Ford's 2015 Detroit auto show press conference began with CEO Mark Fields saying he had a feeling there would be more questions about autonomous vehicle technology and fuel economy than horsepower. Wrong. The long-rumored Ford GT was finally brought onto the stage, looking damn sexy in a vivid royal blue, proving that it is indeed, very real.
With that, here's what we know: The supercar will be powered by what Ford claims to be the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever: a next-gen twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 that makes more than 600 horsepower. However much SAE-rated horsepower that turns out to be, it will drive the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch automatic that Ford says will deliver "near-instantaneous" gear changes. Also helping the new mid-engine Ford GT achieve its supercar status is lightweight carbon fiber construction. Along with a carbon fiber passenger cell, the GT also features aluminum front and rear subframes encapsulated in structural carbon fiber body panels. Underneath all that, the GT's chassis is suspended by an active racing-style torsion bar and pushrod suspension. The car's ride height can be adjusted.
Designed with aerodynamics in mind, the Ford GT low-slung and tear-drop design looks stunning and resembles a sexy aircraft. Opening those upward swinging doors reveals a two-seat cockpit with the seats integrated directly into the carbon fiber passenger cell and an F1-inspired steering wheel that sports paddle shifters. Ford GT designer Moray Callum told us this is the fastest design he's ever done, and that it took about 14 months from start to finish. He also said that a small team worked on it in a basement to help keep it on the down low.
Other highlights on the new Ford GT include 20-inch carbon fiber wheels ——— a first for a production Ford -- shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires that were uniquely designed for the Ford GT. Carbon-ceramic brakes will help this beast come to a stop, while it will also come equipped with active aerodynamics like a deployable rear spoiler, SYNC 3, and tons of other tech that Ford says will help better serve the driver.
What the Ford GT doesn't offer: A/C, radio, or a rear seat.
Next year is the fiftieth anniversary of the Ford GT winning Le Mans in 1966, and when we asked Ford's Jim Farley if he would be taking this new Ford GT to Le Mans, he said, with a BIG smile, "No comment. I don't want to make any news today." Considering how much big news Ford already announced today, we don't blame him.
Although we just started 2015, we're already looking forward to 2016 since Ford tells us the GT will go on sale late next year.