The cold, snowy city of Chicago is not the place we’d expect a new Ford GT variant, but that’s precisely what happened last week. On hand was Dave Pericak, currently Director Enterprise Product Line Management – Ford Icons. Previously he served as the head of Ford Performance, after serving as chief engineer of the Ford Mustang from 2008-2014. He has overseen the gradual evolution of the Ford GT since its inception.
“We always up the game,” said Pericak to MC&T, when asked about what’s in the pipeline for the Ford GT supercar last week during the 2020 Chicago Auto Show. Cryptic, indeed. But Ford has steadily updated the GT since its launch in 2016. And all 1,350 orders have been spoken for.
For customers that have yet to receive their builds, their tradeoff is that they will enjoy a more eclectic array of options, packages, and special editions. Take the Ford GT Liquid Carbon Edition, for example. Customers that have yet to have their orders fulfilled can opt to select this exposed carbon fiber special edition, which starts at an immense $750,000 – a full three hundred thousand dollars more than a base GT. Because of the painstaking attention to detail of the symmetrical carbon fiber exterior, the Liquid Carbon Edition takes three times longer than a standard GT to build (three weeks vs one week). Assembly of every GT is done by hand in Markham, Ontario by Multimatic.
The 2020 Ford GT otherwise sees an additional 13 horsepower courtesy of improved cooling as well as an Acropovic exhaust kit for a new total of 660 horsepower. It’s still less than the completely uncorked Ford GT Mk II; a track-only version of the GT that makes 700 horsepower – a full 200 hp more than the (retired) race car. The GT Mk II is also 200 lbs lighter than the road car. Only 45 will be made, and each one starts at a staggering $1.2 million. They’ve all been spoken for.
Pericak says that the extreme nature of the Ford GT Mk II keep it from ever being road legal, but did hint that there’s some pull-down possibilities.
“There are some things you could do (to bring GT Mk II hardware to the street car) but we don’t wanna get it out of whack,” he said.
The rear wing, roof-mounted air intake, and diffuser of the Mk II are all larger than that of the constrained Ford GT race car, which had to abide by FIA homologation rules. Up front is a racing splitter, fender louvres and canards. In total, the Ford GT Mk II generates 400 percent more downforce than the FIA/IMSA race car. Combined with its five-way DSSV shock absorbers and Michelin Pilot Sport racing tires, the GT Mk II can pull 2Gs of lateral grip. For cooling, the Mk II features air-to-air outboard mounted charge air cooler with water spray technology, while the interior features a Sparco seat with a six-point harness. A passenger seat is optional. Much of this hardware would make zero sense on a road car, but perhaps not all of it, such as that park bench of a rear wing affixed just aft the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine.
A report from October 2019 eluded to the Ford Performance team planning a grand sendoff variant of the GT before production ceases in 2022, specifically to make sure that the supercar leapfrogs the 760 horsepower of the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 muscle car. Otherwise, how can the Ford GT truly claim its right to the throne if it’s not the ultimate expression of performance in every category? All things considered, we fully expect order in the hierarchy before 2022.