A bolt from the blue

January 14, 2015

Lightweight carbon fibre body. ✓ Tick.

Powerful 600 PS engine. ✓ Tick.

Super-sleek aerodynamic body. Definitely a big ✓ tick.

No, it’s not a checklist for a Formula 1 car – it’s the specification of our jaw-dropping new Ford GT supercar, unveiled during a surprise announcement at the North American International Auto Show.

The new Ford GT is the pinnacle of the Ford Performance vehicle line-up. And building will start late next year to celebrate 50 years since Ford finished first, second and third with the original Ford GT40 race car, at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans car race.

The teardrop-shaped body is complemented by an aircraft-inspired fuselage, racing suspension technology, and brakes made from advanced heat-resistant materials.

The most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever, the twin-turbo V6 is paired with a seven-speed gearbox, equipped with two clutches for near-instantaneous gear changes.

Inside the two-seat carbon fibre passenger cell, Formula 1 provides the inspiration for a steering wheel that integrates all necessary driver controls to allow easy access to the transmission paddle-shift controls. Rather than the driver having to move, it is the pedals and wheel that adjust to complement the perfectly-positioned seats.

“As we at 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,” said Ford’s president and chief executive officer Mark Fields, referring to Henry Ford’s historic 1901 car race victory, which inspired backers to invest in his company. “We are passionate about innovation through performance and creating vehicles that make people’s hearts pound.”

We’ve used carbon fibre and aluminium to reduce weight and make the Ford GT quicker out of the starting blocks, better at handling and stopping, safer, and more fuel efficient. In fact, the GT will have one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car.

Every surface of the GT is designed to manage the airflow around the car and improve braking, handling and stability. The active rear spoiler is automatically adjusted for height and angle, depending on speed and the actions of the driver.

It even has upward-swinging doors for that true supercar effect.

“The GT is the ultimate execution of an enthusiast supercar,” said Ford’s group vice president for Global Product Development, Raj Nair. “GT includes innovations and technologies that can be applied broadly across Ford’s future product portfolio – another proof point that Ford continues raising the performance bar while ultimately improving vehicles for all of our customers.”

Topics: ford Motor Shows