My Car Quest

June 19, 2019

Preliminary Design Analysis: The New Ford GT

by Wallace Wyss

While I co-authored a book on the 05-’06 Ford GT (The Ford GT40 and the new Ford GT) I view this new Ford GT that was unveiled in Detroit with a bit of skepticism.

Why? Because it is less “less retro” than the ’05-’06 even though I know that the 05-’06 was less efficient aerodynamically than it could have been because they originally wanted to do a short nose (think R8) but in a design preview the potential customers implied they wouldn’t be interested if it didn’t have the same shape as the ’60s Ford GT so they lengthened the nose. It still went over 200 mph.

All-New Ford GT

This new model makes only a passing nod toward carrying over design cues of the original GT40s and thus I am going to guess that aerodynamically it is a more efficient car. It also has movable aerodynamic surfaces which the original Ford GT did not have.

In that they chose a V6, which, although aided by twin turbos, maybe it won’t have the brute force torque of the ’05-’06 V8. But Ford is talking 600 hp plus–more than the ’05-’06 Ford GT’s V8 so their philosophy this time around is to be more fuel efficient generally but dependent on turbo boost to get the punch when you really put the pedal to the metal.

Here’s my reaction to each view:

Front

Strong id with original ’65 Ford GT small block car (not ’64 Ford GT40 which had different nose) in upper hood with vents in the same place, headlights are the same in outline (but now with two horizontal light elements in each). The lower part of the front is all new but I am wondering how much of the “mustache” shape of the front is cosmetic and how much dictated by aerodynamic considerations.

Side

The side is very reminiscent of the Alfa 4C where the air intake scoops dominate and the body sides curve to feed the scoop. The flip-up doors are a first for an American automaker (should I count Saleen, whose car was built in England?), but a concession to the exotic car crowd. I know what it’s like to have a car with presence after you pull in, as I used to own a Gullwing Mercedes. Still, one has to wonder, if you flip it, how does anyone open the door to rescue you with the weight of the car on top of the door?

Rear

In general, this is a homage to the basic shape of the original GT40–I like the big round taillights at the far end. That being said I wonder why they had to go to a teardrop shape for the rear roof–I suspect it has to do with big vents to either side–funneling air around the car for different purposes,cooling the engine and/or brakes or routing to other coolers. The Ferrari Enzo had a similarly shaped canopy. I did not see in the videos from Detroit the rear spoiler deploy since the car was displayed statically–but it will be interesting to see if it is constantly deploying the rear spoiler depending on throttle position.

All-New Ford GT

The Market–It All Depends On The Price

What is the point of Ford making such a car, anyway? I think, like the ’05-06, it is mostly being done as a morale builder among the employees and stockholders. It also demonstrates Ford has the capability of building an exotic as exotic as anything from Ferrari or Lamborghini. But whether it could be a market success is tough to estimate without knowing a price for a showroom version, which they haven’t released yet.

All-New Ford GT

I would say the Acura NSX , also using a turbocharged V6, will be a close competitor–not so radical but capable of at least 170 mph and I think they have said it will be around $70,000. But if the Ford is capable of over 200 mph, and priced at one third of a Ferrari mid-engine car, and only a bit more than the NSX, it could carve out a niche for I would say 1,000 units a year.

But is that enough to make a profit? Maybe the profit will come in the Ford GT engine being offered in Mustangs and such–like in the old days when hobbyists could buy Shelby parts from a Ford dealer to make the 289 under their Mustang’s hood every bit the match for the 289 in the Ford GT.

I will comment about the interior once I had time to study it. So that’s my preliminary take–cautious but optimistic. I concede that full-on retro would hold back the car’s aerodynamic development and am also willing to give up on a V8 if this V6 will meet mileage requirements. And,oh by the way, it’s a good slap in the snoot of GM. Where is their latest of many mid-engine Corvette prototypes, always promised but never available in the showrooms?
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THE AUTHOR. Wallace Wyss says new copies of Ford GT40 and the new Ford GT are still available for $100. Interested parties can contact him at Photojournalistpro@gmail.com

Summary
Preliminary Design Analysis: The New Ford GT
Article Name
Preliminary Design Analysis: The New Ford GT
Description
Brief comments on the new Ford GT design.
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Comments

  1. Correction, the new NSX will be over $140,000, not $70,000. They’re pitching it as a competitor to the GT-R Nismo.

  2. Exotic cars don’t have V6 motors. For that reason alone I’m not a buyer.

  3. Wallace Wyss says

    Ford chose to make the car largely of carbon fiber. I don’t know if Ford has found a magic supplier that will supply that material and still offer it at a reasonable price that would allow them to offer this car at anywhere near what the forum poster says the NSX will be–$140,000. I have since read estimates that the new Ford GT will be priced beyond $300,000 and maybe even past $400,000. I think that would be going way too far, if their purpose is to get them around the country, in showrooms where they can serve as people magnets.

    But it will be embarrassing for Ford if they price it say at twice the price of the NSX and when the magazines do their testing one car against another it’s not that much faster than the NSX.

    I neglected to add that this car is slated for LeMans.That’s what I would like to see first–a decent run at LeMans say with a three car team in 2015. Ironically Ferrari hasn’t won LeMans in many years so it wouldn’t be hard to beat Ferrari there unless Ferrari wants to fund a factory backed LeMans effort and take money out of their F1 budget, which is unlikely, since lately the team has not done well. The real problem wold be beating Audi.

    • They have a new in-house fab for CF and can, reportedly, make it much less expensively than ever before. We’ll see.

    • CF is not out of reach of any manufacturer today, the tools and processes are proven. Good example is the $ 70 K Alfa C4 with a carbon tub.

      Ten years ago difficult … not today.

  4. Rafffi Minasian says

    The car is going to LeMans. So they had to design it to be competitive against the highly refined and computer aided designs of cars with active aerodynamics and air flow control for maximum performance. Most of the resultant proportions, ducting, and that tear drop shaped rear is simply due to the highly effective flow of air as the car exceeds speeds over 120mph.

    The 05 car was done with consideration to the visual impact and as a Halo car for Ford during the retro-resurgance of muscle cars as seen in Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger. Heavy visually, this new GT has none of the physical baggage associated with the heritage shape. That said, it does appear to be visually derivative of many super cars today that are also dictated heavily by the CAD assisted design ideas used to maximize airflow.

    What remains to be seen (as Wallace points out most critically) is IF there is an audience for an American brand exotic and what is the price ceiling for such a modern car. There are a LOT of really great cars out there now for rich people to spend on. While this car offers a great deal of visual excitement and most likely a lot of performance, the end game is will enough people be willing to spend on this car? I suspect the price will be high enough to totally limit even rich buyers. Most likely this one will go to the wealthy.

  5. I didn’t say the GT would be $140k, but I did hear it will be ~$220, or about 10% less than the coming 458T (which will also have a TT V6).

    As for Exotic cars not having V6s, get used to it, with stricter CAFE and EPA standards coming into effect, we’ll be lucky to get anything larger than a seriously overboosted I4 in the next decade. A V6 can sound amazing, Alfa has proven that, it’s all in the exhaust setup.

  6. Screw a V6 super car . We have $1.70 a gallon gas. Let’s gets some balls.

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