Here we are today looking at the 2015 Ford GT40, which reaches back to the 1960’s when Ford dropped a 427 cubic inch V8 into a sports car and finished the 1966 24-hour Le Mans 1-2-3.
The story around the 1960’s development of the GT40 was based in revenge against Mr. Enzo Ferrari after a failed attempt to buy Ferrari. Ford wanted to ensure that the GT40 would beat Ferrari at their own game, on a world stage, at Le Mans.
The GT40 won four times in a row from 1966 - 1969. For its time, the Ford GT40 racer and its road-going counterpart stunned the world and pushed technology and innovation forward for racecars.
This can’t be anything but a Ford GT40, and it’s well ahead of the last-generation of ten years ago. Ford brings this supercar into the 21st century with a new turbocharged engine, sophisticated aerodynamics, and 10 million lines of computer code zooming around processors and sensors that generate 300MB of data every second. Something never talked about in the 60’s. This Ford GT40 has left the analog world and embraced the digital.
The last Ford GT40 we saw on Top Gear in 2005 was not really much different form the 60’s version. It was mostly identical to its forerunner and it reminded the world of America’s capabilities in brute power and not much else. However it was a resounding success and one, which is still appreciating in value, believe it or not, despite its lack of innovation.
The 2015 GT40 was developed in complete secrecy and was finally unveiled in Detroit in January this year. Gone is the 7.0L V8 and replaced by a twin-turbo 450kW, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. The EcoBoost that has made its way into the new GT40 has already been winning races in the Tudor United Sports Car Championship.
The EcoBoost’s slim architecture allows the cabin to tapper as it shrink-wraps to the body and to the engine allowing air to active the rear spoiler. This creates a low-drag design and with a powerful and efficient engine Ford could return to the endurance racing of Le Mans. However no official response to that idea has been confirmed.
As an iconic symbol the Ford GT40 has emerged in 2015 as a real hot contender, it is quite encouraging just what an American automotive company can achieve against the Italians and Germans who have turned out most of the cool supercars. Remaining streamlined in production and developing in secret away from public scrutiny it’s very cool what can be accomplished. Ford once again expects world-class competition against the likes of the Ferrari 458 and the McLaren 12C.