If you’ve been following the automotive news, you’ll know that in many respects, Ford has been making huge strides towards upping its game over the last few years. In fact, it seems that for much of 2014, you couldn’t go online without coming across hard-nose reviews and heated opinions on how the 2015 Ford F-150 and it’s heretofore unseen aluminum frame would fare against its steel-based competitors.
The result – the Detroit automaker’s new Ford F-150 flagship truck performed admirably well in a series of head to head tests, silencing all but the most die-hard critics. The gamble for Ford paid off – having successfully redesigned their most prized vehicle whose lighter frame significantly improved fuel economy and, pound for pound, made it a much stronger vehicle than their competitors would like to believe.
Traditionally, Ford has hewn its reputation into being known as a true working class brand of vehicle, and perhaps that reputation is not very far from the mark. For my part, it’s near impossible to imagine a farm or ranch anywhere in North America that doesn’t use the strength of the blue oval to get the job done. Being firmly entrenched in tradition however clearly hasn’t hindered the automaker from making some pretty significant advancements in the tech department thanks to the team over at Ford Performance.
The 2015 North American International Auto Show was, as always, rife with the automotive industry’s next level of four wheeled offerings, each more drool-worthy than the last. Amidst the pomp and pageantry of unveiling some of the more remarkable high-performance entries like the Corvette Z06, Porsche 918 Spyder, and of course, the McLaren P1, Ford announced a truly unique 2017 GT – an entry that drew forth more than a few audible gasps – and not just because its got all the right moves in all the right places.
The Ford GT family has ever been a symbiotic marriage between performance, power, and high-end aesthetics but the powers that be at Ford Performance have taken that theme to new heights; using the stage at the NAIAS to confirm a very limited production run (possibly even fewer than a thousand units) for a vehicle that for all intents and purposes seems more suited to the sophistication of Monaco than the streets of anytown USA.
In a recent interview with Car and Driver, Dave Pericak, head of the Performance Team at Ford had this to say about the evolution of the brand, “This is the next chapter of the GT story and we didn’t want to do what we’d already done.” With an estimated price tag in the ballpark of 400k, we think it’s safe to say that Pericak would, at the very least, be considered an honorable mention at the “Obvious Statement Awards”.
In spite of the evidently steep price point, Ford maintains that at the end of the day, the development of this staggeringly high-end GT is not about making a profit (even though at the alluded price, Ford would stand to gross $40 billion off the project), but rather it’s about elevating a longstanding brand into a new era. Such a strategy really isn’t a bad idea. In fact, it could very well help Ford reach new markets that don’t particularly lend itself to the types of products that typically do well on this side of the pond, products that have always been at the core of the Ford brand.
Pericak goes on to say that the new GT will set its target on some of the more established brands of supercar – like the Lamborghini Aventador – but maintains that the Dearborn, Michigan based manufacturer isn’t looking to engage in a straight up, nuts to bolts comparison.
The new GT will no doubt act as a serious repository for new technology and advanced engineering, giving Ford a stage to display how they possibly plan to acknowledge the globalization of the automotive industry. Below are just a few of the things that you can look forward to seeing in this (very) limited Ford Mustang:
- 600 horses under the hood with an estimated 500 lb-ft. of torque
- Canadian supplied and installed carbon-fiber body panels
- Active aerodynamics
- Twin turbocharged 3.5-liter Ecoboost V-6 engine
- Newly redesigned Sync 3 Infotainment system