2016 Ford GT Specs and Preview – Today, Ford is a company on the rebound after the financial crisis rocked the American automotive industry. For the first time it has begun to outsell General Motors on a quarterly basis and things seem to be getting better all the time. Trimming the fat and producing solid vehicles that the American consumer wants has been a key to this success. So is it time to release a new supercar?
Ford will be revealing the 2016 Ford GT successor in January 2015, at the Detroit Auto Show, and Ford’s new supercar is going to be an animal.
2016 Ford GT Specs
The 2016 Ford GT will be composed mainly out of “carbon-fiber composite and aluminum”. Our source claims that Ford Performance has put a huge emphasis on weight saving and a “higher power to weight ratio”. This seems about par for the course for a next generation supercar – but it gets more interesting: We can expect this new GT to be powered by a higher-revving, 650+ HP Twin Turbo 5.0, loosely based on the now-legendary ‘Coyote’ platform. However, it appears as if Ford is going with a ‘traditional 90 degree’ crankshaft, as oppose to the highly speculated Flat Plane Crank. This does make sense considering the forced induction nature of this new engine, as the Flat Plane Crank was purpose built for a high-revving track car. For this new supercar to live up to the earth-rotating reputation of the original Ford GT, it is going to need forced induction – especially considering that so many owners of the 2005-06 Ford GT have largely been involved in Texas Mile and Top Speed events – which benefit highly boosted cars, but we digress.
Future Ford GT First Look
For Blue Oval fans, 2016 looms large. That year marks the 50th anniversary of Ford’s greatest racing victory, the first of four consecutive wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. To commemorate and celebrate this glorious anniversary, several sources tell Motor Trend that Ford is bringing back the GT for 2016, though that might not be its name. Not just for the street, either. Looks like the company that Hank built is packing its bags and heading across the pond to France. Whispers in and around Dearborn indicate that Ford has a skunkworks team working on a mid-engine supercar that will not only show up on dealer lots, but also will return Ford to the top of the endurance car podium.
What engine will power such a machine? Every car person on the Internet knows the old Ford GT can handle far more power than the 550-hp, 500 lb-ft of torque the Lysholm supercharger helped squeeze out of the 5.4-liter V-8 it shipped with back in 2005. After all, 1000-plus-hp GTs are still frequently used for events such the Texas Mile. As a matter of fact (and example), in 2013 a 2000-hp M2K Motorsports Ford GT went 278.2 mph at the big Texas event. That’s nuts! Even if Ford kept the GT’s chassis the same and only updated the engine to the last GT500’s specs — 662 hp and 631 lb-ft of torque from a blown 5.8-liter V-8 — that would be a significant improvement. Add in modern materials, components, and current engineering know-how and Ford could quickly be back on top of the supercar pile. There is one major roadblock to that powerplant scenario: The 5.8-liter supercharged V-8 went out of production in November 2013 and it’s never coming back. What engine could possibly power a new GT, then — especially since the second-generation car simply has to make more power than the previous one? Look to the east, and then straight south. Ford recently started supplying engines to Daytona Prototype cars in the Tudor racing series. In March, a Chip Ganassi Racing/Felix Sabates Riley car powered by a Roush Yates-prepped 3.5-liter, twin-turbo EcoBoost engine making 600 hp won the 12 Hours of Sebring. That’s the first time a Ford-powered product has been on the podium in 45 years, with 1969 being the year Ford left endurance racing. I remember years ago at the launch of the Taurus SHO — one of the first vehicles to receive the 3.5-liter EcoBoost mill — an engineer explained that while the SHO only makes 365 hp, the engine can easily produce 600 hp and still be reliable. If and when Ford returns to Le Mans, expect this engine to power its entry.
There’s another engine possibility, and you can file this one in the “Who wants a mid-engine supercar with a V-6?” category. The motor in the upcoming Mustang GT350 — the replacement for the GT500, for now — is an uprated version of the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 rumored to be based on the Aluminator crate engine (it is optimized for twin-screw superchargers), though displacing 5.2 liters with a flat-plane crankshaft and natural aspiration. For you engineering geeks, this is huge news, as no one’s been able to successfully create a flat-plane engine larger than 4.5 liters because the NVH is too severe. If Ford can pull the big flat-plane V-8 off, it will really move the needle. Power is expected to be significantly higher than the 2015 Mustang GT’s 435 hp. How high? Well, the Ferrari 458 Speciale has a 4.5-liter V-8 with a flat-plane crank that spits out 597 hp. The Speciale’s torque output is 398 lb-ft. Figure the larger Ford engine will have more torque than that (500 lb-ft feels about right) and a bit more power, too (625 hp sounds about right). Remember, the whole reason Ford went to Le Mans in the first place was because Henry Ford II hated Enzo Ferrari’s guts. A new mid-engine Ford GT beating the best Ferrari street car would be the real way to commemorate a 50th anniversary. To sum up, race-proven EcoBoost V-6 for the track; high-revving natural V-8 for the street.
Ford not only beat Ferrari but everybody else in 1966. Ford then won the big race three more times, in 1967, 1968, and 1969. Surely it wants to trumpet (and cash in) on all that glorious history. It’s well-known that Ford is itching to return to Le Mans in 2016. Ask Jim Farley what he thinks. Forty-eight years ago, Ford won the race in the top class, then called simply P for prototype. However, these days the top class is filled with zillion-dollar hybrids such as the Audi R18 E-tron Quattro Hybrid, the Porsche 919 Hybrid, and the Toyota TS040 Hybrid. Assuming the new GT is similar to the old one, any sort of racing version would be similar to a street car. In that case the new mid-engine Ford will be competing in GTE-Pro alongside the Chevy Corvette C7.R, Ferrari 458 GT2, Porsche 911 RSR, and Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT2. That’s totally sweet. Expect to see both the race car and the production car at the Detroit show.