Celebrate The 4th of July With a Special Ride In The 2018 Ford GT Heritage Edition
The U.S.A.’s birthday has arrived, and along with all the tasty BBQ and cold beer, it’s looking like we’ll get a full serving of gas-fed American horsepower to boot. The latest comes from Texas-based tuner Hennessey Performance, which recently posted the second episode of its Heroes & Horsepower series, this time featuring a 2018 Ford GT Heritage Edition and a U.S. Army veteran.
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Donut Media Recounts The Epic Tale Of The Ford GT
While relatively well-known among the older gear heads out there, the story of the Ford GT might be a bit obscure to the new blood. That said, anyone with a taste for high-performance and four-wheeled racing is sure to delight in the ups and downs of this classic, and Donut Media has all the important bits laid out in the following 11-minute video.
Just to get you primed, here’s the cliff notes introduction. Back in the ‘60s, Ferrari was in a tough spot financially, and floated the idea of selling out to the Ford Motor Company. Everything looked on track for Dearborn to assume control of the Prancing Horse, with Ford spending millions to take stock of Ferrari’s assets and get all the legal stuff in order. However, just as the final negotiations were wrapping up, there was a problem. Enzo Ferrari wasn’t too keen on the idea of Ford controlling the Ferrari race program, and simply walked, leaving the Blue Oval high and dry.
Henry Ford II was not happy. In retribution, he gave a blank check to his team of race engineers and instructed them to build a race car that could take the fight to Ferrari on its own turf - the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
What was to follow is one of the most epic tales ever produced by the world of motorsport, finally resulting in the Ford GT we know and love today.
Press play for all the awesome details, running up to the modern iteration of that iconic racer.
Ford Employees Can Get This Exclusive Color If They Buy A Ford GT
The Ford GT is rare enough on its own, but Ford employees have the opportunity to make it rarer. All they have to do is buy one and avail of the “Victory” paint scheme that’s available exclusively to Ford employees. The specific finish is inspired by the colors worn by the Ford GT LM GTE racers that won their class at Daytona and Le Mans. As you might expect, the GT is teeming in red, white, and blue, looking every bit the part of an all-American supercar.
The Ford-Cena Lawsuit Heats up as Cena Claims There Were No Re-Sale Restrictions
John Cena isn’t ready to cave to Ford’s lawsuit just yet. The 16-time WWE champion is fighting back against the Blue Oval with a lawsuit of his own, claiming that Ford’s suit had the legitimacy of a Vince McMahon championship reign because the final contract he signed said nothing about the automaker’s resale clause that forbid Ford GT owners from selling before 24 months of ownership had passed. What was thought to be an open-and-shut case in the beginning has evolved into a rivalry that has the makings of a main event match at Wrestlemania 33. Who do you have? Cena or Ford?
Huge Donation: Ford GT Sells for $2.5 Million at Barrett-Jackson Auction in Arizona
The first big car auction weekend of the year had some incredible moments, but none could compare to how much the Ford GT fetched when it went under the hammer at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The first production GT to go up for auction sold for $2.5 million, an incredible amount for a supercar that costs under $500,000 on the market. All the proceeds from the auction will go to the Autism Society of North Carolina’s IGNITE program, an initiative that offers activities, skills training, and educational workshops for young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.
Check out the stunning scenery witnessed by the Ford GT on its way to Arctic Circle Raceway, and then watch the Ford GT do what it does best. This is definitely a video you don’t want to miss.
p.s. There’s also a nice selection of screenshot wallpapers in the gallery at the bottom should you like to remember the occasion for a while.
John Cena Sells his new Ford GT; Gets Sued by Ford for $500k
Professional wrestler John Cena is in hot water with Ford for breaching the contract to retain his 2017 Ford GT for 24 months after initial delivery. In fact, Ford is suing Cena for $500,000, citing it “has suffered additional damages and losses, including, but not limited to, loss of brand value, ambassador activity, and customer goodwill due to the improper sale.”
It might seem odd that selling a vehicle could somehow hurt an automaker, but there’s more to it. See, Ford hand-picked applicants to purchase the GT. Part of the selection process included evaluating the potential buyer’s interest in cars, ownership of other high-end vehicles, and their social reach. Basically, Ford chose buyers who would “organically” promote the GT and the Ford brand – sort of like contracting your customers to be a built-in marketing team. Ford certainly chose heavy hitters, too, including automotive legends Jay Leno and Jack Roush.
Cena didn’t even come close to the 24-month agreement. Rather, the wrestler took delivery shortly after September 23, 2017, and Ford learned of Cena’s third-party sell around October 20, 2017. When a Ford GT representative reached out to Cena, he said he sold the car and other property to cover expenses. Ford’s lawsuit claims Cena “unfairly made a large profit from the unauthorized resale flip” and seeks $500,000 in damages.
It’s unknown exactly how much profit Cena made or to whom he sold the car. We’ll keep you updated on any developments with this bizarre situation. In the meantime, check out all the details of the 2017 Ford GT or read Ford’s full lawsuit here.
2018 Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition
It’s hard enough to get your hands on a Ford GT. The ultra exclusive model is sold out over the next four years, which just so happens to be the full life cycle of the supercar. All told, Ford only plans to build 1,000 examples of the GT, amounting to just 250 units per year. So yeah, getting a Ford GT this late in the game is next to impossible. Imagine what those odds will be then now that Ford has released a special livery for 2018 models of the Ford GT. Yup. I don’t like your chances any more than I like mine.
Ford’s new treat for future GT owners is called the ’67 Heritage Edition. If the name itself sounds familiar, that’s because Ford has already released something similar last year. Remember the ’66 Heritage Edition? It’s almost the same as the ’67 version in terms of where they’re inspired from, but in the end, they’re actually two different interpretations in part because the new version pays tribute to the 1967 Le Mans-winning Shelby-American Inc. team that featured racers AJ Foyt and Dan Gurney. Considering that Ford’s success in Le Mans with the original GT40 spanned four years, we could be in store for two more Heritage Editions in 2018 and 2019. For now, though, the spotlight is focused on the ’67 Heritage Edition and the way its treatment is inspired directly from the GT40s that took the checkered flag during the 1967 Le Mans season.
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Watch Jay Leno Review His Personal 2017 Ford GT: Video
Ford reintroduced the GT nameplate in 2015 at the Detroit Auto Show, ushering in a second-generation for the Blue Oval’s streetable supercar. The GT is a nod to the GT40, the racer that brought the fight to Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the mid-‘60s, and the modern iteration arrives packed to the brim with the very latest in domestic go-fast technology. It’s a low-weight, high-strung, monster of a super car, making it the perfect addition for Jay Leno’s garage.
In this extended 36-minute, 51-second review, Jay starts by detailing the process he went through in securing, customizing, and receiving delivery of his car, followed by a comparison to another legendary sports car. “This reminds me a lot of my McLaren F1 because the McLaren F1was a road car that you could have driven to Le Mans, won the race, and driven back, and this is pretty much the same thing.” After a walk around in the garage, including a look at the aero, the cabin, and the engine, Jay takes the Ford out into public for a little street driving, both on the highway, surface streets, and twisty mountain lanes. While lengthy, the video is still worth a watch to get an in-depth look at Ford’s top dog.
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Ford GT Production Hits A Speed Bump, Deliveries Now Delayed
The lucky lot who managed to secure reservations for the Ford GT will now have to wait a little longer before taking delivery of their supercar. That’s the word according to Ford itself, which announced delays in the production due to what it described as “craftsmanship requirements.” According to Automotive News, the Blue Oval sent a letter to would-be GT owners, explaining that the cause of delay was tied to supplier constraints and homologation testing brought about by the increased production of the car. As such, adjustments are being made on the timetable of the delivery of the cars.
Ford didn’t elaborate on anything more than saying the ramp-up process to get all of its suppliers in line are almost complete. Likewise, an updated delivery timetable will be sent to customers within a week, so those who are getting anxious because of this deal can breathe a little easier now. It doesn’t appear to be a major issue, but simply a case of Ford getting its production logistics in order before proceeding with the build. Once the ramp-up phase is smoothed out, the company still expects to build one GT a day for its expecting customers. Of the 250 planned units for the year, 50 models have been built and delivered to their new owners. Soon enough, the rest will have their days too, but not after waiting a little longer than they anticipated.
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2020 Ford GTS
Ford introduced its GT supercar in 2004 as a street-legal reimagining of the legendary GT40, the racer that managed to clinch epic victory over Ferrari at Le Mans in the mid to late ‘60s. The first-gen GT offered buyers a chance at all-American mid-engine glory, bearing a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 sending 550 horsepower to the rear axle. Production ended in 2006, but nine years later, at the North American International Auto Show, the Blue Oval introduced a successor. The second-gen GT got updated styling, lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum construction, and a twin-turbo V-6 engine making 647 horsepower. The new GT went on to repeat its historical victory at Le Mans, solidifying its position as a winning race-bred street machine. With its heritage now secure, the Ford GT program might be searching for a new target, and Porsche could provide the perfect bull’s-eye. Say hello to the GT’s little brother, the GTS, a more affordable American mid-engine sports car designed to topple the mighty 911.
While it may look similar to the GT, a Ford GTS would be practically all-new, with smaller exterior dimensions, a fresh engine package, and a price tag more in line with Germany’s most famous performance machine. Of course, this is all speculation, as we don’t have anything solid to go off. But, if Ford did build such a GTS, what would it bring to the table? Read on to find out.
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Ford Poised For AMG Buyout, German-Tuned Mustang Possibly In The Works
Last October, German officials took steps to ban the production of new internal combustion-powered cars by the year 2030. Although mounting pressure to create ever more efficient green vehicles is expected over the next few decades, an outright ICE ban is considered an extreme measure that could pose a huge challenge to the established German automakers. As such, AMG, the performance engineering firm best known for churning out high-spec Mercedes vehicles, might head stateside to circumvent the looming ban. Ford has been tapped as one possible buyer, prompting rumors that the Blue Oval’s next pony car could see a high-performance AMG iteration sometime in the near future.
According to insiders, Ford is eager to pick up AMG to help bolster its line of sports cars, and in particular the Mustang. “The Mustang is a global product now,” a source familiar with the matter told TopSpeed. “It’s important that Ford gives customers the sense they are buying something sporty, but also of the highest quality. An AMG badge would help monumentally in that regard.”
Whether or not Ford will go through with the purchase remains to be seen. There still remains a possibility that a rival like General Motors could pick up the wayward tuning company instead, but it’s unlikely given Ford’s reported interest in the deal.
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Will the Ford GT’s Drive Modes Stop Owners From Going Full Mustang?
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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2018 Ford GT Competition Series
After intense speculation based on features discovered in the Ford GT’s owner’s manual, FoMoCo unveiled a lightweight version of its new supercar. Called the Competition Series, it shaves weight by dropping luxury items to shift the center of gravity closer to the track for even better road-holding and to maximize output.
Unveiled at the Daytona race track, the site of the GT’s win at the Rolex 24 Hours in January 2017, the supercar adopted a few new and innovative features, as well as extra standard features and carbon-fiber components.
“The Ford GT has racing in its blood,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s executive vice president and chief technical officer. “The Competition Series was developed with the most hardcore track enthusiasts in mind, providing a tailored set of lightweight features and unique livery to match.”
The Competition Series will go on sale by the end of the year, but pricing and availability information has yet to be announced. Expect the lightweight GT to be produced in even fewer units than the standard model and cost significantly more.
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The Ford GT Snarls at the Competition with 647 Horsepower and a Top Speed of 216 MPH
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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This Is How You Make A Tiny Ford GT40 Out Of Bricks
What’s your ultimate dream job? Race car driver? Astronaut? Rock star? While each of these occupations is a common, uber-glamorous answer, here’s one to add to the list that’s a little more low-key, but definitely a whole lot of awesome – Head of Design for Lego Speed Champions. That’s the official title held by Craig Callum, the brain and fingers behind Lego’s line of insanely cool performance automotive kits. Callum is responsible for bringing some of the world’s greatest four-wheeled machines to life by piecing together tiny plastic bricks, and in this one-minute, 20-second video, he explains the process he uses to make it happen.
Like any amazing Lego creation, Callum’s designs start as a pile of parts. From this mound of potential, the pro builder starts putting together a rough idea of what he’s going for, all while using pictures, CAD data, and 3D models of the original vehicle for inspiration.
One of the latest additions to the Speed Champions line is the Ford GT40, the legendary race car that dominated Le Mans back in the ‘60s. Joining it is a Lego’d version of the new Ford GT, a modern-day super car that managed to repeat history with a Le Mans win in 2016.
Is it a coincidence Craig Callum shares a last name with Ian Callum, one of the greatest British car designers of the modern age? Yeah, probably. But still, this guy obviously has some skill when it comes to making cool shapes.
Either way, hit play and feel free to dream about getting paid to play with Legos all day long.