Few cars evoke excitement and nostalgia like the Ford GT can. Ford's flagship performance vehicle boasts of unrivalled racing heritage that is etched permanently in motorsport's Hall of Fame, after its four consecutive victories at Le Mans from 1966 to 1969.
That was the GT40, to be precise. Then came the Ford GT in 2005, which was closely inspired by the original 40-inch high machine. And now, this year's edition of the Detroit Motor Show saw the reveal of its latest avatar-the 2016 Ford GT.
The story continues on the next slide.
Just like previous GT, the 2016 version draws its styling cues from the GT40, albeit in an entirely new, modern interpretation. Good to see that it's instantly recognisable as a Ford GT though, with those deep air intake recesses in the hood and that slippery, super-low profile. The new supercar gets a carbon fibre tub for lightness, efficiency and strength and features a body design tuned for excellent aerodynamic performance.
The rear profile of the car is possibly the bit with the least inspiration from the original GT40. However, the round tail lamp theme continues, and huge, purposeful twin exhausts emanate from the middle. The 2016 Ford GT also gets a huge diffuser to ensure that wide footprint remains glued to the tarmac. There's also an active rear spoiler that responds to driver input as well as vehicle speed.
Handsome, isn't it? It needed to be, with the plethora of supercar options these days. But it's not just looks, there's plenty of shove too-a twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine with over 600 horses of power and an already successful motorsport record will lend the GT serious performance. The most powerful EcoBoost motor ever, combined with the car's lightweight construction will give it one of the best power-to-weight ratios available today, according to Ford.
Cold shivers are made of these things. This is one car with presence, that's for sure. Check out that tapering cabin, and how beautifully air can channel through the sides and out the rear. Quite an engineering exercise it must have been as well, to contain the components of the engine and drivetrain into the central rear bodywork. While this baby will be very, very quick, it will stop exceedingly well too, with carbon ceramic brakes all round, housed inside 20-inch wheels.
Possibly the best way to see how the car was designed to optimise airflow. And share a legacy with the classic GT40. The curved windscreen forms the start of the tapering canopy and leads to the rear spoiler. Note the middle placement of the engine as well, which will no doubt aid the car's handling and balance, especially important for a car with rear-wheel-drive and over 600 hp to boot.
If the exterior has a dollop of past glory, the interior is anything but that. A supremely contemporary design features an F1-style multi-function ‘stalkless' steering wheel which Ford says allows ‘uncluttered' access to the paddle-shifters. There's also a fully digital, fully configurable display that provides various driver information.
The 2016 Ford GT will feature on the Forza 6 game box cover for XBOX One, and you can drive not just the GT in the virtual world, but the new Mustang GT350R and the F-150 Raptor as well. Exciting times with Ford, that's for certain...