GT supercar is tech testbed for future Fords

The Ford GT provided plenty of shock and awe when it debuted at the 2015 Detroit auto show, but the brand had more in mind than just raw performance.

In fact, Ford developed and engineered the GT with technologies intended to trickle down into future cars, trucks, SUVs, and even electric vehicles.

Naturally, the GT made sense since its halo vehicle status could absorb some of the cost associated with experimental engineering.

Foremost, the Ford GT’s material usage foreshadows more mainstream usage in regular vehicles. And by “material usage,” Ford means carbon fiber. Plenty of carbon fiber was used to create the GT’s slippery, aerodynamic body. However, the lessons learned from the GT program have helped Ford and its partners DowAksa and Multimatic continue to implement new strategies for high-volume production of carbon fiber parts. Ford has already begun testing a carbon fiber subframe with help from Magna.

2017 Ford GT

2017 Ford GT

Like the materials used, the GT’s aerodynamics were just as important and the development team had a goal to “stretch the understanding of aerodynamics,” according to Raj Nair, Ford Executive Vice President of Product Development. Basically, it had to look fast while standing still—but it’s plenty fast, as we discovered in our review. Movable elements around the body open or close depending on the position of the rear wing, a major component of the car’s active aerodynamic system. In turn, downforce increases when the wing is up. When the wing is down, the ducts reduce decrease downforce.

The wing itself employs all-new technology for Ford, too; the rear wing is capable of actually changing the shape of the airfoil when fully deployed.

Underneath the hood, Ford looked at a few key areas to make the 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine the proper powertrain—even though many miss the V-8. Anti-lag turbo technology is used to ensure power is on tap upon exiting a corner and a new port and direct fuel-injection setup further enhances engine response. The powertrain development learnings have already made their way to the F-150 Raptor whose engine shares 60 percent of its components with the GT’s mill.

Soon it will be entirely possible a row of shiny, new, pedestrian Fords may share a little bit of blood with the brand’s top dog, the GT.  Who doesn’t want a little bit of race car in their daily driver?

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