Ford GT Concept

The original Ford GT was a pure race car, built in the mid-1960s to take on Ferrari in the demanding 24-hour race at Le Mans. The Ford GT race car beat the world’s best in endurance racing, placing 1-2-3 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 and winning the next three consecutive years.

Looking in through the backlight, one finds the essence of the sports car in a 5.4-liter supercharged version of Ford’s MOD V-8 engine. The finishing touches are "Ford Blue" cam covers, each featuring an aluminum coil cover imprinted with the words "Powered by Ford."

The Ford GT team knew this road car would require a stiff structure, much like a race car. As such, they developed an all-aluminum space frame comprising extrusions, castings and several stampings. The hybrid aluminum space frame chassis is based on efficient use of 35 extrusions, seven complex castings, two semi-solid formed castings and various stamped aluminum panels.

The new Ford GT is intended for the road, unlike the original 1960s race cars that ultimately spawned a limited number of production road cars. However, the new car required unique race-like engineering solutions – like engineering out the aerodynamic "lift" inherent in the original car’s design – for a car that will clock in at more than 205 mph. The new Ford GT includes racing-inspired ground effects ducting under the rear fascia.

The Ford GT features many new and unique technologies, including super-plastic-formed aluminum body panels, roll-bonded floor panels, a friction-stir welded center tunnel, a capless fuel filler system, one-piece door panels and an aluminum engine cover with a one-piece carbon-fiber inner panel.

As on the historic race car, the Ford GT aluminum body panels are unstressed. Instead of the steel or honeycomb-composite tubs used in the 1960s, the Ford GT team developed an all-new aluminum space frame as the foundation. The chassis features unequal-length control arms and coil-over spring-damper units to allow for its low profile.

Braking is handled by four-piston aluminum Brembo monoblock calipers with cross-drilled and vented rotors at all four corners. When the rear canopy is opened, the rear suspension components and engine become the car’s focal point. Precision-cast aluminum suspension components and 19-inch Goodyear tires – combined with the overwhelming presence of the V-8 engine – create a striking appearance and communicate the performance credentials of the Ford GT.

The Ford GT motor, based on the largest V-8 in Ford’s modular engine family, features 85 percent new moving parts and produces 550 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Both figures are comparable to those of the 7.0-liter engine that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 and 1967.

The 5.4-liter powerplant is all-aluminum and fed by an Eaton screw-type supercharger. It features 4-valve cylinder heads and forged components, including the crankshaft, H-beam connecting rods and aluminum pistons. Power is put to the road through a Ricardo six-speed manual transaxle featuring a helical limited-slip differential.

Source: Ford press

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