The Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] has shocked the automotive world with the unveiling of an all-new GT supercar today at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. As stunning as it looks, the GT on show in Detroit isn’t a concept to be watered down by the time production rolls around but a preview of the car that will be hitting showrooms sometime in 2016.
It’s got all the typical supercar cues such as a mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration, and a sleek, aerodynamic coupe body. But instead of the typical V-8 engine found in most performance Fords, including the previous GT, the new generation will come packing an EcoBoost V-6 engine whose twin-turbochargers will help liberate more than 600 horsepower.
The engine is derived from the 3.5-liter mill fitted to the automaker’s Daytona Prototype competing last year in the United SportsCar Championship. Ford tells us that it features a wide powerband with impressive time-to-torque characteristics. Some of the new aspects of the design include updated direct-injection and valvetrain features, aimed at boosting performance and efficiency. The transmission, meanwhile, is a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle.
For the chassis, Ford has made extensive use of lightweight materials, including carbon fiber and aluminum, to give the car an impressive power-to-weight ratio. The passenger cell is all carbon fiber, and mounted to this are aluminum front and rear subframes encapsulated in structural carbon fiber body panels—those are the sexy wings you see to side of the engine. The body, by the way, features active aerodynamics, such as a deployable rear spoiler.
The suspension consists of a racing-style torsion bar and pushrod setup, with adjustable ride height, and the wheels are a 20-inch set shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires designed specifically for the new GT. Stopping power comes from carbon ceramic discs.
For the cabin, designers have gone with a narrow-profile canopy in order to reduce the frontal area and keep the car sleek. Access to the cabin is via a pair of doors that swing upwards, and here you’ll find a pair of seats that are integrated directly into the carbon fiber passenger cell. The fixed seating is combined with adjustable pedals and steering column to accommodate a very wide range of driver statures, just like in Ferrari’s LaFerrari flagship.
The instrument cluster is digital and configurable for multiple driving environments and different driving modes. And finally, an F1-style steering wheel integrates all necessary driver controls, creating a stalk-less steering column that allows uncluttered access to the transmission paddle-shift controls.
There’s still a lot of development work to be done, which is why we haven’t heard any official performance numbers just yet. Expect further announcements to be made in the coming months.
Beginning production late next year, the new Ford GT hits the road in select markets to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford’s historic 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans victory with the original GT40. A racing program for this latest beauty hasn’t been announced, but participation in both the 2016 United SportsCar Championship and the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans is expected.
In the United SportsCar Championship, Ford is expected to team up with Chip Ganassi Racing and compete in the GTLM category. In Le Mans, we’re likely to see the new GT competing in the GTE category, going up against the likes of Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Porsche and old foe Ferrari.
The new GT is just one of more than 12 exciting products from the recently established Ford Performance sub-brand due in showrooms between now and 2020. Others will be the Shelby GT350, Shelby GT350R, Focus ST and F-150 Raptor, all of which are on show in Detroit this week (unfortunately the Focus RS will be arriving at a later date).
For more from the show, head to our dedicated hub.