2017 Ford GT First Drive: Race-Winning Purity You Can Drive On The Street
– Tooele, Utah
Surrounded by two beautifully snowcapped mountain ranges and an arid desert plain, a technically demanding race track is sprinkled with a half-dozen glimmering examples of one of the most enthusiastically awaited supercars of the past few years. Only, this isn’t merely a supercar. It’s the Ford GT. As just the third generation of a lineage dripping with sentimentality and overflowing with history, very few cars can command the kind of respect on name alone as the GT. It’s seductive, and for a moment I’m like an awestruck teenager witnessing the female form for the first time. But there is work to do in this demi-paradise.
With 250 cars slated to be produced annually for the next four years, only a highly select few – handpicked by Ford – will get the privilege of paying north of $450,000 for one. And only one: Ford wants no repeat customers for its pride and joy. Profit margin is hardly a consideration here. To be successful, the needles the GT must move are systolic and diastolic, rather than financial. That means it has to remain true to the original without coming across as a hackneyed interpretation. Even then, though, it absolutely must be devastatingly quick or nothing else matters.
However arrestingly beautiful the Ford GT may be, the car’s raison d’etre is very much in-line with its GT40 grandfather: win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Period. To that end, the race car (which did fulfill its life’s purpose at Le Mans last year) and the road car are inc...