Ford GT Coupe Review

 

The Ford GT harks back to the GT40 that first won Le Mans in 1966, and follows the 2004-2006 Ford GT. Crucially, it’s also the road-going version of the race car that won its class at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, 50 years after Ford’s first victory.

So the Ford GT really is a race car for the road, with both cars developed jointly and assembled at the same Canadian facility.

The performance is as startling as that shared bloodline suggests, with outputs of 650hpand 746Nm torque accelerating the GT from 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds and onto 216mph.

Form an orderly queue

At £450,000 plus taxes, the Ford GT is incredibly expensive though, and it’s worth noting that the Ferrari 488 GTB, McLaren 720S and Lamborghini Aventador S all produce more power for at least half the price. Those rivals are also available in right-hand drive, while the GT is left-hand drive only.

Production of 250 cars per year over the next four years is planned, and Ford picks the owners, who are forbidden from selling for at least two years, and must give Ford first-refusal when they do.

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A light, tight squeeze

The Ford GT is constructed around a carbonfibre tub that forms a strong, stiff and lightweight passenger cell, and contributes to overall weight without fluids of 1385kg – though that is at least 100kg heavier than McLaren’s 720S.

Unlacquered carbonfibre lends a serious, functional feel to the interior, and it’s tight to climb inside, partly because Ford wanted to create the smallest frontal area possible so the GT could speed down the high-speed straights of Le Mans with minimal wind resistance.

The roof is low (if you’re 6’ 2” or more, your head will rub on it), the wide carbonfibre sill and dihedral doors are both barriers to entry, and the cabin is so narrow you’ll frequently rub shoulders with your passenger.

The seats are fixed to the floor, and instead you adjust the pedals and the steering wheel to get comfortable, with almost all the controls including indicators and wipers moved to the centre of the steering wheel, race car-style. Pack lightly: the ‘boot’ won’t even hold a crash helmet.

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The beautiful bodywork blends 1960s nostalgia with state-of-the-art functionality, and is also manufactured from carbonfibre. The ‘floating’ buttresses that flow down from the back of the cockpit are particularly appealing, and both channel air along the body sides to the rear spoiler and flow air inside them to feed the engine.

Turbocharged V6 produces 650hp

The tapered rear bodywork is made possible by Ford using a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine, a more compact unit than most supercars’ V8, V10 or V12s.

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It’s fantastic to see a mainstream company like Ford producing the GT. Much of the technology – from the carbonfibre construction and almost absurdly powerful V6 engine to the clever aerodynamics and radical suspension – is deeply impressive, and the GT is a sensational drive, particularly on track.

But at £450,000 before taxes, it’s ludicrously expensive compared with rivals – even before you consider its blue-collar badge – and its V6 engine can’t deliver the spine-tingling soundtrack nor quite the same accelerative ferocity of the supercar establishment. That it also lacks on-road refinement is another negative.

Some may argue that rough edges are part of the GT’s race car-for-the-road appeal, but there’s no doubt that extra polish would make the GT even better to drive and own.

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History of ford

The Ford Motor Company (commonly referred to simply as “Ford“) is an American multinational automaker headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. Ford also owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer, Troller, and Australian performance car manufacturer FPV. In the past, it has also produced tractors and automotive components. Ford owns an 8% stake in Aston Martin of the United Kingdom, and a 49% stake in Jianglingof China. It also has a number of joint-ventures, one in China (Changan Ford), one in Taiwan (Ford Lio Ho), one in Thailand (AutoAlliance Thailand), one in Turkey (Ford Otosan), and one in Russia (Ford Sollers). It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is controlled by the Ford family, although they have minority ownership (but majority of the voting power).

Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines; by 1914, these methods were known around the world as Fordism. Ford’s former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover, acquired in 1989 and 2000 respectively, were sold to Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East since 1938.

During the financial crisis at the beginning of the 21st century, it was close to bankruptcy, but it has since returned to profitability.

Ford is the second-largest U.S.-based automaker (preceded by General Motors) and the fifth-largest in the world (behind Toyota, VW, Hyundai-Kia and General Motors) based on 2015 vehicle production. At the end of 2010, Ford was the fifth largest automaker in Europe. Ford is the eighth-ranked overall American-based company in the 2010 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2009 of $118.3 billion. In 2008, Ford produced 5.532 million automobiles and employed about 213,000 employees at around 90 plants and facilities worldwide.

The company went public in 1956 but the Ford family, through special Class B shares, still retain 40 percent voting rights.