Ford GT is First Produced
The Ford GT is a mid-engined supercar.
It was built by Ford Motor Company from 2005 to 2006. It 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. Camilo Pardo, the head of Ford's "Living Legends" studio, is credited as the chief designer of the GT and worked under the guidance of J 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 2005. 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 litre V8, producing 550 horsepower (410 kW) and 500 foot-pounds force (680 N·m).
At the 1995 Detroit Auto Show, the Ford GT90 concept was shown and at the 2002 show, a new GT40 Concept was unveiled by Ford.
The GT is similar in outward appearance to the original Ford GT40 cars, but bigger, wider, and three inches (76 mm) taller than the original 40 inches (1.02 m)—as a result of which, a potential name for the car was the GT43. Although the cars are visually related, structurally, there is no similarity between the modern GT and the 1960's GT40 that inspired it. Three production prototype cars were shown in 2003 as part of Ford's centenary, and delivery of the production Ford GT began in the fall of 2004.
A British company, Safir Engineering, who made continuation GT40s in the 1980s owned the GT40 trademark at that time, and when they completed production, they sold the excess parts, tooling, design, and trademark to a small Ohio company called Safir GT40 Spares. Safir GT40 Spares licensed the use of the GT40 trademark to Ford for the initial 2002 show car, but when Ford decided to make the production vehicle, negotiations between the two failed, and as a result the new Ford GT does not wear the badge GT40. It is rumored that Safir GT40 Spares asked $40 million for the rights, but this has never been verified. The partners at Safir GT40 Spares state they have correspondence from Ford declining Safir's $8 million offer. Early cars from the 1960s were simply named "Ford GT".
The GT was produced in model years 2005 and 2006, with the first customers taking delivery in August 2004. The GT began assembly at Mayflower Vehicle Systems in Norwalk, Ohio and was 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 manual transmission along with interior finishing was handled in the SVT building at Ford's Wixom, Michigan plant.
Of the 4,500 GTs originally planned, approximately 100 were to be exported to Europe, starting in late 2005. An additional 200 were destined for sale in Canada. When production ended in 2006, the full planned lot of 4500 were not produced. Approximately 550 were built in 2004, nearly 1900 in 2005, and just over 1600 in 2006, for a grand total of 4038; however, the final 11 car bodies manufactured by Mayflower Vehicle Systems were disassembled and the frames and body panels sold as service parts.
As with many highly desirable new vehicles, when the Ford GT was first released, the demand severely outpaced supply, and the cars initially sold for premium prices. The first private sale of Ford's new mid-engine sports car was completed on August 4, 2004, when former Microsoft executive Jon Shirley took delivery of his Midnight Blue 2005 Ford GT. Shirley earned the right to purchase the first production Ford GT (chassis #10) at a charity auction at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Auction after bidding over $557,000.
A few other early cars sold for as much as a $100,000 premium over the suggested retail price of $139,995 (Ford increased the MSRP to $149,995 on July 1, 2005). Optional equipment available included a McIntosh sound system, racing stripes and forged alloy wheels adding an additional $13,500 to the MSRP. An enthusiast website, FordGTprices.com, tracked sales and production numbers, and published up-to-date best-pricing advice, based on tracking the prices of successfully completed eBay auctions of the cars. By June 2005, retail sale prices had dropped to around $10,000 to $20,000 over MSRP, and in August 2005 several new GTs were sold on eBay for no more than the suggested retail price.
The production run of 4038 GT's ended the 2006 model year on 21 September 2006, short of the originally planned 4500. The Wixom Assembly Plant has stopped production of all models as of May 31, 2007. Sales of the GT continued into 2007, from cars held in storage and in dealer inventories.
Mustangs, Thunderbirds and F-series pickups are all legendary Fords that have populated America's highways for decades. Numbering in the millions, they're recognizable to just about everyone. For motorsports fans or those familiar with Ford's racing heritage, however, there's a lesser known but equally iconic "halo" model that best represents the technological capabilities of the marque: the exotic limited-production Ford GT sports car.
Arriving in prototype form just in time for Ford's Centennial celebration in 2003, the Ford GT debuted for 2004 as the modern, road-going interpretation of the GT40 endurance racing car that beat Ferrari and swept the 24 Hours of Le Mans race four years in a row from 1966-'69. The ultrahigh-performance two-seat Ford GT was produced from 2004 through 2006 and showcased many advanced technologies, befitting its $140,000 price tag. It sported a supercharged mid-mounted V8 engine, an aluminum chassis, superplastic-formed aluminum body panels, a capless fuel filler, cross-drilled Brembo brakes and a carbon-fiber engine cover. Not only did these exotic features showcase a technological tour de force, they also formed a visual feast once the large rear engine cover was opened.
After climbing inside -- a process made awkward by the GT's pronounced door frames that extend well into the roof -- the driver and lucky passenger enjoy surprisingly roomy accommodations for even 6-plus-footers. The cockpit offers a satisfying blend of old and new -- the wide gauge cluster with center-mounted tach, the red starter button, a metal shift knob, large toggle switches and carbon-fiber seats remind you of its more primitive heritage, while the magnesium center console and illuminated climate controls lend a modern and civilized touch. As you might expect, rear visibility is a weak point, but it's a trade-off we have no problem accepting.
Once underway, however, whatever ergonomic shortcomings the GT may have disappear as quickly as the road in its rearview mirror. Surprisingly, its drivability and user-friendliness is closer to that of a typical sport coupe than a high-performance sports car. The clutch pedal and shifter operate smoothly, the well-balanced steering provides excellent feedback and the engine remains civilized when idling through traffic. But the Ford GT really comes into its own when driven with gusto on the road or at the track, with blistering 3.5-second 0-60-mph performance and a reassuring combination of stability and confidence in place of the typical nervousness exhibited by some other exotics. As we said in our review, "think of it as a Viper-powered NSX with the daily drivability of a Corvette." In other words, the Ford GT is one of the most capable cars ever produced, with at-the-limit manners that not only give it an advantage over direct rivals, but also the ability to compete with supercars costing much more.
Most Recent Ford GT
The 2006 Ford GT was offered in one trim level with only a handful of available options. It featured an aluminum chassis with double-wishbone suspension, 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels, special high-speed tires and a supercharged 5.4-liter aluminum V8 engine putting out 550 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential. Standard equipment included HID headlights, air-conditioning, keyless entry, power windows and a CD audio system.
Owners could opt for an upgraded McIntosh audio system with four-channel amplifier, as well as BBS forged aluminum wheels, red- or gray-painted brake calipers and a full-length racing stripe. Two special-edition color schemes for 2006 included a Tungsten Grey exterior that commemorated the original GT40's 1-2-3 Le Mans victory in 1966, and a Heritage Edition that featured the blue and orange colors of the GT40 that won Le Mans in 1968 and '69.
Earlier versions of this single-generation vehicle were similarly equipped. With a total production of a shade more than 4,000 units, the majority of Ford GTs were 2005 and '06 models. Those shopping for a previously owned GT should be aware that some early 2004 production models experienced "teething" problems involving leaking hoses and minor ailments with the electrical and climate control systems. Ford also recalled several hundred of the first '04 production cars to replace potentially defective suspension control arms, and also inspected and addressed complaints of engine main seal oil leaks. Although these early problems were likely rectified, we'd put our hard-earned money toward a later model.
Ford GT was created on the base model of Ford GT40 racecar, which in 1966 LeMans race beat all of its competition - the best racers with best racecars in the world.
The fact that it can be driven on the highway as well as on the racetrack is really amazing. This car does not use any special aviation fuel like most of the supercars and yet it is known to outperform it's rival cars like the Porsche, Ferrari or Lamborghini. Ford Motor Company has decided to produce only 4200 GT sports car units in the 2005-2006 years. Depending on chosen accessories, retail price varies from $143,000 to $157,000. Ford GT is really incredible when it comes to its racing performance. In 0-60mph test GT (3.3 sec) beats a $193,000 Ferrari Challenge Stradale (4.0 sec) by 0.7 seconds.
Ford GT features 18-inch front wheels, 19-inch rear wheels and GoodYear Eagle F1 Supercar tires. All GT models share one common design element, which makes their exterion look so amazing. The doors are cut into the roof of the car, this fact gives itr a very specific and exotic look.