It is no secret that the 2017 Ford GT is not only one of the most anticipated models that will go on sale later this year, but also one of the most talked about exotics ever made. It appears however that potential buyers will have to jump through some very elaborate hoops in order to have the chance of owning an example for themselves.
According to the folks at the Detroit News, there has been an enormous amount of interest in the model, and it has even culminated in several customers handing Ford executives a blank check in an attempt to try and secure their place on the ordering list. While this strategy may work with some of its foreign rivals, Ford will not be swayed, and has instead setup an online application process to help the firm vet potential buyers.
The application process in question is expected to kick off sometime next month, and potential buyers will be asked a series of questions, though the round of questions may resemble a process akin to setting up a new bank account or job versus owning an exotic car. Questions will include how active a buyer is on social media networks, how often they plan to drive the GT, as well as how many Ford vehicles they have previously owned. Look for the second question to play a very pivotal role in this process, with Ford claiming that it is designed to deliver the car to buyers that are loyal and actually intend to drive the car versus keeping it in storage and not taking it out on the road. This is great news for enthusiasts that prefer to take their cars out on the track, or buyers that prefer to slink about in city traffic for maximum visual impact.
Once a potential owner is selected, Ford requires them to sign a legally binding contract that forbids them from selling their GT for a certain amount of time. This particular provision is designed to not only weed out people that lie through the Q&A session, but also profiteers that want to buy the GT, and then sell it for a profit by upcharging buyers in the private market. While this process may seem a bit daunting, Ford’s Executive Vice President of Project Development Raj Nair explained that it will benefit both customers and Ford as well stating “We want to prioritize people who are going to care about the car, keep the car and drive the car.”
Ford’s bold stance on ensuring that the 2017 GT is purchased by serious buyers only certainly pleases us, and is an approach that should be mirrored by some of its competitors as part of a greater effort to ensure that exotic cars like the GT are used to their full potential, and don’t live out their lives tucked away in a storage building collecting dust and not realizing their purpose in the automotive world.
Designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 hrs of LeMans, the 2017 iteration features a sleek futuristic low slung design that is actually a combination of design elements from the original GT40 racecar as well as the 21st century GT which was on sale during 2005 and 2006. The front fascia of the GT embodies the car’s Ferrari slaying intent, and features a carbon fiber front splitter, a large air duct with built in mesh insert, and two hood mounted vents that are flanked on both sides by full LED headlamps. Additional duct work in the rear of the car helps keep the engine cool during spirited driving. The purposeful rear fascia looks just as menacing and benefits from an active rear spoiler, large air diffuser, and two massive centrally mounted exhaust tips that cement its performance intentions even further. In addition, Ford designers wanted to create a link to the past that was visually distinctive, and they achieved that goal by adding round tail lamps to the GT which look slick and also pay tribute to prior GTs especially the previous generation model. Overall the styling package achieves a rare feat of balance and pure visual beauty, and makes the GT perhaps one of the most aggressive looking Ford products that the company has ever produced.
The attractive and aerodynamically friendly suit of clothes hides a state of the art passenger cell which is crafted out of carbon fiber as well as a pair of aluminium sub frames. The cabin is accessed via scissor style doors, and embodies an F1 inspired theme which is evident thanks to its two spoke flat bottomed steering wheel as well as a fully digital instrument cluster. thick steering wheel mounted shift paddles, and Ford’s brand new Sync 3 infotainment system. The supportive bucket seats are integrated directly into the passenger cell, and while that means they cannot be adjusted to suit drivers tastes. The GT takes a page out of the LaFerrari’s playbook and features adjustments for the steering wheel and pedals, This is a neat trick that helped Ford engineers retain the intimate feel of the GT’s cabin while still allowing the car to appeal to a wide range of buyers.
Unlike the ultra rare and currently sold out LaFerrari, the 2017 Ford GT does make slightly less muscle. However, it makes up for that slight omission by still offering over 600 horsepower thanks to a mid mounted 3.5 liter EcoBoost turbocharged V6 that features port/direct fuel injection. While some may lament the demise of an era when V8s traditionally powered the model, Ford is confident that the V6 will still be able to compete against rivals from Ferrari and Lamborghini which still retain V12 power plants in their offerings. All of this turbocharged muscle is sent to the rear wheels through a seven speed dual-clutch transmission and while Ford did not release formal performance figures for the GT. The company did reveal that the car will feature massive ceramic brakes behind its massive 20-inch wheels. The Ceramics offer longer life and better stopping power versus conventional units, and help bring the GT to a smooth controlled stop for a variety of vehicle speeds.
Look for the 2017 Ford GT to begin arriving in Ford showrooms late next year. This would allow the car to arrive just in time for the 50th anniversary celebration of the company’s inaugural win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition, the GT is also part of a broader plan initiated by Ford that will see the debut of 12 different performance oriented models by 2020. We look forward to seeing all 12 and perhaps driving a few in the near future stay tuned.