Ford GT Mk II has a lot downforce it will possibly drive upside-down


$1.2M, not avenue authorized, and sticks to the highway like a lamprey with separation nervousness.


By any goal measure, right now’s Ford GT avenue automotive is unusually shut in design to the GT race automotive that the Blue Oval competes with at racetracks across the globe. In fact, that does not imply that the 2 cannot get even nearer. Enter the Ford GT Mk II. Imagine it or not, in some ways, this $1.2M, track-only mannequin is definitely stronger than the corporate’s personal manufacturing unit race vehicles.

Unveiled on the UK’s Goodwood Pageant of Velocity on Thursday, simply 45 of those GT Mk II fashions shall be produced. Ford officers inform Roadshow that these examples are earmarked to come back out of the GT’s authentic deliberate allocation of 1,350 vehicles in order to not hurt the resale or collector worth of present vehicles with a bigger complete manufacturing determine.

Just like the GT avenue automotive, every Ford GT Mk II is powered by a model of the automaker’s quantity 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine, a powerplant whose fundamental structure it shares with the Blue Oval’s chief breadwinner, the F-150 pickup. Nevertheless, that V6 is tuned right here to ship a pleasant, spherical 700 horsepower — 53 hp greater than the highway automotive and a whopping 200 ponies greater than the race automotive.  

That is as a result of racing-series sanctioning our bodies are likely to pressure sure design compromises within the title of parity and nearer, extra entertaining racing. However what if such restrictions weren’t an element? A few year-and-a-half in the past, Ford and the oldsters at Canada’s Multimatic, who helped develop and assemble the GT, started to marvel: “If you take away the entire constraints and the one legal guidelines it’s a must to meet are the legal guidelines of physics… that is the final word engineer’s dream,” stated Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product growth and buying officer, at a closed-door June media preview. 

Ford admits the Mk II wasn’t at all times within the firm’s plans for the reason that GT’s inception, however there’s an argument to be made that with lovers behind the mission like these, this automotive was inevitable.

With a full roll cage and decrease journey top, entering into the Mk II goes to be much more of a limbo act than the road automotive.


Energy play

As a way to extract that a lot extra energy out of the engine and arrange the automotive for observe obligation, the GT’s engine receives a roof-mounted air consumption which provides chilly air to auxiliary coolers for the engine, clutch and transmission. There’s additionally a nifty new cost air cooler with water sprayer used to maintain engine temps in test throughout significantly laborious working. 

Ford isn’t but quoting ultimate torque figures, because the engine remains to be present process ultimate calibration work. No matter that ultimate determine finally ends up being, it will likely be funneled to the Mk II’s rear wheels through a model of the road automotive’s 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox from Getrag, as an alternative of the race automotive’s sequential Ricardo unit.

The Mk II runs particular new 19-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin racing slicks. Brakes are carbon ceramic.


Air obvious 

Racetrack supremacy isn’t all about energy, in fact — it is about grip, and the GT Mk II has huge quantities of the stuff. That is partially because of this automotive’s considerably extra aggressive aerodynamics bundle, and likewise owing to its Michelin Pilot Sport GT race tires — present track-day rubber that Michelin had beforehand shelved and Ford recommissioned. They have been “Unretired — un-re-tired,” quipped Multimatic president and chief working officer Larry Holt.

All the automotive’s new aero addenda, together with an enormous mounted, top-hung dual-element rear wing and a entrance splitter with fender vents and dive planes, is sufficient for a 400%+ improve in downforce in comparison with the road automotive. That is an astounding determine, particularly when you think about that the usual GT already seems like one large wing. 

The online outcome isn’t solely the GT Mk II’s means to tug in extra of 2Gs of lateral grip on the skidpad, Holt maintains this automotive may theoretically drive upside-down if it had been going quick sufficient: At 150 mph, Holt says the automotive generates 1,800 to 1,900 kilos of downforce, which is greater than the automotive weighs.

Whether or not you are driving right-side up or not, all that downforce is understandably going to maintain a lid on the Mk II’s prime pace — Ford hasn’t stated something aside from it expects the automotive to faucet out someplace underneath 200 mph. (In the event you’re specializing in that quantity and having hassle reconciling why it is considerably slower than the road automotive’s 216-mph V-max, nicely, you in all probability aren’t this automotive’s goal buyer — and it isn’t as a result of you do not have the cash.)

Engineered from the top-down for racetrack supremacy.


Pleasant, approachable

Above all, Ford says it has sought to take care of the road GT’s pleasant driving character. The GT’s  daring, low-slung form could counsel that it is troublesome to drive, however in response to Holt, “a GT at (the) restrict is a simple automotive to drive, (it is) benign…. what we have tried to do is hold on to that.” The manufacturing unit race automotive is a relatively harder steer, however for the reason that Mk II’s supposed purchaser is primarily rich newbie racers and never full-time execs, a unique character — yet another like the road automotive — was referred to as for. 

Holt admits there’ll nonetheless have to be some driver schooling concerning the significance of getting the automotive’s slick tires as much as correct working temperature and he says the Mk II’s “carbon brakes are an schooling.” (Manufacturing unit race vehicles run metal brakes on 18-inch wheels owing to collection laws, whereas the road automotive runs 20s and carbon-ceramic brakes. The Mk II will run on distinctive 19s.) 

However, the Mk II’s approachable, pleasant driving demeanor did not occur by chance, it has been baked-in from the start. Ford Efficiency DNA “is to reward the skilled and flatter the novice,” stated Thai-Tang.

Happiest when blurry.


So, who’s shopping for?

Holt says Ford and Multimatic principally already know every of the 45 events who will find yourself shopping for these vehicles, despite the fact that the Blue Oval hasn’t supplied to promote any but. In contrast to the street-legal Ford GT, Ford and Multimatic officers inform Roadshow that no formal restrictions about who can purchase the GT Mk II are deliberate. 

There will not be a lottery amongst potential consumers, stipulations about present Ford car possession, nor any written contracts that prohibit fast resales for revenue like the unique manufacturing GT. Holt estimates that there are already about 30 individuals significantly thinking about shopping for the automotive, and that is earlier than Ford and Multimatic have even formally confirmed the automotive’s focus or specs.

A top-hang, dual-element mounted rear wing that includes huge endplates sits behind a brand new overhead air consumption.


If the thought of selling a $1.2-million greenback automotive that is not avenue authorized and likewise is not simply enterable into any specific racing collection seems like a recipe for monetary destroy, you have not been taking note of the world of hypercars currently. A worldwide pool of ultra-wealthy driving lovers have created a surprisingly massive and evergreen marketplace for seven-figure track-day toys –  a few of these of us personal their very own race groups, whereas others have their very own race tracks.

Unsurprisingly, then, European luxurious producers like Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren have already been repeatedly mining this viewers. Maybe not coincidentally, these are the exact same manufacturers that Ford’s GT racing program finds itself alongside within the pits on the weekends. 

Once I requested Thai-Tang if the Mk II program can pay for itself, the 52-year-old cracked a smile and stated merely, “we do not do issues to lose cash.” 

You will not see this in your rearview mirror within the drive-thru line at Starbucks. Sadly.


Why no avenue?

In the event you’ve received fantasies about flouting your native legal guidelines and driving the Ford GT Mk II on the road, it is value noting that this racecar rides even nearer to the pavement than the already ultra-low-slung GT avenue automotive, and in contrast to the latter’s trick adjustable journey top, the Mk II sits at a set journey top that in all probability would not be appropriate with many driveways and poorly maintained surfaces. 

Eradicating energetic journey top parts have yielded a 200-plus-pound weight financial savings versus the highway automotive, and particular five-way DSSV shocks much like the race automotive have been fitted, which could make for a too-firm journey on the streets, even with their adjustability.

All enterprise in right here: Sparco seats, six-point harnesses, yoke-style wheel, Motec information acquisition.


You’d should make various extra sacrifices, too, together with limboing out and in of the Mk II’s full, FIA-approved roll cage, which incorporates hefty side- and A-pillar bars. (The common avenue GT options an built-in partial higher roll cage.) When you origami your self inside, a pair of customized Sparco seats are fitted with six-point harnesses, the facet home windows are mounted, and there is no local weather controls to be discovered within the simplified light-weight dashboard. (A race A/C system is non-obligatory, together with hearth suppression.)

There’s additionally a complete bunch of explanation why the GT Mk II is not avenue authorized, and it is not simply because this automotive lacks a spot to hold a license plate. The mannequin lacks airbags, will not be crash examined in accordance with federal necessities, and there are different non-trivial homologation issues, together with the automotive’s incompatibility with manufacturing noise and emissions laws.

With solely 45 items deliberate, you will be fortunate to stumble upon certainly one of these on the observe.


Get in line

So, how are you going to purchase one? We might advocate calling up Larry Holt, or higher but, bumping into him on the spectacularly named Calabogie Motorsports Park. Up close to Ottawa, it is Multimatic’s “residence” observe the place this automotive was developed.

However you’d higher be fast. This 12 months, Holt says his firm will solely construct 5 to 7 Ford GT Mk IIs. After that, about 15 fortunate consumers will trailer one residence per 12 months.


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