Carfection drives the 2017 Ford GTMay 12, 2017
Back in the ’60s, Ford had quite a bit of a beef with Ferrari. Ford was set to acquire Ferrari, with old man Enzo having all but signed the papers on the deal. However, at the last minute, Enzo backed out of the deal and Ford was unhappy. So, instead of joining together with Ferrari to have a dominant Le Mans career, Ford decided it would take Ferrari down. Thus came the Ford GT40, which, after a few tries, beat Ferrari at Le Mans and launched itself into history. Fast forward many decades and the new Ford GT recently beat Ferrari at Le Mans. Again. While you can’t buy the actual Ford GT LM Race car that took down Ferrari, the road-going Ford GT is pretty damn close and one of the most incredible looking cars we’ve ever seen. In this latest video from Carfection, we finally find out what it’s like to drive.
Admittedly, this isn’t the first time we’ve been able to see the Ford GT. A recent episode of Top Gear featured Matt LeBlanc driving it, as the first person outside of Ford to do so. However, this is a better look at the car’s incredible styling, power and technology. Whereas the original Ford GT40 was designed to be power, lightweight, simple and reliable, this new car is absolutely cutting-edge. Just look at it, it almost seems as if there’s more negative space in its body than actual car. The rear wheels and suspension are completely separate from the main body of the car, like a Formula One car and the aerodynamics are insane.
Then there’s the engine, which is admittedly a bit controversial. The original GT40 had a fire-breathing V8 that sounded like it ran on brimstone and the souls of the damned. However, this new Ford GT packs a 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged V6 Ecoboost engine, which isn’t as sexy as the old-school V8. However, it sure is fast. With 647 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque, the complaints about it only packing six cylinders quickly diminish, especially once you hear it start. After thumbing the starter button, that little Ecoboost V6 crackles to life with a growl and a bark. From there, it sends fury through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to just the rear wheels, like a proper supercar should.
With over 600 hp and a curb weight of just 3,200 lbs, the Ford GT is capable of 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 216 mph. So it’s properly quick. But that’s not the whole story of the GT. It’s about far more than straight line speed, as it was designed to take down Maranello’s best on any race track in the world.
Even in its standard Sport mode, it sits impossibly low to the ground, with its track mode dramatically dropping it to the ground (which needs to be seen in the Top Gear video), making McLaren’s P1 look lifted. It’s insane. And because of its incredible aerodynamics and the fact that all of its weigh is inboard, it’s so fantastically fast to react and so sharp. It looks like it’s changing directions via thought, physics be damned. On the race track, the Ford GT looks like one of the most visceral and exciting cars we’ve ever seen.
On the road, it actually looks like it gets a bit hairy. The cabin is loud, thanks to the lack of heavy sound insulation, and the driving position is compromised. The seats are actually bolted down to the chassis, so there’s no moving it forward or backward, instead the pedal box and steering wheel are adjusted for the driver. The seatback can be adjusted a little bit but not enough to actually get comfortable. This is great for the track but can be tricky on the road for long periods of time. But seriously, who the hell cares?
If you’re in the market for a car like the Ford GT, just buy one. Granted, supply is limited, so it’s doubtful you can get one anyway. But if you have the opportunity, just do it. The Ford GT is a car that not only comes with unfathomable performance but also racing heritage and prestige. The first Ford GT supercar the brand built back in 2005 was sort of a lazy homage to the original race car, even as impressive as it was. This new one, though, properly honors the original by not only incorporating the same ideals but by actually putting its money where its mouth is and beating Ferrari at its own game.