Presented by Mecum Auctions.
Ford shocked the motoring world—including all but 12 of its own employees—when it unveiled the all-new GT at the North American International Auto Show in January 2015. Designed and developed in secret by a dozen hand-picked engineers and stylists in the basement of the Ford Design Center in Dearborn, Michigan, the second-generation Ford GT was targeted at winning the LM GTE-Pro class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, exactly 50 years to the day after a trio of Ford GT40 Mk IIs famously terminated Ferrari’s stranglehold on the French endurance classic. That the new GT would also be offered to a lucky few for road and track use was a secondary aim, but that did not prevent the design team (including development partner and manufacturer Multimatic Motorsports in Ontario, Canada) from creating the most incredible and expensive road car in Ford’s glorious history, a wonderful example of which is now slated to cross the Mecum auction block this March at Glendale 2022.
The new Ford GT’s central purpose, victory at Le Mans, dictated the team’s approach to its design, which focused primarily on aerodynamic efficiency. Ford Performance Chief Engineer Jamal Hameedi explained the thinking behind the process: “If anyone knows anything about Le Mans, it’s always low downforce that’s efficient. I think that’s what makes the Ford GT more special than the Ferrari or McLaren is that the purpose of this car, and the efficiency of the racing, goes right down to the very core of its existence. For example, the powertrain selection was unusual because it was a secondary criteria to the main aerodynamic signature of the car. The aerodynamics were developed first, and then we picked the most efficient EcoBoost engine that we could find for that package.”
And Ford certainly got the aerodynamics right, even while preserving the iconic features that leave no doubt about the GT’s historic lineage. The squared headlight frames, twin front air vents, wraparound windshield and round taillights flanking central twin exhaust outlets were all faithfully maintained, but following the GT’s lines toward the rear of the car reveals the modern teardrop fuselage long common to Le Mans prototypes, with an added flourish in the flying buttresses and pontoon rear fenders that guide airflow around and through the rear. Even the afterburner-look tail lights get into the aero act, exhausting the heated air that is channeled through twin intakes in the GT’s lower front bodywork in service to both cooling and downforce. The resulting overall effect is pure aerodynamic efficiency that, not coincidentally, is accompanied by an arresting beauty in both general form and details.
Practically speaking, the Ford GT is packaged as tightly as physical dictates such as passenger room and drivetrain dimensions would allow. Again, efficiency dictated that the GT relinquish the V-8 component of its heritage in favor of the physically smaller 3.5L EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6, the most powerful EcoBoost ever at 647 HP. The compact V-6 facilitated the car’s tapering fuselage while allowing for the dual-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission and cavernous rear diffuser.
The GT’s tub and body are almost entirely composed of carbon fiber, with aluminum front and rear subframes and an FIA-spec roll cage integrated into the overall structure. The Multimatic-designed suspension typifies that company’s advanced techniques with upper and lower control arms, pushrod-actuated torsion bars, coil springs and the electrically adjustable spool valve shock absorbers it supplies to Formula 1 and Prototype teams around the world. Carbon ceramic disc brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires combined with optional carbon fiber 20-inch wheels and titanium lugs facilitate the GT’s otherworldly handling and braking capabilities, necessary strengths for a car capable of almost 220 MPH. Driving modes can be changed between Wet, Normal, Sport, Track and V-Max with a simple turn of the steering wheel-mounted dial.
Often described as snug, the two-place cockpit is nonetheless comfortable, employing bolstered, Alcantara-covered Sparco seats that are mounted directly to the monocoque for maximum road feel; the pedals and multifunction steering wheel are adjustable to accommodate differing physiques. Barely wide enough to accommodate a cell phone, the central tunnel holds the red start button and shifter dial, while the remaining controls are located on either the steering wheel or the highly configurable instrument panel directly behind it.
Delivered new to Suburban Ford in Sandy, Oregon, this electrifying 2020 Ford GT was produced with a Triple Yellow Tri Coat exterior finish with Shadow Black overtop stripes complemented by gloss exposed carbon fiber 20-inch wheels, options that added $37,500 to the GT’s $509,200 MSRP. Add another $1,250 for red-painted brake calipers, $250 for a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an additional $30,000 for the Dark Energy interior upgrade package, and one is left with the most technologically advanced, stunningly capable and beautiful automobile ever to wear the Blue Oval.