2017 Ford GT Review
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.
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.