as all-new, race-winning Ford GTs continue to roll into driveways around the world, many of the innovative technologies and advanced materials developed for the supercar will be finding their way into several of our next-generation cars, trucks, SUVs and electric vehicles.
“When we began work on the all-new Ford GT in 2013, the team had three goals,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and president of North America. “The first was to use it as a training ground for our engineers as we develop future engine technology and stretch our understanding of aerodynamics. Then, to push the boundaries of advanced material used such as lightweight carbon fiber. Finally, we set out to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, referred to by many as the ultimate test of endurance and efficiency.”
As to the latter, for the second straight year, the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team podiumed at the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours event. In a door-to-door battle of manufacturers, the #67 Ford GT pounced on a struggling Corvette to grab second place just as the chequered flag fell. All four Ford GT finished the race, with last year’s race-winning #68 taking sixth place, followed by the #69 car in seventh and the #66 in tenth place.
When it came to our understanding of aerodynamics, a key goal for the GT was to give it greater stability and grip while accelerating, cornering and braking. So we created an aerodynamic system that features a unique, patent-pending, deployable wing that changes shape to maximize aerodynamic efficiency in varying driving conditions.
Aerodynamic efficiencies can also be found in the engine of the GT. The compact six-cylinder design of the car’s EcoBoost® engine allowed our design team to taper the GT’s fuselage to dimensions that a larger V8 would not have allowed. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine is our most powerful EcoBoost ever, delivering 647 horsepower. It was developed alongside the GT race engine and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine used in the F-150 Raptor high-performance off-road pickup, which shares almost 60 percent of its parts with GT’s engine.
Further improving engine performance, GT features an all-new port and direct dual fuel-injection setup to enhance engine response. The engine is paired with a responsive seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle for nearly instantaneous gear changes and exceptional driver control.
One significant trend covered in the report is the importance of ‘Championing Change’ to consumers. We identified a growing consumer realization that when it comes to many pressing societal issues – from civil rights to the environment – the responsibility for creating change often gets passed back and forth between a variety of institutions and individuals. This insight helps us frame our expansion into both an auto and mobility company, as we reaffirm our commitment to making a positive, substantial impact on people’s lives – even if they don’t own a vehicle.
“What’s fascinating is how Ford is adapting and innovating – offering customers and society at large tangible ways to improve their mobility needs and ultimately, their daily way of life.” Says Sheryl Connelly, Ford global trend and future manager, and a significant contributor to the Looking Further with Ford 2017 Trend Report. “We’re inspired by the creativity and enterprising spirit driving innovation in the marketplace. It gives us hope for what the future holds.”