2017 Ford GT: Will it be ‘that’ good?

Earlier in the year, Ford reveal the lucky 500 who will be able to purchase a Ford GT. This was one of the first times a manufacturer has essentially held auditions for potential buyers. Ford say they did this because demand heavily outweighed the planned production numbers. The process included making a short video and completing an online form basically outlining why you think you deserve one. This has created huge excitement. It is already one of, if not the most anticipated car of 2017. All of this begs the question; will it live up to the great expectations?

The original GT40 that won the 1966 Le Mans 24hr.
The History

The new GT has a lot to live up to. There have been two past generations of the Ford GT. The original, named the GT40 being forty inches tall, was built in the 1960s when Ford wanted in on the endurance racing game. Originally they were going to buy Ferrari, but when Enzo Ferrari cut the deal at the last minute, a disgruntled Henry Ford II set out to build a car of his own that would beat the Italians on the track, and that is exactly what he did. The GT40 won four consecutive Le Mans races in the second half of the 1960s. The road going version of the car was not too dissimilar to the Le Mans racer. It featured a 4.7 V8 as well as a 7.0, or as an American would say, a 289 and a 427. Now, these are going for around $200,000.

2005 Ford GT
In 2005 Ford brought out a new model, the Ford GT. This was the spiritual successor to the GT40. It was made a little more comfortable and the height was raised by three inches offering some headroom. The engine used was a 5.4 V8 and a manual transmission was the only option. Power was no issue, with 550bhp, and a very quick 3.9 second 0-60 time, although some claim they managed this in just 3.3 seconds. This car was universally loved as an old school supercar.

2017 Ford GT
The Present

To mark the 50th anniversary of the original GT40 and its historic Le Mans victory, Ford unveiled the new GT at the North American International Auto Show 2015. Available for the selected applicants in 2017, Ford plans to continue production through to 2020. Power will be supplied by a newly developed 3.5 Twin Turbocharged V6 engine that supposedly makes over 600bhp. Yummy. Its clever too. Underneath there is a carbon fibre monocoque and racing inspired rush-rod suspension. See, clever! The bodywork also looks very impressive, and with active aerodynamics it should be able to handle corners too! This all points to the conclusion that, yes, the Ford GT should be as good as we think it will.

Ford GT competing at Le Mans 2016.

To add salt to the wound formed in the 1960s, Ford fielded their brand new GT racecar at Le Mans in 2016, the 50th anniversary of their first win, and what did they do.. they beat Ferrari’s new 488 GT car in the GT class just they did all those years ago. But what will the new Ford GT be competing against on the road? Ferrari-wise, we expect a lightened version of the 488 out before long which will definitely give it a good run. Also the McLaren 675LT might be very close to the GT as they are both hardened turbo supercars.


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