The Ford GT debuted in January, 2015. That’s more than two years ago. In that time, a racing version of the GT was developed and won the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, both substantial accomplishments for such a short period of time. But that road car we first saw? Nobody has driven it.
R&T’s Editor-in-Chief Kim Wolfkill just spent some time with the roadgoing GT at Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park. Here are a few of his quick thoughts on Ford’s new supercar. Look for a deeper dive into the GT soon and get our impressions of the interior, looks, and sounds in our ridealong. – Ed.
1. Tight fit. We’ve covered the interior before, but not from the driver’s seat. It’s still tight like a Lotus Elise–larger people will rub shoulders, I’m 6’2″ and my hair grazes the headliner–but it’s not unpleasant. Everything looks and feels like it should on a car that costs as much as a GT does. But here’s a quirk: the pedals are adjustable, but it’s manual, no electric motors here. You pull a fabric tab to move the pedals. But you don’t care about a fabric pull to move the pedals. You care about how it drives.
2. Sound doesn’t matter. Power delivery is linear in the 3.5 liter, 647-horsepower twin-turbo V6 with a clean pull from around 3000 rpm all the way to redline. But the exhaust note doesn’t significantly change as it runs up the tach, not even when it delivers a slight boost in power from 5000 rpm onward. And the V6 isn’t an exotic sounding powerplant to begin with, so you have to be excited about the racing pedigree behind the engine. But Turbo lag is pretty much non-existent, part of that is because it has anti-lag (Anti-lag. In a road car.) that keeps the turbo spooled to 20,000 rpm in Sport and Track mode.
3. The 7-speed dual-clutch Getrag transmission is outstanding. Upshifts are lightning fast, the downshift blips perfectly and the gearing appropriate for everything from in-town driving to track days. 7th gear feels a bit like an overdrive in normal conditions, but clearly serves a higher purpose when helping propel the GT to its 216 mph top speed.
4. The experience and looks are mismatched in the best way possible. The GT looks really high tech (and it is), but it doesn’t act like it’s some sort of wundercar that c. It’s refreshing to drive something this fast and this capable that relies less on digital wizardry and more on good old-fashioned race car engineering.
5. Hydraulic steering. The GT has hydraulic steering, a dying technology that is still better than electric steering. As you’d hope, it does an excellent job of reminding the driver what the road is doing and how the car is responding to the road. The wheel moves around in your hands on uneven surfaces, but not nervously, it’s communicative.
6. A moron can drive it, but the GT won’t flatter you. Excellent mechanical grip and genuine levels of downforce make the GT nearly unflappable on public roads. Its…