“All of the weight savings and engine advancements served a singular purpose – creating the fastest, most-efficient Ford GT ever,” Dave Pericak global director, Ford Performance, said. “Once that was achieved, we reinvested some of those weight savings in truly innovative technology that made the car even faster and more fun to drive.”
When Ford combined its performance divisions under one roof, it was not only looking for efficiency, but a way to focus its efforts transferring racing technology to production vehicles. A vehicle that definitely benefitted from that move was the 2017 Ford GT. However, not only does this car benefit from the race track, but many of the technologies developed with this car may eventually reach the cars the rest of us can afford.
When we began work on the all-new Ford GT in 2013, the team had three goals. — Raj Nair, Ford
“When we began work on the all-new Ford GT in 2013, the team had three goals,” Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president of Product Development and chief technical officer, said. “The first was to use it as a training ground for our engineers as we develop future engine technology and stretch our understanding of aerodynamics. Then, to push the boundaries of advanced material usage, such as lightweight carbon fiber. Finally, we set out to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, referred to by many as the ultimate test of endurance and efficiency.”
In a clear tech transfer from the racing world to the street, Ford Performance worked with Multimatic and DowAksa to help produce high-volume production carbon-fiber parts that are both light and strong. These parts also allowed creating body supports that wouldn’t be possible with conventional stamped metal.
Without this kind of integrated teamwork and combined organization, it would have been impossible to deliver the all-new Ford GT in its current form. — Dave Pericak, Ford Performance
Engineers emphasized both cutting through the air and providing enough downforce to put down the supercar’s 647 horsepower. The production and reaching teams help develop that sexy, slippery body which is enhanced by the adjustable rear wing and ride height.
“Without this kind of integrated teamwork and combined organization, it would have been impossible to deliver the all-new Ford GT in its current form,” Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance, said. “This kind of collaboration was critical to not only bringing Ford GT back to life but for experimenting with the kind of innovations needed to create the ultimate supercar.”
What helped make Ford GT’s body even more slippery was the use of the more compact EcoBoost six-cylinder engine, which allowed slimmer shapes around the engine, which shares 60 percent of its parts with the 450-horsepower version used in the F-150 Raptor.
“We pushed the engine’s limits beyond what we might consider in traditional development programs, which is important as we continue to advance EcoBoost technology as a centerpiece of the company’s global lineup,” Bob Fascetti, Ford vice president, powertrain engineering, explained.
According to Ford the use of the EcoBoost six-cylinder engine let designers taper the body dimensions for increase efficiency. Likewise, the low-hanging turbos and intercoolers in front rear wheels allowed further tapering of the body around the engine for improved aero.
They did so by employing anti-lag turbo tech used in road racing, which keeps the throttle open even when the gas pedal isn’t being uses. The dual-fuel system is turned off but boost remains ramped and ready when the driver commands acceleration.
The technology doesn’t stop with the engine, however. The production GT features a hydraulic suspension that adjusts the ride height for the driving conditions indicated by the drive modes. The lowering range spans from 50 mm all the way to 2 inches lower in track mode.
The adjustable wing features an integrated Gurney flap and when fully deployed it improves the supercar’s aerodynamic efficiency by 14 percent.
In all that on board tech and design is cool, but most of us will never experience the ultra-rare Ford GT, so it will be great to see some of this tech democratized to the cars we can attain. The digital dashboard has already trickled down to the 2018 Mustang GT, so we can’t wait to see what else comes down the pike.
As a test bed for future technology, the Ford GT already shares drive modes with several of its Ford Performance cousins and a version of its digital dash is in the forthcoming 2018 Mustang GT.
Adjusting the ride height of the GT from normal to its lowest point will alter the front downforce from 30 to 29 percent.
Ford of Europe was kind enough to layout all the specifications of the new Ford GT for our easy consumption.