It was in France, in the mid-1960s, that the great American supercar came to life. A low-slung, mid-engined race car built to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and chase Ferrari out of endurance racing. Ford’s main goal with the GT40 was to change performance-car history. And it did. The race car triumphed against the world’s best in endurance racing, placing 1-2-3 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 and winning the legendary event for the next three consecutive years.

Some 40 years later, Ford revived the GT40 with a road-legal supercar that featured similar styling and a mid-mounted V-8 engine. FoMoCo wanted to name it the GT40, but a trademark owned by British company Safir Engineering, who built continuation GT40s in the 1980s, prevented it from doing so. Ultimately, Ford named it the GT, giving Detroit its first mainstream supercar in a very long while.

Production of the GT began in 2004 and lasted until 2006. Ford built 4,038 examples at its plant in Wixom, Michigan, short of the originally planned 4,500-unit run. Since its discontinuation in 2006, the Ford GT remained the only full-fledged supercar to come from Detroit until 2016, when a second-gen car is scheduled to hit the streets.

Continue reading to find out more about the Ford GT.

  • 2005 - 2006 Ford GT
  • Year:
    2005- 2006
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    500 @ 6000
  • MPG(Cty):
    21
  • MPG(Hwy):
    13
  • Torque @ RPM:
    4500
  • Displacement:
    5410 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.6 sec.
  • Quarter Mile time:
    11.2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    205 mph
  • Price:
    139995
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2005 - 2006 Ford GT High Resolution Interior Exterior
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2005 - 2006 Ford GT High Resolution Interior Exterior
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2005 - 2006 Ford GT High Resolution Interior Exterior
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The first GT concept was showcased at the 2002 Detroit Auto Show, where Ford proudly unveiled a modern-day version of the GT40, its most successful endurance race car. It was later confirmed that the GT would be put into production and Ford commissioned Camilo Pardo to come up with a more production-friendly design.

It was bigger, wider and taller than its ancestor, but it carried over most of the design features that made the GT40 unique.

Although Pardo’s design was only five percent production-feasible, the final result was still a supercar that paid homage to the GT40 Mk. II. It was bigger, wider and taller than its ancestor, but it carried over most of the design features that made the GT40 unique, such as the overall body shape, the nose, the side intakes, the canopy-like roof, and most of the rear fascia.

All cars ran on BBS, forged-alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. Options were limited to few features, and included racing stripes and painted brake calipers.

Ford also built a Heritage Edition model, which featured a Gulf livery similar to the GT40 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1969. The limited edition had the same light-blue exterior with an orange stripe running its length, bumper to bumper.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 106.7 Inches (2,710 MM)
Length 182.8 Inches (4,640 MM)
Width 76.9 Inches (1,950 MM)
Height 44.3 Inches (1,130 MM)

Interior

2005 - 2006 Ford GT Interior
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2005 - 2006 Ford GT Interior
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2005 - 2006 Ford GT Interior
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The GT’s interior was an interesting blend of GT40 heritage and modern features, such as aluminum inserts and a somewhat high-tech center console.

The GT’s interior was an interesting blend of GT40 heritage and modern features.

Although Pardo claimed the interior of the GT was the biggest departure from the original race car, his designed included seat cushions dotted with aluminum grommets, a center-mounted, oversized rev counter, and toggle switches for the headlamps, fog lights, windshield wipers, and the rear defroster.

On the innovative side, the cockpit featured a dashboard, door panels, and lower portions of the tunnel crafted in Azdel SuperLite Composite, which was 30 percent lighter than standard injection-molded substrates, while also offering better wear resistance. The GT was the first production automobile to use this technique.

The center tunnel, which contained the center-mounted fuel tank, was made from brushed magnesium. The bucket seats featured carbon-fiber shells and leather surfaces. A McIntosh sound system was available as an option.

Drivetrain

2005 - 2006 Ford GT
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The GT supercar received a 5.4-liter, four-valve V8, which was part of Ford’s family of Modular engines that also included the 5.0-liter "Coyote" in the Mustang GT and the 5.8-liter "Trinity" in the previous Shelby GT500. The 5.2-liter "Voodoo" built for the 2016 Shelby GT350 is part of the same lineage.

The GT supercar received a 5.4-liter, four-valve V8, which was part of Ford’s family of Modular engines.

The GT’s powerplant had an aluminum block specifically designed for this program and was strapped to a Lysholm, twin-screw-type supercharger. The combo delivered 550 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. The oomph traveled to the rear wheels through a Ricardo six-speed manual transmission with a limited-slip differential.

The GT was incredibly fast for the mid-2000s, being able to charge from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.5 seconds and up to 150 mph in 17 seconds.

It needed 11.2 seconds to complete the quarter-mile and crossed the finish line at around 131 mph. Top speed was electronically limited to 205 mph, a benchmark not even the Ferrari F430 was able to reach.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 5.4 L Supercharged Modular V-8
Transmission 6-speed manual
Horsepower 550 HP @ 6500 RPM
Torque 500 LB-FT @ 3,750 RPM
0–60 mph 3.5 Seconds
0–100 mph 7.4 Seconds
Standing 1/4 mile (402 m) 11.2 Seconds @ 131.2 mph
Top speed 205 MPH

Prices

2005 - 2006 Ford GT
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When launched in 2004, the Ford GT retailed from $139,995, a sticker that increased to $149,995 in mid-2005. With all the options added, including the McIntosh sound system, racing stripes, and painted brake calipers, the GT fetched $153,495 at first and $163,495 starting 2005.

When launched in 2004, the Ford GT retailed from $139,995.

As with most supercars, the Ford GT began gaining value in recent years. While some models could still be bought for less than $200,000 until 2012, most examples have been auctioned for more than that since 2013.

In 2014, one of just two GTs finished in Speed Yellow with a stripe delete changed owners for $407,000.

It had only 13 miles on the odo and the factory plastic covering was still on its seats. Heritage Edition model usually fetch more than $300,000 in tip-top shape.

Competition

Ferrari F430

The Ford-Ferrari war of the 1960s reignited in 2004 with the launch of the GT and the F430. Maranello’s replacement for the 360 Modena also came in a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration, and with a V-8 under its hood.

However, the Italian supercar employed a smaller, naturally aspirated unit displacing 4.3 liters and generating 491 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. Less powerful than the GT, the F430 needed 3.9 seconds to reach 60 mph and a top speed of 196 mph.

Despite being slower that its American rival, the F430 had other features to brag about, including a computer-controlled limited-slip differential and the first application of Ferrari’s Manettino. The F430 was later updated into the 430 Scuderia, with its engine updated to 503 ponies and 350 pound-feet of torque, among other upgrades.

The Ferrari F430 retailed from $186,925 in the United States.

Read more about the Ferrari F430 here.

Lamborghini Gallardo

2006 Lamborghini Gallardo
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Introduced in 2003 as Lamborghini’s first entry-level supercar since 1988, the Gallardo remained in production until 2013 to become the brand’s best-selling model. The supercar was heavily related to the Audi R8, sharing most of its underpinnings with the German model. This was the result of Audi acquiring Lamborghini in 1999.

At first powered by a 5.0-liter V-10, the Gallardo arrived in showrooms with 493 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, making it less powerful and slower than the Ford GT. By 2006, when the GT was discontinued, the Gallardo cranked out 513 horsepower, enough to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds. The supercar was later updated to a 5.2-liter V-10 rated at 552 horses. The most powerful version of the Gallardo was the Supperleggera Edizione Tecnica, which needed only 3.4 seconds to hit 60 mph thanks to its 562-horsepower engine.

The Gallardo has a starting price of around $160,000 in the U.S. for 2004. The sticker increased to nearly $200,000 by 2007.

Find out more about the Lamborghini Gallardo here.

Conclusion

2005 - 2006 Ford GT
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The Ford GT was quite the big deal when it was launched in 2004. Not just because it was a spiritual successor to the iconic GT40, but also because neither Chrysler nor GM had a supercar on offer. With only the front-engined Dodge Viper and Corvette as Detroit’s mainstream, range-topping sports cars in showrooms, the GT quickly became the icon American gearheads had been waiting for decades.

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    • Well-maintained models can be quite expensive
    • A new Ford GT is underway for 2016
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