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CATEGORIES (articles) > Cars we emulate > Ford > Ford GT

Ford GT


Ford GT
Ford GT
Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company
Production: 2005–2006
Class: Supercar
Engine: 5.4 L Modular V8
Wheelbase: 106.7 in (2710 mm)
Length: 182.8 in (4643 mm)
Width: 76.9 in (1953 mm)
Height: 44.3 in (1125 mm)
Similar: Lamborghini Gallardo
Ferrari F430

Month Year Sales Production
October 2004 22
November 63
December 59
2004 Total 144 547
January 2005 7
February 4
March 44
April 70
May 117
June 150
July 91
August 113
September 176
October 165
November 157
December 208
2005 Total 1302 1890
January 2006 157 184
February 194 183
March 204 166
2006 Total 555 533
Grand Total 2001 2970

This page refers to the concept and production cars of 2002 and later; for the mid-1960s race car, see Ford GT40.

The Ford GT began as a concept car designed in anticipation of Ford's centennial year and as part of its drive to showcase and revive its "heritage" names such as Mustang and Thunderbird. Camillo Pardo the head of Ford's "Living Legends" studio is credited as the chief designer of the GT and worked under the guidance of Jay Mays. The designers drew inspiration from Ford's classic GT40 race cars of the 1960s and the GT is sometimes mistaken for its 1960s counterpart.

Positive response on the auto show circuit in 2002 helped persuade the company to produce the car in limited quantities, and the first production versions appeared in 2003. It is a very high-performance, two-seater vehicle with a strong styling resemblance to its racing ancestor and performance to match. The powerplant is a mid-mounted supercharged 5.4 liter V8, producing 550 horsepower (410 kW) and 500 foot-pounds (678 Nm) of torque. Top speed is over 200 mph (322 km/h).

Production and sales

Production startup began in spring 2004, with a projected total volume of 4500 cars. The first customers took delivery in September 2004. The GT is built and painted by Saleen in their Saleen Special Vehicles facility in Troy, Michigan. The GT is powered by an engine built at Ford's Romeo Engine Plant in Romeo, Michigan. Installation of the engine and transmission along with interior finishing is handled by Ford's Wixom, Michigan plant.

Of the 4,500 GTs planned, only 101 will be exported to Europe, starting in late 2005, and 200 are destined for Canada. With production ending mid-2006, it is unlikely that the full 4500 will be produced. Approximately 2100 were made in 2005, and a similar number is expected for the 2006 model.

As with many highly desirable new vehicles, when the Ford GT was first released demand outpaced supply, and the cars initially sold for premium prices, with the first selling for over $500,000 to a retired Microsoft executive at a charity auction and other early cars selling for up to $100,000 or more over the suggested retail price ($140,000 - $157,000 depending on options). Independent sources then began gathering and analysing public information on production, sales, and selling prices, and posted that information as a resource for buyers and sellers. By June 2005 prices had dropped to $10,000 to $20,000 over MSRP, and in August 2005 several new GTs had sold on eBay for MSRP. Recognizing the ongoing demand for the car, Ford raised the base sticker by $10,000 to $149,995 in late 2005.

The production run of the GT will end with the 2006 model year in September, and the Wixom Assembly plant, where the GT is finish-assembled, is scheduled for closure in 2007 .

Performance and Engineering

The Ford GT features many new and unique technologies, including super-plastic-formed aluminum body panels, roll-bonded floor panels, a friction-stir welded center tunnel, a “ship-in-a-bottle” gas tank, a capless fuel filler system, one-piece door panels and an aluminum engine cover with a one-piece carbon-fiber inner panel.

Braking is handled by four-piston aluminum Brembo monoblock calipers with cross-drilled and vented rotors at all four corners. When the rear canopy is opened, the rear suspension components and engine become the car's focal point. Precision-cast aluminum suspension components and 19-inch Goodyear tires – combined with the overwhelming presence of the V-8 engine – create a striking appearance and communicate the performance credentials of the Ford GT.

The 5.4L V8 powerplant is all-aluminum and fed by a Lysholm screw-type supercharger. It features unique 4-valve DOHC cylinder heads and a forged rotating assembly. It uses a unique aluminum block designed by Ford specifically for the GT program with an emphasis on block rigidity. The resulting power output is 550 horsepower and 500 foot-pounds of torque. This truly impressive power is put to the ground through a Ricardo six-speed manual transmission featuring a helical limited-slip differential.

Performance(mph): 0-60: 3.3 s 0-62: 3.77 s (~3.8 s) 0-100: 8.2 s Topspeed: 212 mph

According to an article titled "Damn the Corvettes, Full Boost Ahead" by Richard Holdener in the June 2006 issue of MUSCLE MUSTANGS AND FAST FORDS magazine, the magazine tested a completely stock Ford GT on a chassis dyno. The GT put out "nearly" 550 rear-wheel horsepower and "right at" 500 lb-ft of torque. Note that these rear-wheel numbers match the advertised ratings at the flywheel. This suggests that the Ford GT actually makes much more power than advertised when parasitic driveline loss is accounted for. Though underrating engine output on supercars is not necessarily a new practice (former GM engineers have admitted that the ZL1 Camaro and Corvettes produced much closer to 600 hp than their advertised 425, and Ford engineers have admitted that the FE series 428 Cobra Jet was quite underrated) this is rare today, especially for a supercar, where horsepower in that exclusive club equals bragging rights. Note that the GT is also not the only recent supercharged Ford car to be underrated: MM&FF also found that chassis dyno tests on the 2003-04 "Terminator" Mustang Cobras with the supercharged 4.6 DOHC V8s showed them to also produce close to the advertised flywheel horsepower rating at the rear wheels.

The front fenders curve over 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires. In the tradition of original Ford GT racers, the doors cut into the roof. Prominent on the leading edge of the rear quarter panel are functional cooling scoops that channel fresh air to the engine. The rear wheel wells, filled with 19-inch wheels and tires, define the rear of the car, while the accent line from the front cowl rejoins and finishes the car's profile at the integrated “ducktail” spoiler.

Looking in through the backlight, one finds the essence of the sports car in Ford's modular 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 engine. The finishing touches are Ford blue cam covers, each featuring an aluminum coil cover imprinted with the words “Powered by Ford.”

Problems

Early production Ford GT experienced a few minor problems (including glitches with the electrical and climate control systems, leaking power steering and engine coolant hoses, and a steering column rattle on some cars), and two bigger problems.

In December of 2004, Ford recalled all Ford GTs that had been built up to that point (448 units were built, but only 283 had been shipped to dealers, and only 106 had been delivered to retail customers) because of concerns regarding the strength of the suspension control arms. They had been "squash cast" for added strength, a new process also used by Porsche and Alfa Romeo. But after Ford discovered a crack in one of the high-mileage development cars, the company decided to replace the parts on all the production cars. Ford is not the only manufacturer of exotic cars to have such problems, for example, a similar problem was found on the Ferrari F40.

There was also a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) to inspect the engine on early cars built in 2004 for an oil leak at the main seal. The finish of some crankshafts was flawed, causing an oil leak. Ford dealers stopped the leak with a new main seal and a "Speedi-Sleeve" around the crankshaft, a device commonly used to repair worn engines in older cars. Some journalists felt that this was an improper fix for an expensive supercar and criticized Ford for not either replacing the defective crankshaft or replacing the entire engine.

There are a few other TSBs for the car. TSBs are Technical Service Bulletins that help eliminate problems that some cars may have. The Ford GT TSBs show that some cars may need hose clamps adjusted or replaced, and a few other tiny problems. They are also issued to inform repair shops how to repair paint damaged by acid rain, etc.

Trivia

Games

Gran Turismo 4 box cover with the Ford GT.
  • Gran Turismo 4 uses a GT as its display car for the game. A heavily modified racing version appears both on the cover, and the FMV Intro. Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi owns a Ford GT.
  • An obvious clone of the GT appears in GTA: San Andreas, under the name "Bullet".
  • Forza Motorsport features the Ford GT as one of the cars purchaseable in game.
  • It is available in the game Need for Speed: Most Wanted, both as a stock car and the Castrol version.

Owners

  • Jeremy Clarkson was one of the first 28 GT owners in the UK. However, as documented on Top Gear, his GT was delivered late, and ongoing problems with its anti-theft alarm (according to Clarkson, the alarm would activate while he was in the car, and sometimes activating every 15 or so minutes for an extended period of time) led him to return it to Ford in June 2005. However, he subsequently bought the car back. When reviewing the GT, Clarkson compared it to the Ford GT40: he barely fit into the GT, while a portion of his head laid outside of the GT40 when the doors closed.
Jeremy Clarkson is ridiculed by Richard Hammond and James May over trying to get into his Ford GT.
    • The car was then involved in the Season 7 episode of Top Gear where it (plus a Pagani Zonda and a Ferrari F430) caused a major traffic jam in Paris as it tried to get out of a parking garage but ended up barely scraping the pavement due to height issues. In this episode, Clarkson said he liked the Ford GT so much he bought his twice.
    • Also in the last episode of Season 7, during the Top Gear Awards, Clarkson awarded the Ford GT the "Gas Guzzler" award, beating out the Range Rover (8MPG), the Bugatti Veyron (4MPG), and the Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal fire (60 Million gallons and never moved an inch).
    • In the first episode of Season 8 Top Gear, Clarkson declared that the Ford GT "is the most unreliable car ever made." The declaration stemmed from the usage of a trickle charger which didn't charge the battery after exploding (in the first incident) and apparently (as described by Clarkson) frying part of the electrical start system (in the second incident).
  • Jon Shirley, a retired executive from Microsoft, purchased the first publicly available Ford GT (chassis number 11, Midnight Blue with white stripes, McIntosh Stereo) in 2003 for $557,500 in a charity auction hosted by Jay Leno. You can learn more about the 1st sale here along with a video - http://autos.msn.com/advice/article.aspx?contentid=4022580.
  • Jay Leno purchased the second publicly available Ford GT (chassis number 12, red with white stripes) for exactly list price.
  • The first nine GT's were reserved for internal use and appear to be owned by the Ford family. Rumor has it that one of those nine has been sold to a local dealer and subsequently sold to a private party.

Racing

  • A Ford GT will participate in the GT300 class of the Super GT in 2006.

Technical/Other

  • The US EPA mileage estimate for the car is 13 city, 21 highway and combined 16 mpg (18.1/11.2 & 14.7L/100km combined) www.fueleconomy.gov. In other words the GT has the fuel consumption of modern V8 pickups on the roads in the US today. The Lamborghini Murcielago and Ferrari F430 by comparison rate at 10/15 and 12 mpg combined and 13/17 14 combined, respectively.
  • The chief designer of the Ford GT, Camilo Pardo, made a guest appearance on an episode of the ABC series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that aired May 7, 2006.




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