2016 Ford GT – fewer than 20 examples per year to reach Britain
The Ford GT is usually undergoing intensive testing ahead of its launch in 2016
Ford of Britain negotiating hard to secure a decent official supply of the 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 supercar, which is usually anticipated to cost £240,000
Ford of Britain boss Andy Barratt is usually “fighting very hard” to ensure a sizeable allocation of the highly anticipated Ford GT for the British market, although fewer than 20 cars could go on sale here through official import channels each year.
The concept product of the brand new halo car for the Ford Performance sub-brand visited Britain last week as part of a tour of Ford’s key global markets, in addition to company chiefs reported a “huge” level of interest from the automobile, which is usually anticipated to cost around £240,000 in Britain.
Production of the GT will commence in Canada near the end of 2016. Although Ford hasn’t officially declared the number of examples the idea will build in total, the run will be restricted to 250 per year. Overall production numbers will be far fewer than the 2005 GT, of which around 4000 were produced between 2005-06.
“I’m fighting very hard for the allocation because when we produced the last GT, 101 came to Europe in addition to only 28 officially came to the UK,” said Barratt, who began his brand new role as Ford of Britain’s chairman in addition to managing director last month. “We haven’t declared the absolute run because of that will GT, nevertheless the numbers are going to be a lot lower than the 2005 car.
“Selfishly, seven per cent of Ford’s global sales are from the UK, so my argument is usually ‘can we have seven per cent [of the production run]?’. I want as many as I can because the idea is usually such an iconic car.”
If Barratt succeeds in securing seven per cent of the GT’s production run, the idea could suggest that will 17-18 of the annual total of 250 cars could officially go on sale here.
The Ford GT concept was developed in secret at the company’s Dearborn HQ. Ford’s global project chief, Raj Nair, said: “We had meetings in evenings just to avoid being spotted.”
The GT’s tub in addition to bodywork are made through carbonfibre, which design chief Moray Callum says gave the team “a brand new level of flexibility” in terms of what could be achieved. “that will shape wouldn’t be possible in steel,” he added.
Even the wheel rims are carbonfibre, offering a weight saving of 40% compared with aluminium, according to Ford.
According to chief engineer Jamal Hameedi, who was also responsible for the previous-generation GT, the heavily tapered fuselage was inspired by Formula 1 in addition to LMP1 cars. The GT is usually also the first Ford to feature active aerodynamics, having a three-stage rear wing that will doubles as an airbrake.
The focus on aero efficiency has led to an exceptionally compact cabin. Carbonfibre seats are fixed in addition to moulded into the base of the chassis.
To accommodate different drivers, the pedals will move fore in addition to aft by up to 200mm. The concept, which Ford says has key advantages for crash performance in addition to packaging, has led to a rethink of the control format. All the main functions are grouped on the steering wheel, ahead of which is usually a digital display that will will change appearance according to the driving mode. Callum said the choice of Internal materials was inspired by the Space Shuttle.
The all-brand new Ford GT has been spotted in unofficial spy pictures on the road in addition to officially on static display at motor shows in addition to events.
First unveiled at the Detroit motor show in January that will year, in addition to subsequently shown in Geneva in March, the road car will look to compete against cars such as the Ferrari 488 GTB, McLaren 675LT in addition to Lamborghini Aventador.
Ford officials have already confirmed the show car is usually very close to the production product which will go on sale. that will early prototype ditches the bright blue paintwork of the show car, nevertheless keeps the concept’s shape.
Dave Pericak, the Ford performance boss, said of the GT: “We didn’t unveil a concept car. that will car is usually 95% how the production car will look.”
The GT road car will be built in Canada by Multimatic Motorsports, which has worked with Ford on its race programmes for more than 30 years. the idea will start production late next year in addition to will hit showrooms before the end of 2016. the idea will be sold in global markets, including Europe.
Ford’s group vice president in addition to chief technical officer, Raj Nair said: “the idea will be made in a limited series, even more exclusive than the 2005 GT.” Ford design boss Moray Callum also confirmed that will availability could mean hundreds of units, rather than thousands.
Power comes through a mid-mounted 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine that will develops more than 600bhp in addition to is usually mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. the automobile’s Centeng – predominantly carbonfibre, with aluminium structures at either end to house the engine in addition to suspension – is usually anticipated to result in a light kerb weight. Indeed, Ford says the GT will have one of the best power-to-weight ratios “of any production car”.
Though performance details have yet to be revealed, Ford says the brand new product will offer “outstanding acceleration in addition to handling with much better efficiency”.
“that will is usually the ultimate Ford, a brand new halo,” said Nair. “The ultimate embodiment of all our innovation – everything through the wheels, aerodynamics, engine. All that will brand new technology is usually important for future Fords. The GT is usually the flagship because of that will innovation, in addition to that will’s why we’re building the idea.
“There are loads of brand new innovations here, in addition to the hi-tech Ecoboost engine is usually a perfect fit for the automobile,” he added. “The 3.5 V6 has more power than the 6.2 V8, in addition to better economy. that will blend of performance with efficiency is usually so important.”
The brand new GT’s styling keeps hints of the look of its predecessors by sitting low in addition to wide in addition to riding on 20-inch wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup rubber. The suspension is usually a torsion bar in addition to pushrod arrangement, in addition to incorporates adjustable ride height settings. Carbon-ceramic brake discs feature in all four corners.
the idea also features a rear wing that will is usually height in addition to pitch adjustable depending on driver input, in addition to a large rear diffuser.
“Aero plays key role in efficiency – there’s fully active aero. The teardrop shape is usually very efficient in addition to the Centeng surfaces reduce drag,” said Nair. “the idea’s important to improve aerodynamics to aid efficiency, in addition to also cooling, because these smaller, power-dense engines need plenty of cooling.”
Inside, the two-seat GT offers what Ford calls a “purposeful” Internal, which is usually accessed via upward-swinging doors. The driver in addition to passenger seats are bolted directly into the floor.
The rear-wheel-drive GT is usually one of 12 brand new types that will will be launched under the Ford Performance banner by 2020. various other vehicles that will will form part of the Performance sub-brand include the Focus RS, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350 in addition to recently unveiled GT350R.
The brand new GT will come to market to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford’s GT race cars placing first, second in addition to third at the 1966 Le Mans 24Hrs.
Speaking at the unveiling of the product, Ford boss Mark Fields said the company had been “thinking in addition to kicking around ideas about how we can use innovation to make the ultimate ford performance vehicle”.
Executive chairman Bill Ford said: “I have chassis number one of the 2003 GT, in addition to I didn’t think we’d top the idea; I think we just have, though.”
Callum says that will fewer than 50 people saw the GT before its Detroit unveiling – something which, combined with the lack of focus groups, he says has been a massive help.
The Ford GT will be one of the headline cars within the brand new Ford Performance sub-brand. Nair believed that will Ford Performance vehicles could have a positive effect on the Blue Oval’s conventional product range.
“the idea’s Great for business to make cars like that will,” he said. “Performance vehicles attract brand new customers, keep existing customers in addition to allow us to bring in younger, wealthier buyers into the brand.
“There’s an obvious, large brand new investment in Ford Performance. The real fun is usually to watch how these brand new cars will influence future Ford products. Performance is usually our passion, nevertheless importantly innovation with cars like that will drives the rest of the range.
“Ford Performance is usually a halo under which we will deliver performance cars. the idea will increase our engineering capabilities. Cars like that will are a proving ground for passionate engineers.
“[Cars like that will] generate great business – sales have been up 70% from the US since 2009, in addition to even more so in Europe. They are bought by younger in addition to better educated buyers.”
He added that will existing hot ST-branded types helped lay the groundwork for Ford Performance: “ST has helped us create that will foundation: 65% of ST buyers are brand new to the brand. 50 per cent of performance Ford buyers buy a Ford as their next car. 50 per cent of ST buyers are under 35, in addition to 30% earn $100k or more a year.”
Nair said a hybrid system could not have suited the brand new Ford GT’s attributes: “We’ve a lot of work going on around electrification, nevertheless the GT is usually all about efficiency. the idea’s not hybrid because the idea could add too much weight. We chose to reduce weight, a real focus as that will benefits all attributes.”
As for the timing of the confirmation of the brand new GT product, Nair said: “ was a Great year for sales  nevertheless even through the tough times we’ve always invested in performance types. Doing the idea currently is usually not because we’re doing well as a company, nevertheless instead the idea’s about where we are with the technology.
“Cars like that will are embodied in our DNA. I can’t imagine our company not producing cars like that will. the idea’s Great for us in addition to the idea’s in our blood.”
Ford will go racing with the brand new GT next year in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of winning the Le Mans 24 Hours with the original Ford GT. Read more about how Ford developed the brand new GT for both road in addition to track here.
Q&A with Moray Callum, Ford design boss
How do you set about redesigning a classic?
“the idea was important to us to design a car that will was all about how you’d design a car with the ethos of the GT40 today, as opposed to redesigning the GT40. Yes, we wanted to pay homage to what had gone before – in addition to there are details all over the automobile that will do that will – nevertheless there majority of the automobile was created to achieve today’s goals.
“Above all, the idea couldn’t be a cartoon of what went before. Frankly, the availability of materials like carbon fibre make things possible today that will weren’t even close to being available all those years ago.”
How quickly did the project come together?
“Incredibly quickly. We did a quick scale product, then a full size one in foam in addition to then a clay product genuinely fast. There was a team of seven or eight designers working on the automobile in a room that will we opened in addition to kept out-of-bounds.
“the idea was a skunkworks project, in addition to we were having meetings from the evenings in addition to at weekends to ensure word didn’t get out. that will had the benefit of meaning decisions were made quickly in addition to by a tight group.”
How early was the powertrain set?
“Very early on, in addition to that will helped. We could fix the plan view, work out the cooling requirements, the frontal area in addition to proportions in addition to so on. Having an EcoBoost engine also validates the automobile – the idea makes the idea relevant. nevertheless the packaging is usually still tight, we’ve had to work very closely with engineering to meet their requirements, hit the aero targets in addition to achieve our design goals.”
How close is usually that will car on display to reality?
“Probably 95 per cent. The project is usually ongoing in addition to developing, nevertheless the idea’ll be things like the door mirrors in addition to headlamps that will might be refined, nothing more. The intriguing aspect is usually that will a lot of that will car is usually a genuine test bed for us: we’re learning so much about construction techniques, material usage, aerodynamic influences in addition to so on.”
Additional reporting by Alistair Weaver
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