The system includes a V-Max setting for maximum speed!

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.

Continue reading for the full story.

Taking the Extreme Path

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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.

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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.

Press Release

There once was a time when owning a supercar meant compromise. Undeniably, the thrills were real, but the effort required to operate many a high-performance machine could overwhelm. With the all-new Ford GT, there is no such tradeoff. Ford Performance engineers set out to ensure being behind the wheel of the 647 horsepower carbon fiber supercar is an absolute joy regardless of driving conditions.

Five modes enable Ford GT to attain ideal performance – whether on-road driving on a nice summer day, contending with rain and other elements, or aggressively pursuing its limits on a closed circuit. The drive modes include:

Normal, for everyday driving
Wet, for driving in the elements
Sport, for more spirited ventures
Track, for racing
V-Max, for maximum straight-line speed

Ford Performance heard the criticism from drivers about just how difficult it could be to get the most out of their supercar. “We focused on simplifying the experience,” says Derek Bier, Ford GT manager. “Optimizing this car for just about any situation was critical, because ensuring owners always enjoy driving it was a top priority.”

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Each mode is specially tuned for a unique driving environment. “Switching the setting changes electronic, mechanical and aerodynamic elements,” explains Nick Terzes, Ford GT engineering supervisor. Leveraging learnings from the Ford GT racing program, Ford Performance gave each mode a unique instrument cluster display, with elements prioritized to enhance the overall driving experience.

All of this means that with the simple turn of a knob on its F1-inspired steering wheel, the all-new supercar can switch nearly instantaneously from canyon-carving road machine to fully functioning race car tuned for maximum speed and downforce.

Ford GT also features an advanced, yet easy-to-use launch control system that provides optimal traction for the perfect launch every time. Designed for track use, it’s available in all modes except “Wet”. The system is activated through the steering wheel controls in the instrument panel menu and, when activated, a white “LC” appears in the cluster. At this point the driver holds down the brake with their left foot and fully depresses the gas with their right foot. When ready, the “LC” turns green and the driver lifts their left foot and the GT launches off, quickly hitting speed.

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Normal mode

If you can think of a situation that constitutes everyday driving in a Ford GT, Normal mode provides it.

Ground clearance is 120 millimeters, while throttle and transmission calibrations are set for standard driving. Traction and stability control systems cannot be adjusted. The rear wing deploys automatically for aero assistance at 90 mph, returning to its stowed position at 81 mph. The wing still deploys as an airbrake if sensors detect aggressive braking.

In Normal and Wet modes, comfort suspension is available. Pressing the comfort button allows the driver to soften the car’s ride on bumpy roads by adjusting compression and rebound in the dampers – without compromising control.

Wet mode

For this setting, the Ford GT’s ride height and other systems remain in their default settings, with the exception of throttle control calibration.

For Wet mode, throttle control is adjusted to limit the induction of slipping and sliding - enabling greater stability when driving in potentially dangerous elements.

Sport mode

Activating Sport mode grants the driver a more responsive throttle calibration to further open up the car’s twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine and anti-lag system. Developed on the Le Mans-winning Ford GT race car, the anti-lag system keeps the turbo spinning to provide boost on demand.

For Sport mode, ground clearance remains 120 millimeters, but that’s about all that remains. There’s no longer a comfort feature available, while AdvanceTrac® stability and traction control become driver-adjustable allowing three additional settings.

Additional slip, yaw and oversteer are allowed so drivers can push harder and have more fun sliding the car around. “Driver-demand calibrations get more aggressive – where slight changes in throttle result in faster acceleration,” explains Terzes. “Gear changes are more rapid, while clutches disengage and engage very quickly for maximum acceleration.”

“Drivers can use Sport mode at the track and expect the car to perform very well with this setup.”

Track mode

While Sport mode can be used effectively for many racetracks – especially those that require a higher ride height – Track mode is absolutely hardcore and optimized strictly for race conditions.

With the transmission in park on pit road, a turn of the knob activates hydraulics that drop the ride height 50 millimeters. Spring rates increase, while damping goes to its firmest setting. The rear wing – complete with Gurney flap – deploys, and the aerodynamic openings in the front close for maximum downforce. All of this happens in under two seconds.

“This mode is for track use only,” says Terzes. “Even coming from Sport, control is significantly different – dramatically so. In this mode, every aspect of the car is optimized for track use.”

V-Max mode

Engineering-speak for “maximum velocity,” in V-Max mode, every setting is tuned to make the Ford GT go as fast as possible. Like Track mode, selecting V-Max requires the transmission be set in park. Ride height is the same as in Track mode, but all aero elements are stowed to minimize drag. Stability controls remain active to help ensure the car moves forward in a straight line.

“Ultimately, V-Max mode is designed with a single objective. For the GT to achieve its fastest possible straight-line speed. It works,” says Terzes.

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