2017 Ford GT Could Race at Le Mans and This is What it Would Look Like
In a rather strange turn of events, the second-generation 2017 Ford GT unveiled itself to the world at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. I say "strange", because initial rumors talked about a GT racing that could spawn a road-legal supercar and not the other way around. That’s not to say Ford did things the wrong way, but it seems motorsport enthusiasts will have to wait a bit longer for the GT race car to make its first appearance. And given the GT supercar looks downright amazing, waiting for the spiritual successor of the Le Mans-winning GT40 is an agonizing mission.
Fortunately, our very own rendering artist is here to provide some comfort in the form of race-liveried machine based on the road-going Ford GT. While the GT appears to have the aerodynamics to storm race tracks the world over at high speeds, an endurance event such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans requires certain body modifications. It’s one thing to attend a weekend track event at Laguna Seca, and a completely different story to enter an endurance race on one of Europe’s most demanding road course. With that in mind, our artist gifted the GT with a much-needed, massive rear wing, as well as front fender canards. Naturally, both elements are made from carbon-fiber, as the GT needs to meet certain specifications before joining the FIA Endurance Championship. The supercar’s standard wheels have also been replaced by lightweight racing rims with center-mounted, three-spoke nuts similar in design to the GT40’s.
You will also notice a tow hook on the left side of the front grille, but the GT’s main feat is by far the Gulf livery. The orange-and-blue wrap, which also includes the wheels and the side mirrors, is complemented by "Gulf" logos and 50th Anniversary race numbers on the doors and the front bonnet. Now I know some of you motorsport freaks will argue that the first GT40 won the 1966 Le Mans in a much simpler, black-and-white livery, with the Gulf-liveried car doing the same only two years later, but let’s be honest here, the GT looks way better in light-blue and bright-orange stripes.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Ford GT.
Why it matters
While I would like to mention we have no official confirmation the Le Mans car will mirror GT shown in Detroit in terms of styling, this rendering is the closest thing to the legacy of the original GT40. Bear in mind that if rumors about Ford joining the LMP2 class prove to be true, the race car will resemble the production GT in very few areas, as the FIA is quite strict when it comes to the design of LMP1 to LMP3 prototypes.
Unveiled at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, the 2017 Ford GT continues from where the first-gen GT left off in 2006. Sporting design cues that go back to both the GT and the iconic GT40 race car, Ford’s new supercar features the same mid-engine layout and long wedge shape as its predecessors. Lurking under its bonnet is a new, 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 based on the engine Ford used in its IMSA Daytona Prototype race car throughout the 2014 racing season. Equipped with two turbos, the mill promises to deliver more than 600 horsepower through a seven-speed, dual-clutch transaxle that spins the rear wheels.
The GT is expected to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds and hit a top speed in excess of 200 mph. The supercar will go on sale in 2016, when Ford celebrates 50 years since the Ford GT40 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race for the first time. By then, the GT shown in Detroit is likely to receive a number of exterior modifications that would make it more suitable for production.