In 1966, after nearly a decade of wasted dollars and failed attempts, Ford finally won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But they didn’t just win it – they took the top three spots in the race. That’s because they had finally perfected the mid-engined race car. The Ford GT40 was a successor of the car, sold to the general public at exorbitant prices. Questionable reliability and supermodel airs made sure that the owner’s love was all that kept them from selling their GT40.
The GT was never such a great car for driving daily on public roads. Thankfully, the new one isn’t so good at that either. Ford built the car to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans again, they wanted to preserve the car’s heritage. They have swapped the bumpers, put a more modern tune on it and have made a big hype about who they were selling it to. Most people who were invited to put down an order for their GT were notable personalities, racers, and previous GT owners. But what’s the car really like?
The new GT resembles the old one, though only from the front. If you observe it from the rear, some of the car seems to be missing – large gaps in the panel are for aerodynamics. This car was built to be fast – built to go fast. But even for a race car for the road, even if it isn’t as user-friendly as a Huracan or an Audi R8, the GT is an excellent GT car. Sure, the seats aren’t adjustable. Ford did it because it was the only way they could reduce the size of the cabin, and that’s important for aerodynamics. Things aren’t too bad for the driver, who gets an adjustable pedal box as well as an adjustable steering wheel. The seats are proper racing seats, albeit sans six-point harnesses and they do a superb job of keeping you secure even during some of the quickest of corners.
Then there’s the power. It only has a V6 which shocked some, but Ford claims they did so to save space, and because the point of this car was handling. All we want is a car that can drive to Goodwood and back, so the Ecoboost is a relief. It has two turbos and makes a total of 647 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. The tub of the race car is made of carbon fibre and the whole package will get you from 0-60 in three seconds flat.
Clever trickery goes on in the computer mind of the Ford GT. It measures fifty different parameters and constantly adjusts suspension and traction control to give you flat handling. This car might be too wide for some B-roads, but it is an unbelievable corner carver. A massive wing rises up to give the rear wheels plenty of downforce – Ford won’t give out numbers but says that the downforce doesn’t come at the cost of aerodynamic drag. They do admit that they benchmarked McLarens for this car. Off the track, there is nothing the GT can’t do. Nowhere does it feel out of its depth. A worthy tribute to the legendary Ken Miles.