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This article is about Ford GT of 2003-2006. For the 1960s race car, see Ford GT40.


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 and . Top speed is .

Development

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 Ohiomarker 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".

Production and sales

Ford GT in European trim in the (UK)
Ford GT in US trim
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, Michiganmarker. The GT is powered by an engine built at Ford's Romeo Engine Plant in Romeo, Michiganmarker. Installation of the engine and manual transmission along with interior finishing was handled in the SVT building at Ford's Wixom, Michiganmarker 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 Canadamarker. 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 McIntoshmarker 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 Plantmarker 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.



Ford GT, US sales and world production totals, 2004–2007
Year US Sales Production
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
2005 7 4 44 70 117 150 91 113 176 165 157 208 1302 1890
2006 157 194 204 157 178 185 147 143 133 102 261 58 1919 1601
2007 62 169 - 231 0
Grand Total 3596 4038


Performance and engineering

The Ford GT features many new and unique technologies, including super-plastic-formed aluminum body panels, roll-bonded floor panels, a friction-stir welded center tunnel, a “ship-in-a-bottle” gas tank, a capless fuel filler system, one-piece door panels and an aluminum engine cover with a one-piece carbon-fiber inner panel.

Brakes are four-piston aluminum Brembo calipers with cross-drilled and vented rotors at all four corners. When the rear canopy is opened, the rear suspension components and engine are visible.

The 5.4L Modular V8 powerplant is all-aluminum and fed by a Lysholm twin screw-type supercharger. It features a forged rotating assembly housed in an aluminum block designed specifically for the GT program. A dry sump oiling system is employed, allowing the engine to sit very low in the frame. The DOHC 4-valve heads are a revision of the 2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R cylinder heads (with slightly increased wall casting thickness in the exhaust port). The camshafts have unique specifications, with more lift and duration than those found in the Shelby GT500 or 2003–2004 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra. Power output is and of torque. A Ricardo six-speed manual transmission is fitted featuring a helical limited-slip differential.

Performance:
  • 0–60 mph (0–96 km/h): 3.7 seconds
  • 0–100 mph (0–160 km/h): 7.4 second
  • 0-150 mph (0-241 km/h): 16.9 seconds
  • Standing 1/4 mile (402 m): 11.2 seconds @ , 11.6 seconds @ , 11.78 seconds @
  • Top speed: (electronically limited)


Fuel consumption

The United States Environmental Protection Agency mileage estimate for the GT is in city driving, and in highway cruising, for a combined .

On May 14, 2007 a GT participated in an economy driving contest around Reykjavíkmarker in Iceland held by FÍB (the association of car owners in Iceland) and the oil company Atlantsolía. The driver Gísli Jón Bjarnason, finished the circle on the GT through hilly terrain with average fuel consumption of . This performance was then improved in the same competition the consecutive year. At that time the driver Egill Jóhannsson drove the lap on the GT with fuel consumption of only .

Racing

  • A highly-modified GT is currently in use in Super GT's GT300 class driven by Hidetoshi Mitsusada and Daisuke Ikeda. Designed by DHG Racing, it is powered by a 3.5 L Formula One Ford Cosworth DFR unit.
  • Swiss team Matech Racing currently runs three Ford GT GT3's in the FIA GT3 European Championship. The Ford GT Matech team wins the title in the European FIA GT3 Championship 2008. They plan a modified version of the GT3 car for the VLN championship, before offering the car in a GT1 class form.
  • PSI Experience of Belgium is also planning to enter Ford GTs in the FIA GT3 European Championship
  • Michigan based Robertson Racing runs a Doran built Ford GT-R in the American Le Mans Series GT2 class.
  • Black Swan Racing ran a Falken Tires sponsored Ford GT-R in the GT2 class in the American Le Mans Series during the 2008 season.
  • British front-running team RPM Motorsport, title winner in 2007 with Alex Mortimer and Bradley Ellis, have taken delivery of one of Ford's V8-powered GT supercars and is aiming for a full assault on the British GT title. RPM’s Ford GT has just been completed at the Swiss workshops of FIA GT3 European Champions Matech Racing.


Ford GTX1

GTX1 Prototype #001 on display.
In November 2005 the Ford GTX1, a roadster version of the Ford GT, was unveiled in Las Vegasmarker. The $48,000 aftermarket conversion was performed by the Genaddi Design Group. It included optional performance upgrades to the suspension, brakes, aerodynamics, and an improved supercharger that increases power to .

References

  1. LIVING LEGEND COMES TO LIFE AS FORD DELIVERS FIRST PRODUCTION 2005 FORD GT
  2. Ford GT Delivery - MSN Autos
  3. Ford Motor Company - Press Release - 2005 FORD GT WILL DELIVER 550 HORSEPOWER IN PRODUCTION TRIM
  4. 2005 Ford GT Prices & Equipment - Consumer Guide Automotive
  5. Media.Ford.com: SHELBY GT500 CLAIMS FORD PERFORMANCE TORCH – WITH NEW TV COMMERCIAL - AS FORD GT ENDS ITS RUN
  6. Fords Wixom Plant Heads to the Great Assembly Line in the Sky autoblog.com
  7. http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/comparisons/04q1/2004_ferrari_challenge_stradale_vs._ford_gt_porsche_911_gt3-comparison_tests/2005_ford_gt_page_4
  8. http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/112_0506_exotic_coupe_comparison/specs_price.html
  9. http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/112_0401_exotic_coupe_comparison/specs_price.html
  10. http://www.forbes.com/2005/08/29/fastestcars-luxury-vehicles-cx_dl_0829feat_ls.html
  11. Gas Mileage of 2005 Ford GT fueleconomy.gov
  12. AutoWeek: Sports Car Briefs
  13. Ford GT TV
  14. Ford GT blasts back into Britain Girlracer.co.uk


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