“This could be the cleverest, most exciting car ever…” said Jeremy Clarkson in a Top Gear episode from 1996. He was referring to the Ford GT90 concept car.
Back in 1995, Ford made a dramatic reveal at the Detroit Auto Show. Dressed in white, the new 1995 Ford GT90 concept car. For a brief amount of time after its unveiling, the entire automotive industry was abuzz about what was then the world’s fast and most powerful car. For the GT90’s engine was a magnificent 6.0-liter V12 that had four turbochargers attached. This put the power output of the concept car at 720 hp, which was preposterous in the 90’s and is still an accomplishment by today’s standards. Albeit, a quad-turbocharged V12 could garner more power with today’s technology. That being said, that much back in the day was enough to make the exhaust system so hot that Ford needed to install ceramic plates around it in order to prevent the body panels from melting. Just like in a space shuttle.
With this drivetrain, the GT90’s specs made driving it feel like flying space shuttle. Its 0-60 mph speed was set at 3.1 seconds, which was unheard of in 1995. Additionally, 253 mph was the Ford GT90’s top speed, another preposterous feat for the 90’s and even today.
But, why did Ford create such a beautiful monster? As the name suggests, the GT90 was meant to be a spiritual successor to the GT40 and a 30-year celebration of the classic race car. It was created as a secret project that only took around six months to complete. When Jeremy Clarkson asked Fred Goodnow, a GT90 Project Engineer, why they made a supercar when it’s a “European thing” to do, he replied by saying they did it “to prove they could build one better.” Was it better? According to Clarkson, driving the GT90 is like “Heaven on Earth.” So, yes, it was better.
On top of the previous reasons, Ford also created the GT90 to show off their “New Edge” design. With just one look at the concept car you’ll see plenty of edges. In fact, the design of the GT90 was so well thought out that I’d reckon it could be released today with minor body modifications and fit right in.
After proving they could create a supercar, Ford would go on to produce the car.
I wish I could say that last statement was true, but the fact of the matter is that Ford never produced that GT90 and it became a one-off dream. While some may have thought that Ford was planning on putting some variant of the GT90 out onto the road, it never happened. However, even though the space-age car never left the concept phase, it’s easy to believe that some of the advancements made possible with it were implemented in other models, even Aston Martins.
“If we had a two to three year development program, there’s no doubt that we could build a car that would be fully competitive.” – Fred Goodnow, Ford GT90 Project Engineer on Top Gear
Where does the Ford GT90 rest now? Back in 2009, RM Auctions offered the car at their Arizona sale, only to pull it out of the auction just before the event. Many were excited to see it cross the block to know the actual Ford GT90 price. Knowing that it was never sold back then, the whereabouts of the car now. It’s a sad ending for such a glorious car, but thankfully brought the GT back to life in 2004 and are launching an even newer GT this year.
Who knows, maybe in the near future Ford will push the boundaries yet again and create a car that will race along the likes of Koenigsegg and Bugatti. Until then, the fabulous new GT will suffice. Or, if you’re infatuated with the styling of the car, there are planty of Ford Gt90 replicas out there.