Ford Writes Its Own Rules With Track-Only GT MkII

Ford treated the Goodwood Festival of Speed to a look at the track-ready Ford GT MkII that's lighter, faster and more nimble than both the standard, street-legal GT and the Le Mans race variant. The automaker says the GT MkII is the answer to one question: How would the car perform with all limitations lifted? The newest member of the GT family shares elements with both the road-going and Le Mans versions, which are compromised by their own rules and regulations.

For this project, the engineers at Ford and Multimatic -- the Markham, Ontario-based company that assembles the GT -- ignored the regulations to which the existing GT models must conform. The result is what Ford claims is the most impressive GT yet.

Ford re-tuned its 3.5L Ecoboost V6 for 700 hp, up from 647 in the standard road car and a bonus of 200 hp over the Le Mans racer, the result of bypassing that race series' field-leveling regulations. The MkII also gets a rear spoiler spanning the full width of the car along with front splitter and diffuser elements; the rear spoiler alone generates 400 percent more downforce than the road-going GT's body.

Gone are the street car's ride height adjustment and selectable drive mode system. In their place is a set of five-way adjustable shocks and a ride height set for maximum aerodynamic efficiency, a move Ford says allowed it to cut 91 kg (200 lbs) from the car's curb weight.

To go with the MkII's racecar-beating speed are carbon ceramic brakes borrowed from the street-going GT. Brembo calipers clamp front 15.5-inch and rear 14.1-inch rotors for better stopping force than the Le Mans GT.

Ford says the GT MkII's aerodynamic and chassis changes allow the car to generate more than two times the force of gravity in lateral grip.

Ford built in a more sophisticated temperature management system for the car's mechanical components. There's a larger air-to-air intake charge cooler with a water sprayer that activates automatically when high temperatures threaten to affect the engine's performance. A roof-mounted intake feeds air to dedicated engine, clutch and transmission coolers.

Inside, the driver gets a Sparco racing seat with six-point harness. A passenger seat is optional.

Ford GT MkII assembly begins at the same Ontario factory that makes the road-going model, but the MkII gets shuttled to a special Multimatic facility where its unique elements are added.

Ford says it will build just 45 examples of the GT MkII for global consumption, to be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. The selling price is $1.2 million.

Rulebreaker 7/4/2019 3:11:45 PM