Perhaps that's to miss the point, though. Ever since Kiwis Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon took the flag in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans (the first American car to win there), and the subsequent three victories for the GT40, that evocative shape with its wrap-around windscreen has been a Ford talisman. Fiesta might be Britain's most popular car, but GT40 is the heartland where engineers get to show what they can do, as they did in 2005 with the last limited production GT supercar. Though it's an interesting thought that those first 1963 GT40s cost £5,200, which would be about £100,000 at today's values, which makes this new GT four times more expensive.
Unlike the 2005 GT, however, the new GT has earned its racing spurs, finishing first in the GTE-Pro class at last year's Le Mans. This is the road version, a race car for the road, designed by Ford Performance and Multimatic, and built by the latter in Canada. It's based on a 15-piece bonded carbon-fibre racing tub with aluminium subframes. The engine is a 3.5-litre, 60-degree, dry-sump, quad-cam, short-stroke V6, with port and direct injection, reversed ancillary drives and two Honeywell twin-scroll turbos. It's based on a production engine, but highly modified with cast aluminium pistons and forged connecting rods. A Getrag twin-clutch, seven-speed transmission directs power to the 20-inch rear wheels shod with Michelin Sport Pilot 2 tyres.
Power is 647bhp at 6,250rpm and 550lb ft of torque at 5,900rpm, enough to galvanise this 1,385kg (dry) mid-engined two seaters, but Ford is being coy with performance figures as European homologation is yet to be done. Top speed is a claimed 216mph in low downforce mode, 0-60mph in under 3sec and on a road test route we managed 17.2mpg. Prices start at £450,000 rising to half a million if you delve into the options list which includes carbon-fibre wheels, titanium exhaust, coloured brake callipers, exposed carbon fibre panels and bodywork stripes – well you would wouldn't you? There were 6,500 applications for the first 750 examples and the final 250 go on sale early next year.
The cabin is cramped, but the seats are comfortable even if getting in there is a bit of a struggle. There's a sat nav and radio, but these are vestigial sops to luxury and there's only an 11-litre box under the bonnet, so don't pack light, just don't pack.
Press the big anodised button and the engine clatters then booms into life drowning out all except raised voices. The air conditioning barely copes with the heat build up. With no steering column stalks the steering wheel has virtually all car's functions on it including the indicators and mode selector, which sets up the engine and transmission responses, the dampers and the ride height in Normal, Sport, Wet and Track mode. Pull the gorgeous machined paddles behind the wheel and gingerly press the throttle.
"I'm most proud of the suspension and the aero," says Hameedi. "They are the magic sauce of this car."
Magic sauce, they might be, but the road ride isn't bad either, though potholes resound through the frame when the 20-inch rims hit them. The steering lifts off the dead ahead with a lovely talkative assistance, you know just where the car is and what those front wheels are up to. It gets a bit twitchy at high speeds but you need to relax at the wheel, keep your eyes far down the road and not over react.