What Is It?
The second-generation Ford GT rumbles onstage at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show as the sequel to the awesome, limited-production GT supercar sold from 2005-2006. Except “rumbles” isn’t the right word anymore, because the previous GT’s supercharged 5.4-liter V8 has been replaced by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. Yes indeed, Ford’s new halo car will be powered by a version of the EcoBoost V6 that’s found in most cars nowadays.
But given that it pumps out more than 600 horsepower for GT duty, we’re guessing plenty of buyers will be willing to forgive the absence of a rowdy V8 exhaust note.
Ford points out that you can also look at the 3.5-liter EcoBoost from the top down rather than from the bottom up. Ford won three times in the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series with the EcoBoost under the hood, and the GT’s engine will be based on the same architecture. Notable technical details for the GT-spec version include an all-new dual port/direct fuel-injection system and a low-friction valvetrain to enhance both responsiveness and fuel-efficiency.
If you’re getting a sneaking suspicion that the old GT’s manual transmission is a thing of the past, you are correct. Following Ferrari, Lamborghini and numerous other supercar-makers in recent years, Ford will offer the rear-wheel-drive GT solely with a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual, meaning it trades the old car’s clutch pedal for a pair of shift paddles at your fingertips. If that turns you off, Ford will be happy to show you the Shelby GT350 Mustang, which pumps out more than 500 hp and comes only with a manual shifter. But there’s no doubt that automated manuals are the key to moving forward in the GT’s ultra-exclusive segment. As a result, we expect the new car to be comfortably ahead of its predecessor at the drag strip.
Of course, there’s much more to the new Ford GT than just its powertrain, starting with carbon-fiber structural components, an active rear spoiler and jaw-dropping Lambo scissor doors that really crank up the wow factor. In terms of styling, it’s hard to outdo the last GT, but we like what Ford has done here: preserving the GT’s distinctive shape that stretches back decades while adding thoroughly modern curves and contours. Of particular note are the twin exhaust cannons mounted at taillight level. Inside, the previous model’s minimalist layout is eschewed in favor of a high-tech dashboard that includes a user-configurable digital instrument panel and the latest version of Ford’s SYNC touchscreen-based infotainment system.
The supercar class has never been more competitive, but it looks like Ford’s at the top of its game with the new GT. Will it be worth tens of thousands more than Chevy’s astonishing Corvette Z06? We can’t wait to find out.
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
You love the idea of an authentic American supercar. This is definitely a love-at-first-sight kind of ride.
Other Cars to Consider
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 — Offering 650 hp for under $80,000 (though it will be hard to find one for that price at the dealership), the Z06 is a supercar and a major hurdle for the GT to overcome.
2015 Porsche 911 — What the 911 may lack in outright performance compared to the GT, it makes up for with iconic style, class and character.