The original Ford GT40 was a pure race car built in the mid-1960s to take on Ferrari in the dem and ing 24-hour race at Le Mans. The Ford GT race car beat the world's best in endurance racing, placing 1-2-3 at Le Mans in 1966.
2006 marks the 40th anniversary of that historic event, the start of Ford's remarkable four-year winning streak of the world's premier endurance race. A special limited-edition exterior color, Tungsten Grey, is being offered on the 2006 Ford GT to commemorate that sterling victory.
The original Ford GT racers were engineering and design marvels demonstrating Ford's dedication and perseverance. In a few short years, under the direction of Henry Ford II, the company built a program from scratch that reached the pinnacle of international motorsports competition - and stayed there for four racing seasons.
Perhaps the world's most significant - and glamorous - motorsport contest, Le Mans in the early 1960s was showing signs of becoming a Ferrari showcase, because the Italians had become the leaders in a number of endurance classes and events. But the Ford GT race car changed Le Mans forever, and today it signifies a new era for Ford Motor Company.
Design and Equipment
To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Ford's first win at Le Mans , the 2006 Ford GT will be offered in a limited-edition Tungsten Grey, which replaces Quick Silver on the Ford GT's color palette. A Quick Silver racing stripe can be added to the Tungsten Grey package.
Tungsten Grey was developed for the 2004 North American International Auto Show Ford "Performance Trilogy" show cars - the Ford GT, the Ford Shelby Cobra Concept and the new 2005 Ford Mustang GT. Customer dem and was so overwhelming that the color was added to the production palette.
"There's good contrast between the colors," says Camilo Pardo, chief designer of the Ford GT. "But it's a discreet contrast. In Tungsten Grey, the Ford GT is really dressy, like a fine suit. It looks mature."
Pardo notes that in the design studio, clay models are covered with "Dynoc" material that is a similar hue to Tungsten Grey. The color is specifically designed to enhance the vehicle design details for evaluation.
Unveiled at the 2002 North American International Auto Show, the Ford GT40 Concept became an instant sensation. And just 45 days after the vehicle was unveiled, Ford stunned the world again, officially announcing that a production version was in the works. Ford's GT40 concept car was created to celebrate that great era in history and look forward to the great years to come.
Although the new production car and the original race car both share the mystique of the Ford GT name, they do not share a single dimension. The new car is more than 18 inches longer and st and s nearly 4 inches taller. Its new lines draw upon and refine the best features of Ford GT history and express the car's identity through modern proportion and surface development.
The Ford GT production car, like the concept, casts the familiar, sleek look of its namesake; yet every dimension, every curve and every line on the car is a unique reinterpretation of the original. The car features a long front overhang reminiscent of 1960s-era race cars. But its sweeping cowl, subtle accent lines and high-intensity-discharge headlamps strike a distinctly contemporary pose.
The front fenders curve over 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires. In the tradition of original Ford GT racers, the doors cut into the roof. Prominent on the leading edge of the rear quarter panel are functional scoops that channel fresh air to the engine. The rear wheel wells, filled with 19-inch wheels and tires, define the rear of the car, while the accent line from the front cowl rejoins and finishes the car's profile at the integrated "ducktail" spoiler.
The interior design incorporates the novel "ventilated seats" and instrument layout of the original car, with straightforward analog gauges and a large tachometer. Modern versions of the original car's toggle switches operate key systems.
Looking in through the backlight, one finds the essence of the sports car in a 5.4-liter supercharged version of Ford's MOD V8 engine. The finishing touches are "Ford Blue" cam covers, each featuring an aluminum coil cover imprinted with the words "Powered by Ford."
Powertrain and Chassis
The Ford GT team knew this road car would require a stiff structure, much like a race car. As such, they developed an all-aluminum space frame comprising extrusions, castings and several stampings. The hybrid aluminum space frame chassis is based on efficient use of 35 extrusions, seven complex castings, two semi-solid formed castings and various stamped aluminum panels.
The new Ford GT is intended for the road, unlike the original 1960s race cars that ultimately spawned a limited number of production road cars. However, the new car required unique race-like engineering solutions - like engineering out the aerodynamic "lift" inherent in the original car's design - for a car that clocks in at more than 205 mph. The new Ford GT includes racing-inspired ground effects ducting under the rear fascia.
The Ford GT features many new and unique technologies, including super-plastic-formed aluminum body panels, roll-bonded floor panels, a friction-stir welded center tunnel, a capless fuel filler system, one-piece door panels and an aluminum engine cover with a one-piece carbon-fiber inner panel.
The chassis features unequal-length control arms and coil-over spring-damper units to allow for its low profile. Braking is h and led by four-piston aluminum Brembo monoblock calipers with cross-drilled and vented rotors at all four corners. When the rear canopy is opened, the rear suspension components and engine become the car's focal point. Aluminum suspension components and 19-inch Goodyear tires - combined with the overwhelming presence of the V8 engine - create a striking appearance and communicate the performance credentials of the Ford GT.
The Ford GT engine, based on the largest V8 in Ford's modular engine family, produces 550 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Both figures are comparable to those of the 7.0-liter engine that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 and 1967.
The 5.4-liter powerplant is all-aluminum and fed by an Eaton screw-type supercharger. It features four-valve cylinder heads and forged components, including the crankshaft, H-beam connecting rods and aluminum pistons. Power is put to the road through a Ricardo six-speed manual transaxle featuring a helical limited-slip differential.
Major Features and Options
St and ard features include: Brembo monoblock brake calipers, BBS™ cast-aluminum wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 supercar tires, carbon-fiber bucket seats with ventilated leather seating surfaces, 6-speed manual transmission, AM/FM stereo with CD, bi-xenon headlamps, fog lamps, driver and passenger front air bags, ABS, leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, passive anti-theft system, power exterior mirrors, windows and door locks, air conditioning, remote keyless entry and rear window defroster.