Tuesday, 13 January 2015
Ford lifts the veil on 2016 GT supercar
Ford Motor Company has unveiled the edgy GT supercar the automaker plans to build next year.
The previous Ford GT was part developed in the UK by the since doomed Mayflower Corporation in Coventry, but this latest vehicle comes from a small team at the product development centre in Dearborn.
Mayflower executives took great pride it the role the company’s engineers played in the carbon fibre-based Ford GT, but the move did nothing to save the business from what amounted in the end to poor management of the British company.
Ford will make a limited number of GTs for sale in the second half of 2016. It will be a global car but the first sales will be in the US, according to Ford executive chairman Bill Ford.
The GT is among a trio of performance vehicles Ford has just revealed, including the next-generation 2017 F-150 Raptor high-performance, off-road pickup with a 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine.
The third is the Shelby GT350R Mustang: a stripped down, track-ready and street legal version of the GT350 that Ford showed in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
However, Ford claims it would not have developed these vehicles is gasoline prices had not been so low. But we can all take that with a huge pinch of salt, as the Ford GT arrives on the 50th anniversary of the car winning Le man 24-hour race in France.
The three are among the more than 12 new Ford performance vehicles coming by 2020 as the automaker has reorganized its regional performance divisions into a single global unit. Ford wants to take advantage of a 70 per cent increase in performance vehicle sales in the US and a 14 per cent increase in Europe.
However, Ford claims it would not have developed these vehicles is gasoline prices had not been so low. But we can all take that with a huge pinch of salt, as the Ford GT arrives on the 50th anniversary of the car winning Le Mans 24-hour race in France.
The new GT will feature a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine generating more than 600bhp. The last GT had a 550bhp supercharged 5.4-litre V8. A conventional 3.5-litre V6 develops around 365bhp.
The GT’s doors open in a scissor motion but are not full gullwing doors.
The GT, which Ford reckons will compete against the Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren 650S and the Ferrari 458 Speciale (all of which may well be wishful thinking on the part of Ford), will be assembled in a "purpose-built" facility.
The GT marks the return of the rear-drive mid-engine super car which was last sold in the 2006 model year. It returns for 2016, the 50th anniversary of the first of the GT40's four consecutive wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.