Can an Amateur Push the 2017 Ford GT to It’s Rated Top Speed?
We can now tell how scary, or not, Ford’s halo car really is at over 200 mphby Michael Fira, on
The 2017 Ford GT is a car so exclusive it’s not even built by Ford. It’s also the most expensive new car you can buy that proudly wears the Blue Oval on it with an MSRP of $453,000. Also, it can reach 210.5 mph in less than three miles from a standing start. Impressive, even for a car with 647 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque at its disposal.
The second-generation Ford GT is one of the most hyped cars to come out of the U.S. in the past decade or so. That’s because it shares its name with one of the most illustrious sports cars ever made and because everyone was keen to see how Ford would reinvent the GT again after doing the same thing 2003. The result is a car that stays true to the original in styling but also adds plenty of modern cues to turn heads almost anywhere it appears. But, this time, we’re not talking about looks because what matters is raw speed and the GT delivers in that department compellingly.
The 2017 Ford GT Didn’t Hit its Top Speed, but It’s No Slouch Either
When Ford announced it will bring back the GT after a decade-long hiatus, everybody started boiling in expectation. A prototype was shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and, in 2016, production commenced at Multimatic’s headquarters in Markham, Ontario. Multimatic is also the company that handles the build and maintenance of the race-going Ford GTs that compete in IMSA’s premier Weathertech SportsCar Championship and the globe-trotting World Endurance Championship.
The new GT, to the horror of the purists, ditched the V-8 in favor of a 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged, Ecoboost V-6. However, it’s hard to complain when that six-cylinder engine is capable of 647 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque.
By comparison, the old Modular 5.4-liter, supercharged, aluminum block V-8 of the previous GT put out 550 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 500 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm.
An increase of fewer than 100 ponies in 10 years may not seem that impressive, but the 2017 GT is also 132 pounds lighter than the old one thanks to its carbon fiber monocoque construction. The power also no longer reaches the wheels through an old-fashioned six-speed manual, but through a seven-speed automatic.
What this means is that, according to Ford, the 2017 GT needs just 2.8 seconds to reach 60 mph while the 2005 GT asked you to wait about 3.8 seconds for it to reach 62 mph from a standstill. That’s a difference of about 0.8 seconds between new and old.
The new one is also quicker, Ford saying it can do 216 mph, 11 mph more than the '05 model.
This particular claim is what the folks at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds set out to test. Particularly, they wanted to see just how much speed can the latest GT pick up in 2.7 miles from a standing start. What you’ll notice is that the start is particularly sluggish as the GT reaches 62 mph in approximately 4.5 seconds, as far as I can tell, which is 1.5 seconds down on the ideal time. In spite of this and the obvious bumpiness of the runway, the GT cruises to a speed of 210.5 mph before the driver has to brake. It’s clear from the footage that there was more in the GT during that run and, what is more, the driver seemed to short-shift earlier in the run which definitely affected the top speed. Still, it managed to go at least 5 mph quicker than the 2005 Ford GT with no gimmicks.
Now, I hear some of you still saying that the new GT isn’t fast enough. That 216 mph isn’t enough for a car that costs $453,000 and that will be produced in just 1,350 examples with some already fetching crazy figures at auction or, even, becoming an unwilling actor in a saga.
But here’s a list of impressive cars that are slower than the Ford GT: the 790 horsepower Ferrari 812 Superfast that can only reach 211 mph, the track-tearing beast that is the McLaren Senna which, likewise, won’t dare beyond 211 mph, or the Porsche 911 GT2 RS that will stop at 212 mph. Sure, the Ferrari costs over $100,000 less, and the McLaren 720S is almost $40,000 cheaper than the Ferrari, so the Ford is a very, very expensive car - but not as steep as the +$2 million Senna.
But it’s also more exclusive, and it carries with it a rather unique mantra that allowed Ford to even out-price the Aventador S ($421,000) which should go 1 mph faster too. Ford also charges twice as much as Mercedes-Benz for a replacement transmission for the GT although both manufacturers use the exact same unit for their exotic models (Mercedes puts it in the AMG GT), but that’s another story.
In the end, it’s clear that the GT is immensely fast and it seems that it can live up to Ford’s bragging, Motor Trend managing a 0 to 60 mph run of three seconds flat, so I guess the top speed claim is legit as well, although this video doesn’t prove it as such.
Read our full review on the 2017 Ford GT.
Read our full review on the 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition
Read our full review on the 2019 Ford GT Carbon Edition.