The automotive world is filled with car designs, all vying for the next winning idea that will grab the headlines and the public’s hearts. While it is not unusual for companies to take the “safe” route with new designs, implementing current trends and features often trickling down from more expensive models, this often leads to a case of normalcy amongst many models.
- The personal car of Moray Callum, Ford Motor Company’s VP of Design
- 204 miles – As-new condition
- Liquid Red Metallic paint with Re-Entry interior
- 24 Hours of Le Mans-proven 647hp 3.5-liter twin turbo V6 engine
- 7-speed dual clutch transmission
- Designed from a blank slate to win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
The last thing you want a halo car to be is feeling redundant of its past, hardly changing, or not pushing the envelope in some way. Ford Motor Company, known for their 24 Hours of Le Mans- dominating Ford GT40s of the 60s, was determined to make a return to the legendary race in France. What started as a discussion of “what ifs” turned into a full-blown program that yielded one of the most advanced and futuristic road cars available today: The Ford GT.
Moray Callum, Ford’s VP of Design and leader of the Ford GT design team, recalled the beginnings of the program in 2013. Having been at Ford since 2006 as the Executive Director of Design for the Americas, Ford wasted no time in appointing Callum to lead the design team for the Ford GT in January of 2014. He recalled that the program didn’t begin with the idea of the return of the legendary Ford GT name, but instead centered on bringing a Ford Mustang-based GT to Le Mans.
Discussions commenced that talked about how highly modified the car would end up being and going up against Corvettes, remaining extremely secretive the entire time. Ford approached Multimatic, the well-known automotive outfit that supplies engineering components, systems and services to automakers around the world, particularly in motorsport. After different concepts were circling around, it was decided that the program could build a brand-new car from a fresh slate for just a little more money. Ford would be in charge of the exterior and interior design, and Multimatic would be responsible for the engineering and building of the new halo super car.
The GT program was the pinnacle of secrecy, with only the top brass of Ford and very few individuals privileged enough outside of the Ford Design team to know the inner workings of the project. The 8 or so original designers were shuttled into an empty storage room in the basement of Ford’s Dearborn facility, with even the key cards to the room remaining unmarked to allude suspicion. Starting with clay models, evolving into digital surfacing and digital engineering, the designs progressed at a staggering pace. The design team worked tirelessly and creatively to conjure up a winning design, eventually evolving into what you see today: a carbon-fiber bodied monster, with proportions and designs like a spaceship with the performance to match. Multimatic was busy at work optimizing their engineering, with Ford’s intent laser focused: to return and win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Two years later, after countless nights and long hours to bring the dream to life, 2015 arrives. PR releases, automotive car shows, and a special race-car video reveal start to come alive. The concept Ford GT was revealed at the North American International Car Show, with production slated to begin in 2016. The automotive community was astounded. In a world were autonomous driving and more civilized design were becoming the norm, Ford dropped the mic with their new car. Focusing on the aerodynamics of the new car, it shared a surprisingly large amount with the new racecar to produce downforce. The striking design, especially the “teardrop” center section, was hailed as ground-breaking and extremely brave. The twin- turbocharged V6 engine with 647 horsepower provided engineers with plenty of flexibility in design, where aerodynamics and the focus on winning was paramount.
Other features about the Ford GT made it unique to street cars, sharing racing-car engineering that carried over from track cars. Pushrod suspension that is adjustable from inside the cabin is standard, and due to Multimatic’s design provides a clever use of its modes to adjust dampening. The chassis is comprised of a carbon-fiber monocoque with aluminum front and rear subframes, with the entire body shrouded in carbon-fiber panels. Getrag was approached to make a special 7-speed dual clutch transmission. You’d expect that the sum of all parts would equal staggering performance, and you’d be right. With 0-60mph in 3.0 seconds, 0- 170mph in 21.4 seconds, 216 miles per hour top speed, and with a cornering capability of 1.11 lateral g-forces, the Ford GT is a thinly disguised race car made for the street.
Fast forward to the 2016 racing season. The Chip Ganassi Racing team, provided with Ford factory support, takes home the 1st-in-class win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on the 50th anniversary of Ford’s first 1966 famous 1-2-3 win at the French race. The Ford pits erupt in celebration and excitement, while expecting good results never could have imagined that on their first outing to Le Mans since 1969 would yield a 1st-place finish. To add even more prestige, another Ford GT finished 3rd as well to join the podium. Ford had done it. Half a century since their first win, the Ford GT claims another 24 Hours of Le Mans win.
Moray Callum has had his name immortalized with this new Ford GT design, having led the design team that brought both critical and racing acclaim to Ford. When ordering his car, he spec’d the bodywork in the stunning Liquid Red Metallic with the contrasting Re-Entry interior package, with the dash and seats swathed in white leather. During his ownership, he added only 204 miles to the car, keeping the GT in pristine condition. You would be hard pressed to determine if it was a newly-delivered 2020 vehicle, as it is currently in like-new condition.
The sum of all of its parts has created one of the most engaging and rewarding driving experiences that you can have in a modern-day road car. With an incredible amount of feedback, connectivity to the car, and directly linked to Ford’s motorsport heritage, there is no doubt that the Ford GT is one of the most exciting cars on the road today.
Report by canepa.com