Will the Ford GT’s Drive Modes Stop Owners From Going Full Mustang?
The system includes a V-Max setting for maximum speed!by Ciprian Florea, on
The Ford GT may be all official and available to customers — with the first allocation already sold out — but FoMoCo is still rolling out information about the supercar as buyers await delivery. We’ve already learned about the tremendous technology behind the new GT, such as the industry-first gorilla glass windshield and the carbon-fiber wheels, and now it’s time to have a closer look at the car’s driving modes. The GT will come with five, each prepared for different driving scenarios.
Much like any vehicle out there, the American supercar starts off in Normal mode. Conceived for everyday driving, the Normal mode sets the ground clearance at 120 mm, while throttle and transmission calibrations are set up for standard driving. Traction and stability control systems cannot be adjusted, while the rear wing deploys automatically for aero assistance at 90 mph, returning to its normal position at 81 mph. The wing still deploys as an airbrake if sensors detect aggressive braking. Finally, the driver can soften the suspension by adjusting compression and rebound in the dampers at the press of a button.
In the Wet setting, which is obviously recommended for wet tarmac and rainy conditions, the ride height and other systems remain in their default, Normal-mode setup. However, throttle control is adjusted to limit the induction of slipping and sliding, thus enabling greater stability. The comfort suspension can also be activated in this mode.
Then there’s Sport mode, yet another feature that’s rather common for modern vehicles. When using this setting, the driver gets a more responsive throttle calibration and the anti-lag system kicks in. Developed for the Le Mans-winning GT race car, the anti-lag keeps the turbo spinning at all time to provide boost on demand. The normal ground clearance remains in place here too, but the comfort feature is deactivated, while AdvanceTrac stability and traction control become driver-adjustable allowing three additional settings. The Sport mode also allows more slip, yaw, and oversteer, while gear changes are made quicker and the clutch disengages more rapidly for enhanced acceleration.
Setting the Ford GT apart from most performance cars are the Track and V-Max mode, but more on those after the jump.
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Taking the Extreme Path
Switch into Track mode and the true nature of the Ford GT comes to the surface. While Sport mode can also be used on the race course, Track mode will enable you to go berzerk and turn the GT into a full-fledged race car. Turn the special knob while the transmission is in Park and the hydraulics activate to drop the ride height by 50 mm. Spring rates increase and the dampers become firmer for enhanced stiffness and stability. Additionally, the rear wing and the Gurney flap deploy, while the aerodynamic outlets in the front close for maximum downforce. Incredibly enough, all of the above happens in just two seconds! This mode is for track use only, according to Ford, so make sure you don’t go beyond Sport on public roads. Not only could it get dangerous, but you might not have enough ground clearance for most roads.
Finally, there’s V-Max mode, which sounds pretty extreme to be honest. But don’t freak out just yet, as V-Max isn’t as hardcore as Track. Also selectable with the transmission set in Park, V-Max retains the ride height of Track mode, but tucks away all aerodynamic bits in order to minimize drag. Stability controls remain active though to help ensure the car moves forward in a straight line. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this setup was designed for the highest top speed in a straight line. So if you’re planning to hit that 216-mph top speed Ford is promising, V-Max is the way to go!
Read our full review on the 2017 Ford GT here.