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Ford’s latest supercar required the equivalent of an application to a highly selective private liberal arts school to get into — it helps if you have a big social media following — and those who have been accepted have already let other, less selective supercar makers know. With just 500 spots available and $450,000 required for room and board, Ford could afford to be selective.
But is the experience worth it?
“If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up,” to quote Ferris Bueller.
Here are 7 things to know about the Ford GT:
1. The Engine
A 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 churns out 647 hp at 6,250 rpm and 550 lb-ft of torque at 5,900 rpm, while a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission sends all those horses to the rear wheels. The engineering team created a special anti-lag turbo technology for this EcoBoost engine to help the car accelerate out of corners by keeping the throttle open when the driver is not stepping on the accelerator. The turbo and boost stay on, but the fuel injectors are off when this system is operating. This helps acceleration and engine response as soon as the driver gets back on the accelerator.
“We pushed the engine’s limits beyond what we might consider in traditional development programs, which is important as we continue to advance EcoBoost technology as a centerpiece of the company’s global lineup,” said Bob Fascetti, Ford vice president, powertrain engineering.
2. The Aerodynamics
The Ford GT was engineered to optimize its aerodynamic profile not just in a single set of conditions, but to respond to up-to-the-second demands at the track. This includes a patent-pending design that alters the shape of the airfoil to achieve maximum efficiency when used. A small Gurney flap is incorporated into this system, and, together with the Gurney flap, the shape-changing airfoil yields a 14 percent improvement in overall efficiency.
“GT’s aerodynamics change on demand to meet varying driving conditions, thanks to movable elements around the body, including special ducts in the front and a large deployable wing,” Ford says. “The flaps open and close depending on whether GT’s wing is up or down, so the car remains aerodynamically balanced from front to back at all speeds. When the wing is up, the ducts close to increase downforce; when the wing is down, the ducts open to decrease downforce.”
3. The Driving Experience
Our own Mark Vaughn got his hands on the Ford GT back in 2017, taking it for a spin around Utah Motorsports Campus (formerly Miller Motorsports Park), and he summed up the experience as “Hoo baby!”
“This car was made for racetracks: Its smooth, even power delivery combines with absolutely flat cornering to encourage faster and faster laps,” Vaughn wrote at the time. “Under stress, it sends no shudders or unforeseen misalignments to the driver, there is no wandering around under heavy braking (I’m looking at you, McLaren 650S!). Power delivery from the 3.5-liter V6 is a dream; there’s so much of it seemingly anywhere on the tach, you don’t worry at all about it. But you do want to shift just because the shifter is so smooth. Power eases off for a nanosecond between shifts without interrupting that even, smooth acceleration. There’s no hard slam back into the seats at shifts — just easy, smooth power.”
Vaughn also got a chance to drive it on city streets (which is where it will be driven from time to time) and he found it comfortable enough, before heading out of town to let the car stretch its legs, taking it north of 150 mph.
4. The Weight
“We achieved considerable weight savings with the carbon-fiber architecture,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president of global product development and chief technical officer. “We then reinvested some of that savings into where it counts most: performance — specifically, the active dynamics. The result is an even faster car.”