Motorsports history will show the Ford GT as one of the most dominant forces in the game. Shelby and his Cobra were the only real competition to the classically styled GT. As Ford attempted to reincarnate the GT model and introduce it as a super sports car, things became abundantly clear that they had rushed things. The most recent GT was a beautiful representation of the classic car in modern clothes, but the powertrain and stamina were not up to par. Many buyers of the vehicle became so frustrated with its ownership that they simply gave up all together. The car was plagued with problems and would begin falling apart from the moment you drove it off the lot.
Today, Ford is a company on the rebound after the financial crisis rocked the American automotive industry. For the first time it has begun to outsell General Motors on a quarterly basis and things seem to be getting better all the time. By trimming the fat and producing solid vehicles that the American consumer wants has been a key to this success. So is it time to release a new supercar?
That question is somewhat of a double-edged sword. On one hand, if Ford was able to build a true competitor to the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and more exotic machines like Ferraris and Lamborghinis, then the answer is undoubtedly YES. Coming from the other side, if Ford makes another immensely powerful machine that simply breaks down at every track, then the reputation they have been trying to build will take a major hit. That being said, Ford seems to have plans in the works for a new GT, but information is scarce and speculative.
Hit the jump for more details on the Future Ford GT.
Shortly after two Ford GTs appeared at LeMans, rumors started circulating that the American company was contemplating bringing the GT back to fill in one of the gaps in the American supercar lineup. This “gap” is especially wide open with the hiatus of the Dodge Viper and the nonexistence of the Saleen S7 or another hypercar. Now those rumors are picking up some speed thanks to an interview with some of Ford’s head honchos.
During an intimate dinner at the Detroit Auto Show, Automobile Magazine got the opportunity to pose a question to Derrick Kuzak, head of global product development, that would be followed by a few moments of awkward silence and a wishy washy answer: “Is Ford interested in a successor to the GT?”
In real life, a to-the-point question typically gets a straight answer, but unfortunately that is not how it works in the auto world - or the political world but that’s another issue altogether. After a few moments of thought-gathering and answer-processing, Kuzak’s response was, "Well I think there are certain things that we don’t want to talk about in terms of four-year product plans, if that’s okay." Ford president and CEO, Alan Mulally, then tried to lighten the mood with a response of his own: “All I know is, if the ground is wet, they don’t let me drive it,” said Mulally. “That vehicle levitates.”
While not exactly a confirmation, these awkward and thought-provoking responses lead us to believe that something is definitely cooking in Ford’s kitchen, and we’re famished. We’ll take a double serving of the old supercar with a more original design than that of the 2005 Ford GT and spice it up with that same GT spirit, please! Ford and its SVT arm have been rather quiet as of late, not producing very many performance models. The Ford Raptor pickup truck and the new Taurus SHO are the most performance oriented models outside of the Mustang in the lineup.
With past Ford GT models being so iconic, do not expect drastic changes to the proportions of this vehicle. It is one of the most easily and readily recognizable cars on the planet and its muscular lines scream performance. The renderings that we have acquired do show some heavy Shelby influence, based on his last supercar project. The Shelby GR-1 was inspired from the shape of a snake and the front of is dominated by an impressive air intake aperture and air flow splitter, the front wheel well and trapezoidal LED headlamps, directing cooling air into the engine bay and wheel wells, while air vents on the top surface of the hood exhaust hot air from the radiator.
With the new SHO model being more fuel conscious, rumors suggest that the next model will in fact feature a hybrid powertrain. The new model will follow the same direction as the GT40 and the GT, but will feature a more advance technology available to deliver massive straight-line performance. If this is true than it could be the most powerful hybrid vehicle on the road. However, these rumors are most likely just that, rumors. The Ford GT is a symbol of raw power and racing heritage. If Ford were to ever put a fire-breathing V8 powerplant in a new car, than this would be the place.
The hybrid powertrain could make use of a supercharged V8 engine combined with an electric motor driving the front wheels. With a total output of around 600 HP and a total weight of 1400 kilos, the new GT will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3 seconds, while top speed will be in the 200 mph area.