Ford asks, “What do you say about the return of a legend?” And the answer would be much different than what we’d give 13 years ago at the 2002 North American International Auto Show when The Blue Oval first revealed the GT40 Concept. That car would eventually lead to the production version of the Ford GT spanning the 2005 and 2006 model years. Even so, the all-new 2016 Ford GT show car is a completely different animal.
While the 2005-2006 Ford GT was quite the modern take on the hallowed GT40 Le Mans winner, the 2016 Ford GT unleashed at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is a modern interpretation of a sports car with inspiration from 50 years ago. Powered by a twin-turbo 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine with 600 horsepower, the new GT clearly eschews tradition and retro concepts. And for those belly-aching about the lack of V8 power, no one is really saying the same thing about the also-new Acura NSX (which suddenly seems old for some reason). For what it’s worth, Ford says the EcoBoost “features a wide powerband with impressive time-to-torque characteristics.” Not sure if Honda can say the same about the NSX.
Though we have yet to see the final production-spec version of the GT, Ford’s aspirations to compete in LeMans gives us confidence that its new supercar will be as world-class as they come. And when it comes to NAIAS, the GT is among very, very good company thanks to the new F-150 Raptor and 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350R.