2017 Ford GT Review
- Posted by Christian Rose
- Leave your thoughts
In this post, we’re going to walk you through the incredible experience of driving a brand new 2017 Ford GT.
Be warned – these cars are hard to come by. (The initial 750 are already spoken for, although Ford is releasing 250 more for sale in 2018).
So if this post gets you excited about the prospect of owning a GT, you might set your sights on a difficult mission. But as you’ll soon see – that mission is completely worth it.
From The Outside In
Image source: AutoBlog
As Car and Driver says, “the GT looks like a carbon-fiber crystallization of the Kama Sutra.”
Designing everything around optimal airflow, the car has a front end inspired by Formula 1 and Le Mans racers. All the exterior body panels are made of carbon fiber, with aluminum serving as the material of choice for much of the framework.
There’s an FIA approved roll cage and 6 point harness attachment points ready for the track (which the GT thrives on). The teardrop shape of the cockpit keeps air flowing smoothly, and the the rear air brake keeps the car stable at high speeds (and while doing incredible braking maneuvers).
Image source: AutoBlog
All of the aerodynamic aids lead to massive amounts of downforce.
But enough with the exterior, as amazing as it looks. Let’s get inside.
Pressing The Ignition
You bend down, admiring the aluminum doorframe as you step into the all new Ford 2017 GT.
The instrument panel greets you: it’s not minimal or stripped down, but it’s not super fancy-schmancy either. It looks like the cockpit of a car that’s ready for business. The seats are surprisingly comfortable and supportive (for a supercar at least).
While you’d be hard pressed to fit two linebackers into the GT with room to spare, normal sized adults won’t have to worry too much about.
Image source: AutoBlog
The interior is all carbon fiber and suede. You press a button, and the twin turbo V-6 springs to life.
Why the V6, you ask?
Well, the GT was designed with pure performance in mind from the get go – specifically, performance to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This iconic race is a feat of endurance, both for the car and the driving team. And a V-6 allowed the car to get better fuel economy during the race, lessening the amount of pit stops that had to be done.
Don’t be fooled though – this car is ANYTHING but “eco-friendly”. It gets about 14 miles to the gallon, and the V-6 produces 647 horsepower and 550 pound feet of torque. It’s a masterpiece of engineering.
Once the engine is started up, you have the choice of a few different drive settings:
- Normal: keeps the car (relatively) tame for driving on public roads, with a higher ground clearance and all the electronic aids on. The instrument panel shows your speed most prominently (as it’s very easy to break speed limits with the GT if you’re not careful).
- Wet: similar to Normal, except the instrument panel shows a readout of how much traction the car has at each moment. The throttle also becomes less sensitive.
- Sport: the instrument panel shifts to show your gear selection front and center. Now things are getting exciting. Throttle response is quickened, and the anti-lag feature of the turbo system is activated (by keeping the turbos spooled up continually).
- Track: With ground clearance at only 2.8 inches, and all the fancy aerodynamics activated, the GT is ready to set some lap records. Tremendous downforce is at your disposal and the suspension of the car is set at maximum stiffness. Throttle response is as quick as it can be.
- V-max: specifically designed for getting the highest speed possible in a straight line, this mode puts the speed of the car front and center on the dash.
Starting The Drive
Image source: Motor Trend
As you start driving the new GT, you realize its pretty damn drivable on the road.
Yes, you can feel a bit more of the bumps in the road than you would in a Lexus, but overall the car is very drivable and smooth. The automatic transmission works flawlessly, and the car goes where you want it to, with no supercar diva antics. There’s a navigation system and even cruise control.
However, the real fun starts once you get to the track (or at least some sparsely populated winding roads).
“the Ford GT delivers a spectacularly unique driving experience. It’s loud and unfiltered, agile and precise, fast in a straight line and quicksilver through the corners.”
Although the GT looks super high tech (and is), when you drive it, you feel like you’re in the best driver’s car possible. The hydraulic steering gives you incredible communication with the car – you always know where you stand.
The spectacular amounts of downforce combined with the smooth, even power delivery from the silky transmission mean that you always feel in control.
The anti-lag system means the GT doesn’t even seem like it’s turbocharged at all – in a good way. There’s always torque instantly on tap.
The aerodynamic aides, massive brakes, and responsive suspension mean that you can brake, corner, and generally MOVE without any shuddering or shaking.
On public roads, you’ll be hard pressed to get outside the GT’s limits. However, on the track, while the GT is still supremely drivable – it takes skill to get all of the performance you can out of the supercar. As it should be.
it’s time to test out some top speeds.
Opening The Engine Up
Image source: Autoevolution
The 3.5 liter V-6 is a cousin of the F-150 Raptor’s 450 horsepower engine. However, these engines are second or third cousins (at least) after all the upgrades the GT engine has seen.
A dry sump oiling system keeps everything lubricated no matter how hard the G forces are going. With 550 pound feet of torque and 647 horsepower, this V6 is more powerful than a lot of V8s out there.
As you get into an uninhabited stretch of desert highway and shift the GT into “V-Max” mode, you’re excited to see just how powerful this Le Mans winning engine is. Your passenger holds their breath, and you floor the throttle.
Instantly, the GT responds and you feel something like a space shuttle pilot when they’re lifting off. The gears shift so smoothly as you go from 0 to 60, and then 70, 80, 90, that you don’t even feel like you’re going that fast.
Then as the speedometer reads about 120, you quickly glance at a gas station passing by – and you realize just how fast the GT is. While we’re not sure how fast we can condone you going in a GT without getting into trouble, we’ll just say that the top speed is 216 mph – if you’re brave enough to venture into that territory.
However, we’ll say this – due to:
- all the aerodynamic aides
- the fact that the GT was designed first and foremost to win races
- The included roll cage
- The included attachments for a 6 point harness
The 2017 Ford GT would be one of the safest cars to test out how going really, really fast in a straight line feels. Hell – there’s even a V-max setting specifically designed for that.
Since the first production 2017 Ford GTs have started to be delivered, people have been posting first drive reviews left and right.
This is great because first drive reviews are special. Instead of just remarking on how good the GT looks, people are actually getting in the car to experience how it feels.
While not all of us are lucky enough to get one of these race cars turned street legal, we can do the next best thing: see how others are feeling about them.
We’ve rounded up a few expert opinions on the GT so that you can get a complete look at how the car feels and performs.
Image source: Infleuncive
When Andy was 8, he saw a Lamborghini Countach at a gas station.
He turned to his father and said, “What’s that?”
He’d never seen a supercar before.
Andy’s dad said, “That’s a Lamborghini son. And if you work hard, and do the right things, one day you can have a car like that.”
Those words drove and shaped Andy’s life.
They caused Andy to become an entrepreneur and build several companies related to supplements, health, and wellness with yearly earnings in the hundreds of millions.
Once Andy became successful, he decided to give back through speaking and podcasting about his entrepreneurial journey and the mindsets required for success.
For example, Andy’s podcast, the MFCEO Project, helps entrepreneurs “dominate personally and professionally.”
In other words: Andy Frisella is a badass.
I mean – just look at his Ford GT application video:
Since Andy has such a genuine love of high performance cars and a large reach on social media, Ford accepted his application for a 2017 Ford GT.
He was actually one of the earliest people to receive the car.
As Andy said, “As far as I know, we’re doing the first road test review of the car by an actual customer.”
For starters, Andy acknowledges how controversial the application process was, and the car in general.
However, as a businessman, Andy appreciates what Ford was trying to do. They wanted to get the new GT into the hands of people who would actually drive the car and talk about it in a highly visible way.
They didn’t want to give the GT to “collectors” who would just put the car in a museum to gather dust.
He also comments on the “V-6” controversy. People would comment on social media with things like, “Oh, the GT is too expensive. Oh, it’s not powerful enough.”
Andy was completely on Ford’s side in the V-6 controversy and others.
He feels that since the GT won Le Mans, all the noise is just that—noise. Ford knows what they’re doing, and they didn’t do a v8 because that would have messed with the weight distribution, the shape, etc. They used the V-6 because they wanted to win.
Andy then essentially repeats himself for another 25 minutes. His main points are that the GT is exquisitely engineered, it’s incredibly fun to drive, and he’s going to put a lot of miles on his.
He is 100% about this car. To be fair, Andy has a lot of reason to be happy.
He got a custom orange color scheme, as well as an upgraded interior in orange and black racing trim, and the car looks amazing.
On the level of engineering: “The (GT) is way more thought out than most people understand.”
On the V-6: “I think one of the biggest criticism that makes me laugh is the people that say oh you know they should have done a v8. Why should they have done a V8?
“…To be quite honest, after driving the car, it’s pretty apparent (Ford) knows what they’re doing, because the car is a f#%king rocket.”
On the feel and exhaust note: “It feels like an Indy car with a body on it. It sounds like a race car…”
On the handling: “The way the car feels, the way the car corners… everything on it just feels right.”
Andy’s Final Verdict:
“I own many different supercars, and I’ve driven many more.
And I can tell you with 100% confidence… anybody who drives this car – it will be the best driving experience you’ve ever had.”
Image source: Nailbuzz
Doug Demuro is a YouTube sensation who regularly publishes his unfiltered thoughts on all things car related. Most of his content revolves around reviews of high end cars, whether they’re in the luxury category or more performance oriented.
Doug’s laid back, conversational style makes his content very engaging to watch.
That’s why we were so excited to find Doug’s blog post and YouTube video, titled “Here’s Why the New Ford GT Is Worth $500,000”.
Doug is a huge fan of the GT, as you could probably guess from the title of his first drive review. He loves the brutally fast acceleration, the precision handling, the exhaust note, the different track modes, etc.
It’s safe to say he feels good about with the GT. However, Doug notes what this car is and is not:
- It IS a performance racing vehicle that is street legal, perfect for twisty mountain roads.
- It is NOT a luxury vehicle that you’ll valet at nightclubs or high scale restaurants.
- The GT is built for speed, not creature comforts.
On the power/acceleration: “You put your foot down in this thing and you’re clearly in the upper echelon of the fastest supercars ever manufactured….”
On the steering/handling: “…so unbelievably quick and so amazingly precise that it feels like you can point this car in any direction, at any moment, at any speed, and it will follow along without drama or incident.”
On the car’s looks: ”…exciting and aggressive…”
On the interior: “This car is not a luxury car. This car is a serious performance car, with a rather basic interior for saving weight.”
Doug’s Final Verdict:
“The GT is absolutely worth $500,000 if you want to buy what is quite possibly the most thrilling driving experience in years.
(It’s) the most precise, the most explosive, the most exciting high performance car I’ve ever driven.”
Image Source: The Telegraph
Tim, aka: “Shmee 150” on YouTube, is an avid car collector and supercar driver.
His supercar collection includes a:
- McLaren 675LT Spider
- Aston Martin Vantage GT8
- Ferrari FF
- Aston Martin Vanquish Volante
He’s also driven numerous “hypercars” including the Bugatti Chiron, the Koenigsegg Agera RS, and the Pagani Huayra BC.
Due to Schmee’s reach as a social media influencer (with over 1 million Youtube subscribers), he was one of the lucky few chosen by Ford to receive a new GT sometime in 2019 or so.
Schmee was giddy with excitement as he shot this review video. And honestly, who wouldn’t be?
He was jumping in one of the fastest and best performing road cars ever built. Schmee loved the look of the car, how much you could feel through the seats (even as a passenger), how great the exhaust note sounded, and generally everything about it.
He also enjoyed messing around with the rear-view camera and switch from “Normal” mode to “Track” mode, which lowers the car about two inches very quickly thanks to the hydraulics.
Schmee did note that the rear trunk is pretty small – but that’s what you get in a car like this.
On the steering/handling: “It’s very receptive. The car almost tells you what it’s going to do before it does it.”
On the car’s looks: “It looks like something from outer space.”
Schmee’s Final Verdict:
“That was awesome. I can’t wait to get an opportunity to test drive what it’s going to be like, what mine will be like…”
Image source: Motor Trend
While both Car and Driver and Motor Trend published favorable print reviews of the new GT after their first drives, we thought we’d keep in the theme of the vlogging format and use another video review to finish up this post.
Motor Trend is a huge force in the automotive world, and they’ve teamed up with Tire Rack to deliver “Ignition”, a video series focused on the best of car culture. The GT review fell to Angus MacKenzie, a wiry fellow with a razor sharp wit.
At the beginning of the review, Angus is a bit skeptical. A V6 supercar… from Ford?
However, as he begins to put the GT through its paces on the track, Angus’ opinion quickly changes.
He is enamored with the quintessential driver’s experience that the GT has to offer: feeling like you’re completely in touch with the car and the road beneath you.
As Angus wraps up the review, he notes that the GT isn’t much of a car for long distance commutes or travel. He then says that doesn’t matter at all, because the GT is not meant for that kind of driving—it’s meant for going fast around twisty turns.
On the handling: “So agile. So responsive.The way this car changes direction is utterly stupendous, better than almost any other supercar in the business.”
On the power/acceleration: “Can you really have a supercar with a six cylinder engine? ….Oh yes you can. This car has more power than a Ferrari, more torque than a 675 McLaren… and both those cars have a V-8.”
On the steering/handling: “The steering is almost telepathic. You can sense what’s going on with every single tire all the time. And the chassis balance is delightful.
On the ride: “Ït rides smoother and quieter than a Porsche 911 GT.”
Angus’ Final Verdict:
“This is a Ford like no other. This is a supercar like no other.
…(The GT) might just be the greatest performance car Ford has ever built.”
First Drives Don’t Lie
These first drives from actual owners and testers of the GT had one thing in common; they were incredibly positive. Clearly, Ford has done a lot right with the new GT.
We hope you enjoyed hearing about all these first drive reviews of the GT. If you’d like to learn more about the GT, including it’s history and racing heritage, click here to read our full guide.
The 2017 Ford GT is one of the best cars ever build. It’s American through and through – from the styling, to the engineering to the blue oval on the front of the car. However, it’s also unlike any other American production car known to man.
The new GT is a space age monster that was designed to win Le Mans at the 50th anniversary of the original GT’s win – a mission which it succeeded at spectacularly. While other automakers create special packages to make their road cars “ready” for the track, the Ford GT is a track car that is ready for the road.
And it shows. The suspension, aerodynamic aides, fighter jet looks, and the supremely smooth and powerful engine are all designed with performance first. However, the GT is also very drivable on public roads (although it’s unlikely that you’ll ever turn it into a daily driver).
The price tag is high, and the application process is tough. But – if you want to have the hottest American car on the market today, the GT takes the top spot.
Christian’s favorite car is a 1996 Dodge Viper GTS with Blue with White Stripes. He loves marketing and social media almost as much as sports cars. You can reach him at: [email protected]