Ford Unveils Stunning New GT

This is not a concept or a wow-factor show car, it’s an honest-to-thank-goodness production car.

The all-new Ford GT is a high-performance technology showcase for Ecoboost power, aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fibre construction. It’s the fifth in a series of more than a dozen new performance cars Ford has promised by 2020, joining the Focus RS, F150 Raptor, Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R in the line-up, and from late in 2016 it will be released in selected markets around the world to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original GT-40’s 1-2-3 finish at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.

True to that 1963 design by Eric Broadley of Lola, the new GT has a mid-mounted engine driving the rear wheels and a sleek, low shape in which Broadley’s influence can clearly be seen – but that’s where the resemblance ends.

In place of the thundering seven-litre V8 of old, the new GT has a 3.5-litre biturbo V6 with two-stage electronic fuel-injection that combines sequential intake-port injectors with direct injection into the combustion chambers to deliver “more than 600 horsepower” (447kW), paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle.

The Light Stuff

Where the GT40 had fibreglass body panels on an aluminium tub – which was state-of-the-art in the early 1960s – the new GT has a carbon-fibre passenger cell with aluminum front and rear sub-frames and structural carbon-fibre body panels.

It’s wider, curvier and cleaner in terms of aerodynamics than the original, partly thanks to an active rear spoiler that extends and adjusts its pitch angle according to speed and driver input.

The double-wishbone suspension of the 1966 Le Mans winner gives way to active torsion-bar and pushrod suspension with adjustable ride height, as found on the latest open-wheel racing cars, with carbon-ceramic disc brakes all round, inside 20″ rims wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 designed specifically for this car.

The doors swing upwards like a McLaren, rather than taking most of the roof with them, and the seats are moulded into the carbon-fibre passenger cell adjustable pedals and steering column allow for a range of driver sizes.

There are no steering-column stalks, so as to allow uncluttered access to the paddle shifters most of the switchgear is on the front of the F1-style steering wheel. The instrument panel is fully digital and configurable.

More than half a century has passed since Eric Broadley adapted the Lola Mk6 to take a Ford Fairlane engine, and, almost accidentally, produced one of the world’s great sports cars, replicas of which are still in production in South Africa and around the world.

The new GT is very much a 21st-century car, but we reckon Broadley would recognise his contribution, and approve.

Sadly it will be produced in left-hand drive form only, thus won’t be offered for sale in Southern Africa.

Source : The Namibian