The Ford GT Snarls at the Competition with 647 Horsepower and a Top Speed of 216 MPH
According to Ford it beat out competition from McLaren and Ferrari!by Robert Moore, on
The Ford GT40 was a legend, but the Ford GT of 2005 and 2006 didn’t exactly meet Ford’s expectations, only selling 4,038 of the originally planned 4,500. Sadly, the final 11 bodies that were built got the worst fate of all, being torn apart and invoiced as service parts. But, Ford is looking to rectify the GT name and has done so with the introduction of the new Ford GT. Originally expected by the masses to have a heart of gold – more specifically, Ford’s flat-plane crank V-8 – Ford shocked us all when it announced an EcoBoost V-6 as its weapon of choice. That FPC V-8 could have been insanely powerful when coupled with some potent forced induction, but this EcoBoost isn’t exactly a slouch either. In fact, it has been SAE rated at 647 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque, something that makes it the most powerful EcoBoost engine ever produced and the GT the fastest production car to ever sport a Ford badge.
So, how fast is it? Well, Ford took one driver and put him behind the wheel of the new GT, a McLaren 675LT, and a Ferrari 458 Speciale, then told him to give it his all around the Calabogie Motorsports Park in Canada. The end result put the Ford GT at the top, lapping the track with a best time of 2:09.8 while the McLaren fell short by one second at 2:10.8. The prancing horse performed even worse, posting a lap time of 2:12.9. Ford set out to topple the main competition, and it did just that, as all three were prepped with new fluids, fresh tires, and optimal suspension settings, and raced in identical conditions. Not a bad feat to accomplish.
But, it’s important to remember that the most powerful EcoBoost powertrain wouldn’t be enough if it wasn’t for the lightweight nature of the new GT, which tips the scale at just over 3,000 pounds. That makes its power-to-weight ratio a staggering 4.72 pounds per pony. “The Ford GT is all about performance,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, global product development, and chief technical officer. “We achieved considerable weight savings with the carbon fiber architecture. We then reinvested some of that savings into where it counts most – performance, specifically, the active dynamics. The result is an even faster car.”
Ultimately, the engine is able to deliver peak torque from 3,500 rpm onward, which isn’t bad for the car’s intended purpose, and it tops out at a respectable 216 mph. But, it leads one to wonder: will there be a more powerful version in coming years?
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The Future of a New Icon
Now that Ford has announced its results during benchmark testing against the McLaren 675LT and the Ferrari 458 Speciale, it’s easy to wonder if there is more that Ford can squeeze out of that twin-turbo, 3.5-liter, EcoBoost. Something tells me yes, as Ford knows better than to blow its whole wad on the first go, but as to how much potential for more power exists remains to be seen. Of course, it’s important to remember that Ford as already done a lot to get the EcoBoost to the point that it is now. It has two turbos, a low-friction roller-finger-follower valvetrain (say that three times fast,) and a combination of port- and direct-injection. Minor turbo tuning and ECU remapping may yield a little more power, but I wouldn’t expect to see the current figures climb too much in the future, as more than 700 would probably prove to be devastating to that small engine. But, that does leave room for a more powerful special-edition model in the future, and that’s pretty cool to think about.
On a side note, you should keep an eye out for news involving McLaren and Ferrari, as Ford’s claims of toppling the 675:T and 458 Speciale on track won’t go unanswered for long. If nothing else, I’m sure that we’ll be seeing some pretty interesting private showdowns in the future – showdowns that will prove whether or not Ford’s driver really did his best in all three contenders during testing at Calabogie. Furthermore, it will be interesting to see how the new GT does on the Nürburgring as well, so keep an eye out for that, as that run should be inevitable.
|Dry Weight||3,000 Lbs|
|Power-to-weight ratio||4.72 pounds/horsepower|
|Top Speed||216 mph|
Read our full review on the Ford GT here.