The long, low brush of bodywork absorbs a early morning object and radiates a comfortable glow, a candy apple red paint providing a aura of smoldering coals. It’s a dreadfully cold morning in a Mojave Desert as we crowd tighten to a automobile to locate some reflected warmth.
It’s not a initial time we’d stood around during Willow Springs International Raceway and gawked during an all-new Ford GT, watchful for clearway to start prohibited laps. Seven weeks earlier, we were in this unequivocally symbol with a black GT accessible a same test. Our proprietor pro driver, Randy Pobst, had reported issues with a damping and braking. Then one of a well-worn prototype’s fuel pumps failed. The other fuel siphon kept it using good adequate to finish a photos you’re looking at.
It wasn’t ostensible to be like this.
All supercars are special, nonetheless in an increasingly swarming room, a Ford GT still stands out. Pick your reason. It looks like zero else, all teardrop cabin and piragua fenders and drifting buttresses in between. It’s powered by a twin-turbo V-6 with a puzzling anti-lag complement and an intake complement that incorporates both those fenders and their buttresses. Its cessation creates use of both curl springs and torsion bars and drops a float tallness 2.0 inches in somewhat longer than a blink of an eye. An FIA-certified rollcage is built into a roof. The pedals and steering circle come to you, not a other proceed around. That steering circle feels for all a universe like it came out of a real, honest-to-goodness competition car. Perhaps given it was designed for a real, honest-to-goodness competition car—one that won a category on a initial try during a 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The expectations of this car, stoked by a prolonged rollout and smoothness routine delicately curated to maximize hype, are by now many times a 3,354-pound quell weight (some 300 pounds some-more than Ford’s published “dry weight”). Lines have been drawn for some time now in fan circles, any with a possess lofty metric for a GT to live adult to. Nearly dual years given a phenomenon and a year and a half given Le Mans, it’s finally time.
A day before it showed signs of illness during a competition track, a initial GT told a unequivocally conflicting story. Test meister Chris Walton found a launch control easy to use with light circle trip on a proceed to a 3.0-second lurch to 60 mph. More engaging was a second hitch of wheelspin during 50 mph when a dual-clutch delivery grabbed second underneath full boost. Less than 8.0 seconds after attack 60, it blew past a quarter-mile symbol during 130.5 mph.
The regulation are somewhat conflicting by a finish of a quarter-mile drag. The GT-Rs and 911 GT3 RS have depressed behind, and a McLaren 650S and 675LT have pulled somewhat ahead. Otherwise, a finishing sequence is a same as it was during 60 mph.
For all a straight-line punch, a GT is no Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The Ford is built for corners. Figure-eight master Kim Reynolds found a GT predicted and surprisingly easy to expostulate hard. “It fundamentally understeers” during a limit, he noted, “so it’s best usually to conduct it and afterwards flow in energy to stagger it out of a corner. It will try to spin if we don’t keep a step forward of it. Frankly, it felt like we had a improved time than a 22.7, nonetheless so it goes.”
The finer details: 22.7 seconds during 0.97 normal g in a figure 8 and 1.11 normal parallel g on a skidpad.
How chosen is that? Take all a cars listed above, and a GT is faster around a 8 than all nonetheless a Corvette Z06, Viper ACR, 488 GTB, Huracán Performante, 675LT, 720S, and 918 Spyder.
Over 1.0 g on a skidpad is also elite, and a GT’s 1.11 is improved than any automobile tested solely a Corvette Z06, Huracán Performante, AMG GT R, and 918 Spyder and is tied with a ZL1 1LE and GT3.
“Its stop pedal is firm, and a cadence is short, nonetheless there’s a bit of modulation accessible during a end,” Walton said. Stopping from 60 mph takes 95 feet, generally considerable nonetheless midpack among supercars.
It was during this indicate a excrement strike a ventilator with a initial GT loaner—just as we were about to prohibited path it in annoy during Willow Springs. The bleeding automobile was shipped behind to Michigan, where Ford diagnosed a blown shock, a shop-worn wiring harness, and an out-of-tolerance stop booster. More than 5,000 miles of woe and torture during a hands of a fan press had taken a fee on a early-build car.
Our contrast incomplete, we cajoled Ford to send a deputy for lap-time contrast during Willow Springs. We were sincerely assured in a metered exam regulation for a initial car—we can discuss either a dodgy stop upholder or vanishing startle cost us a tenth on a figure 8 until we’re blue in a face—so we relented that a second vehicle’s tests would be singular to high-speed laps.
To be clear, Big Willow is a nasty track. The cement is aged and bumpy. Its edges are jagged. There are no shark’s teeth to shave during a apexes, no sand traps to locate we during a exits. Just dried scrub, tough dirt, and petrify retard walls. The path gets meaner as we swell by a circuit, culminating in a 140-mph, no-camber Turn 8, that transitions to a brief braking section for a deceptively parsimonious dwindling radius of Turn 9, that leads to a front straight. Top speeds of 160 mph on a front true aren’t unheard of in prolongation cars, nonetheless strike a gas too energetically in Turn 9, and you’ll run out of corner-exit pavement genuine discerning (as some of racing’s biggest names have discovered). It’s 2.42 quick and revengeful miles.
How did a GT do during a self-proclaimed “fastest highway in a west”? With Randy during a wheel, we ran a peppery 1:23.69. Where does that fit in a intrigue of things?
The Ford GT also beats, in order, a McLaren 675LT, Chevrolet Corvette Z06/Z07, Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 and Aventador LP 750-4 SV, Nissan GT-R NISMO, and McLaren 650S. (The others mentioned above in a 0–60 exam haven’t been lapped during this track.)
“It behaves many some-more like an AMG GT or a Nissan GT-R, a front-engine, rear-transaxle car” Randy said, “It behaves like it’s got a longer frigid impulse when it doesn’t, and that’s utterly an accomplishment. we unequivocally honour that a lot. It has that stability. It does not have that normal twitchiness of mid-engine cars. This automobile gives me some-more of an sense of downforce than many of a cars that we test. we consider that downforce is utterly effective, generally in a back.”
It can still punch you, though.
“It will beget a small energy oversteer in third, and maybe even in fourth, when a revs are adult proceed out towards a exit,” he said. “And that happens unequivocally predictably. It’s got a unequivocally good breakaway during a limit. Kind of fun. It’s not twitchy. It’s not a snap oversteer. It’s a mild, on-going energy oversteer. Still, I’d like some-more acceleration traction.”
The law-breaker is in a stifle calibration.
“I seem to get a lot of energy in what feels like a final 20 percent of a throttle,” he said. “I get 50 percent some-more energy sometimes. I’m rolling a stifle in, and when we go a rest of a proceed to a floor, it wakes adult and we have a lot of power. And I’m thinking, we would like to have already had that. In many turbo cars we would already have full boost and we would usually be adding some-more throttle, since this automobile feels like it’s not on full boost until that final 20 percent of stifle travel. Then a boost comes in and it’s too sudden. So there’s still a small bit of a miss of linear feel in a power.”
It’s a conflicting emanate on a bottom end.
“There’s a small bit of lag, and afterwards it comes rolling in and it unequivocally pulls like a bear adult high,” he said. “I have to expostulate with turbo foot—in other difference deliberately start feeding energy in early to bobbin adult a turbos. It’s a small bit some-more of a selected feel—it’s some-more like a classical turbo engine. It’s a high-rpm engine, a powerband is clever aloft in a revs, and it has a good midrange. But it’s even improved on a tip end.
Randy’s genuine issue, though, was with a braking.
“It usually doesn’t build certainty to go super low on a brake, given there’s this time component where I’m on a pedal tough and I’m awaiting full stop g, and we don’t have it yet,” he said. “What we wish for this automobile is present ‘Boom!’ given we’re going 160 mph, and we wish to stop right now. So we consider it’s indeed interlude sincerely well, nonetheless there’s not a linear attribute to a pedal on a initial application. It takes a while for it to build up.
“You’re going 160 mph down here, and you’re meditative about all a difficulty you’re going to get in if we go drifting off a finish of that corner,” he continued. “To even be in a position where I’m like, ‘Oh, we done it,’ it tells we I’m not removing a kind of response and punch that gives me a certainty to go to an accurate indicate and know I’m going to make it into a corner.”
Randy differently had unequivocally auspicious impressions of a GT: “It feels comparatively soothing for a supercar. It’s not a oppressive car, and we like that, generally for a spool-valve car. It’s not oppressive on a racetrack. This lane has rough stop zones, and I’m not feeling it during all. The automobile is shower that adult nicely. It soaks adult easily all a proceed by Turn 8—which feels rough in some cars—even during that low float height. There’s not a good lane module on a automatic. I’m changeable manually. That all’s operative beautifully. And a powerband’s far-reaching adequate that it’s not terribly picky. Either that or a ratios are perfect. For some reason, we find it very, unequivocally easy to find a right gear.”
Rarely do my possess lane impressions accurately counterpart Randy’s, as we occupy him to pull a cars serve and harder than a rest of us are able of. Not that we’re pikers, nonetheless there’s fast, and afterwards there’s Randy fast. At Willow Springs in this Ford GT, though, Randy and we were in finish agreement. The wonky stifle calibration, a miss of initial stop bite, a shockingly movable float on one of a nation’s bumpiest tracks, a palliate with that we can expostulate it quick right out of a embankment … all of it. we would have desired to use this space to tell we how it drives on a street, nonetheless Ford limited this exam to a lane only.
The regulation in, we arrive during a major question: Is it value it? If this were a $200,000 car, we wouldn’t even ask a question. With a starting cost of $453,750 and an as-tested cost estimated to be an additional set of tires south of half a million dollars, though, these factors turn pertinent.
Few cars authority that kind of coin, and each one that does is unequivocally special indeed. It’s here a Ford GT creates a stand. It’s not a quickest or fastest automobile we’ve ever tested, nonetheless afterwards conjunction are many of a cost peers. It is, however, each bit as special as they are, a new and lovely take on a supercar regulation we know so well. It’s singular in a shred that’s prolonged figured out a optimal blueprint and design, and it’s a singly American proceed to an thought dominated by European thinking. Imperfect and impertinent, it’s priceless.
2017 Ford GT
Twin-turbo 60-deg V-6, alum block/heads
DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
213.4 cu in/3,497 cc
POWER (SAE NET)
647 hp @ 6,250 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET)
550 lb-ft @ 5,900 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER
7-speed twin-clutch auto
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR
Control arms, torsion bars, push-rod actuated adj curl springs and adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, torsion bars, push-rod actuated adj curl springs and adj shocks, anti-roll bar
BRAKES, F; R
15.5-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc; 14.2-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc, ABS
8.5 x 20-in; 11.5 x 20-in, carbon-fiber composite
245/35R20 95Y; 325/30R20 106Y Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT
187.5 x 78.9 x 41.7-43.7 in
WEIGHT DIST, F/R
0.4 cu ft
ACCELERATION TO MPH
PASSING, 45-65 MPH
10.8 sec @ 130.5 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH
1.11 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT
22.7 sec @ 0.97 g (avg)
2.4-MI ROAD COURSE LAP
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH
PRICE AS TESTED
6: Dual front, side, knee
3 yrs/Unlimited miles
3 yrs/Unlimited miles
3 yrs/Unlimited miles
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY
306/187 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB