Ford has revealed the ultimate version of its Ford GT supercar at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard.
The Ford GT MkII is a track-only version of the Ford GT, incorporating knowledge gained from running the GT race car in the GTE category of sports car racing, but in a package not limited by the rules.
For starters, this includes the engine power. Although the 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 produces 647hp in the road car, the restrictions for racing wind that down somewhat. At the recent 24 Hours of Le Mans, the racer was making do with just 495hp, thanks to Balance of Performance regulations.
“The frustration of the car over the last three or four years is that we’ve had a racing car that I think the general public would understand to be the higher performance version of the car, but in fact it’s a lower performance version because of the fact we’ve got BOP,” says Larry Holt, Chief Technical Officer at Multimatic (Ford’s technical partner which builds both the road and race cars in Ontario). “We’re running 495hp in the race car, but the road car has 650hp.
“There’s a lot of innovative aero things on the race car that we haven’t been able to fully exploit. The idea would be what is the ultimate performance capability of the Ford GT and can we have a look at that.
The MkII is running significantly more power than either, with Holt saying it’s some 70hp up on the road car – at nearly 720hp. It’s also 150kg lighter than the road car, partly due to the deletion of the variable ride height modes.
While the race car’s rear wing is governed by regulations, the MkII has no such constraints and sports a huge two element item. Ford balances this off with a race-derived front splitter that generates even more downforce than the race car, while louvred front wheel arches – also not permitted in racing – help lower pressure in the wheel wells and gain more downforce. This gives the MkII more downforce than the race car, and 400% more than the road car, but the centre of pressure remains the same.
“The Ford GT has got this kind of feel of how it handles – it’s benign, so it doesn’t snap oversteer and it’s very easy to drive even for a beginner. We had to retain weight balance, we had to maintain centre of pressure, we had to retain all of these kind of high level attributes of the car, and then up the performance by 35%” says Holt.
Running on 19-inch wheels, the GT uses off-the-shelf slick tires. There’s also a MoTeC data-logging system and custom Sparco racing seats for driver and passenger. “Everywhere we’ve taken it, it’s 10 seconds faster than the road car,” adds Holt.
For the MkII, Ford has even abandoned the rules of the road. The new GT is a track only special, partly because it frees Ford from constraints of emissions regulations, but also not to increase the number of GTs out there. It’s a limited edition of 45 cars, leaving the production numbers – and value – of the road cars untouched.
The MkII has come through thousands of miles of testing, with a three-day, high-temperature test at Sebring proving the car’s ability to run all day long without losing power as the manifold heats up. “It’s got it all - it’s a beast!” says Holt.