Ford GT: a test bed for new racing technologies

A platform for winning

The pioneers behind the all-new high-performance Ford GT not only designed it to win races, but also serve as a test bed for new technologies and ideas for future vehicles across Ford’s vehicle lineup.

In developing the GT, Ford combined several of its teams – Ford SVT, Team RS, Ford Racing, performance-vehicle parts and merchandise licensing – into a single group called Ford Performance.

“Without this kind of integrated teamwork and combined organization, it would have been impossible to deliver the all-new Ford GT in its current form,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “This kind of collaboration was critical to not only bringing Ford GT back to life but for experimenting with the kind of innovations needed to create the ultimate supercar.”

The 2005 Ford GT features a lightweight aluminum alloy body that helped reduce weight to improve performance, a supercar that has a proven power to inspire.

Ford Performance learned from its production and led them to use the innovative high-strength aluminum alloy in today’s Ford F-Series pick-up trucks, and the all-new Ford Expedition – shedding hundreds of pounds of weight, while also improving capability, performance, and fuel efficiency.

To reduce drag and increase downforce, the team developed every shape of GT to make it as aerodynamic as possible – giving the supercar stability and grip on the track while accelerating, cornering, and braking.

The moveable elements around the body, which include special ducts in the front and a large deployable wing, achieved the GT’s aerodynamics change on demand to meet varying driving conditions. The flaps open and close depending on whether GT’s wing is up or down, so the car remains aerodynamically balanced from front to back at all speeds. When the wing is up, the ducts close to increase downforce; when the wing is down, the ducts open to decrease downforce.

The supercar’s wing includes all-new Ford technology – a patent-pending design that changes the shape of the airfoil for maximum efficiency when fully deployed. The unique design also includes a small gurney flap which, when combined with the shape change, results in a 14 percent improvement in overall efficiency.

The compact six-cylinder design of the car’s EcoBoost engine allowed the team to taper its fuselage to more efficient dimensions than a larger V8 would have allowed. In addition, the low placement of the engine’s turbochargers and outboard placement of the turbo intercoolers ahead of the rear wheels help to taper the fuselage around the engine.

Ford GT’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine is the company’s most powerful EcoBoost ever, delivering 647 horsepower. It was developed alongside the GT race engine and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine used in the F-150 Raptor high-performance off-road pickup, which shares almost 60 percent of its parts with GT’s engine.

“We pushed the engine’s limits beyond what we might consider in traditional development programs, which is important as we continue to advance EcoBoost technology as a centerpiece of the company’s global lineup,” said Bob Fascetti, Ford vice president, powertrain engineering.

The suspension lowers the supercar from normal mode into track mode – a 50 millimeter or nearly 2-inch difference the driver can see and feel. Track mode raises the wing and closes the front splitter ducts for optimal downforce for spirited, closed-course driving.

Another feature of the hydraulic suspension – front-lift mode – helps GT clear speedbumps and driveways. The driver can raise the front of the car on demand at speeds below 25 mph. The system automatically returns to normal lower ride height when it reaches 25 mph.

As new Ford GTs continue to roll into owner driveways, other Ford customers can expect to find a little bit of the supercar in their future vehicles as well.