This is only the third time Ford has returned to the iconic ‘GT’ name, on each occasion they have created an up to date version of the famed GT40 that won Le Mans in a fantastic 1-2-3 finish in 1966 against Ferrari. The Italian marque had continued to evolve their latest and greatest race cars, starting with the 250TR through the 330 TR, 250P, 275P and 250LM, and had won the 24-hour event in each of the preceding 5 years.
In 2005, the GT40 was reimagined for the first time, squeezing a supercharged 5.4 Litre V8 with 550 horsepower right behind the driver in what was very much a modern interpretation of the ’66 race car. The road version of this GT was developed into a race car and entered into several race series at the time, including the FIA GT3 European Championship, American Le Mans Series, Blancpain Endurance Series, and Le Mans where it placed 3rd in class in 2011.
The idea to build an all-new GT to win Le Mans was born at the end of 2013 – codenamed “Project Silver” – and was developed in secret with a team of just twelve key staff from the earlier race car. In 2015 Ford announced it would return to Le Mans the following year with a factory-supported, four-car team for the 50th anniversary of their 1966 1-2-3 victory. In 2016, the #68 GT finished first in the LM GTE-Pro class. The car would continue to dominate the World Endurance Championship for four years, retiring in 2019 after 19 victories.
GT Racing regulations stipulate that a road-going version must be available if the car is not a topflight LMP1 car. As such the road-going version deploys the same DNA used in the car designed to win Le Mans, and built in partnership with award-winning motorsport engineers Multimatic.
The new GT features a carbon fibre monocoque with pushrod suspension front and rear. All of the body panels are made from carbon fibre, and most metal components (including front and rear subframes) are made from aluminium.
The GT is powered by the same 3.5 Litre twin turbo V6 as the highly successful race-winning car, developing 638bhp at 6250rpm and peak torque of 550lb ft at 5900rpm. The transmission is an ultra-lightweight seven-speed dual clutch system. Zero to 60mph takes 2.8 seconds and the top speed is 216mph. Stopping power comes from carbon ceramic discs all round.
The GT features five different driving modes, and an active aerodynamic package (including an electronic airbrake at the rear) which Ford says allows it to achieve less drag, more downforce, and at just 1385kg dry, a lighter weight than its rivals. In track mode, the car lowers by 50mm and the suspension becomes 100 per cent stiffer than in sport mode.
So far, just 80 road-going Ford GTs have been delivered to the EU with just 12 cars making it to UK shores in 2018 only. Several delays in production and the introduction of new WLTP emissions regulations have restricted delivery of further cars to Europe..
This car was ordered and supplied new to the current owners being invoiced in November 2018. It was extremely difficult to be awarded an allocation for these cars, and out of around 1,000 UK applications, just 12 were granted initially. The current owners were awarded their slot in recognition of their ownership of an original GT40, and the extremely active (and expensive!) competition campaign they have completed over the last ten years with that car.
As such, the specification of this car was designed to echo the original’s appearance, whilst remaining relevant and fitting on a 21st century supercar. The Tricolore stripe is however in Vinyl allowing it to be easily removed if desired.
The car is as new having covered just 660 miles since delivery and has never been used on track. The factory specification added over £50,000 of additional options over the UK list price making it one of the highest specification GTs supplied to the UK:
The car received its first annual service at Multimatic in December 2019 and has been treated to bespoke full body PPF protection, and was recently featured on the front cover of Motorsport Magazine. Available for delivery from the 9th December 2020.
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