Watching today’s reveal of the new Ford GT mid-engined sports car, the folks at Ferrari must have felt like Shelley Duval in The Shining: American muscle is not just knocking on the door, it's coming in. Heeeeeeere’s GT! The new model looks specifically designed to stomp its US Size 15’s all over those Italians calf-leather 458 driving moccasins. Unlike the late, great Ford GT of 2005, this iteration isn’t just a fast and beautiful homage to Ford’s late-sixties racer—it’s a hyper-advanced carbon-fiber sports car that uses every top automotive technology out there, just like the cars from Modena.
Like the LaFerrari, the GT has a carbon-fiber passenger tub and body panels. Expensive aluminum front and rear subframes provide light and strong links to the road, while an aerodynamic, multi-faceted coupe body shell keeps this featherweight fighter pressed to the tarmac and looking like the supremely retro-futuristic Le Mans racer it is. The twin rear lamps, straight exhaust and dubs are pure American braggadocio and crucially functional—crotch grabs with a purpose.
While the last generation car throbbed with power from a truck-derived 5.4-liter supercharged V8, it also sucked fuel like a funny car. This generation uses an advanced twin-turbo Ecoboost V6 to achieve over 600 horsepower and class-leading economy. A seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission makes clear that precision has become - like power - an American value. A pared-down greenhouse makes for an incredibly low profile, and dihedral, Lamborghini-style doors make the Ford GT look as exotic as anything built in Italy. In a twist, the seat is fixed, while the adjustable pedals and wheels come forward to meet the driver. LBJ would be proud: You've got to make collaborators meet you on your terms.
Does the world need another mid-engined sports car? Maybe not. Does America? You bet your stars and stripes.
Photos by Ford Motor Company