusted to accommodate nearly any size driver. A flat-bottom F1-style multifunction steering wheel overlooks the GT's fully digital instrument cluster, which also can be configured to provide a variety of data readouts. While the focus here is clearly on performance, the 2017 Ford GT also incorporates the latest Ford Sync 3 connectivity system. Although there was no official word on pricing, we wouldn't be surprised to see it open somewhere around $225,000-$250,000.  

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