2017 Ford GT Review
Edmunds expert review
If nothing else, you have to give credit to Ford for the audacity to build the new GT. When the company thinks "sports car," it only thinks big. As in, JFK-moon-shot big. There's no bothering with an "everyman" sports car like a Mazda Miata or a Porsche 911. Nope, Ford starts you off with the comparably plebeian Mustang sport coupe and then goes full afterburner to planet Gonzo to deliver the 2017 Ford GT, a carbon-fiber missile with enough wings and vents to shame the Batmobile and racing cred straight from Le Mans. You could pilot a Princess cruise ship between the product lineup gap here.
A follow-up to the 2005-2006 GT, which was itself a reboot of the original 1960s-era Ford GT40 race car, the 2017 has plenty of heritage to back it up. But while the previous-generation GT could be viewed as unapologetically American — it was built on a relatively shoestring budget, packed a beefy supercharged V8, and lacked any sort of stability control safety nets to save your bacon — the new car goes high-tech in a way that only the proudest exotic automakers from Europe could pull off.
What makes it unique? Just about everything. The underlying structure is largely made of carbon fiber, the super-strong and super-light material used in elite race cars and typically the world's elite road-going sports cars. Ford uses aluminum for the front and rear suspension subframes and then whips out more carbon fiber for the body panels. The car's final curb weight is around 3,300 pounds.
Although carbon-fiber construction is commonplace these days for an exotic, the GT's aerodynamics certainly aren't. When viewed from overhead, the body has a raindrop shape to it that tapers at the rear of the car inside the rear wheels. Buttresses then connect the rear wheel fenders to the central section of the car, with the end result being enhanced aerodynamics for greater stability and downforce. There's also the car's suite of active aero enhancements, which include an amply sized rear wing that rises at high speed to provide more downforce and a sophisticated adjustable suspension that can quickly lower the ride height approximately 2 inches to maximize grip and stability.
The car's aerodynamics partially come about from what's mounted amidships: a turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine. Erm, wait, what? Like, a Ford F-150 EcoBoost V6? Yes, you read that right. It's highly unusual to have just six cylinders in an exotic like this, but Ford says the GT V6's smaller size (compared to, say, a V8 or V10/V12) allows for the tapering of the rear bodywork. Put the pedal to the floor, and it'll huff and puff out a stout 647 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. Keep the gas pedal pinned while driving in a straight line and Ford says you'll eventually top out at 216 mph.
Ford is selling just a handful of GTs for the 2017 model year at prices approaching half a million dollars. That might seem a bit cavalier for the Blue Oval, seeing as how exotics such as the Ferrari 488 GTB, Lamborghini Aventador and McLaren 675LT are all less expensive. But the GT counters with its unique aerodynamic and suspension designs, and those should give the GT a distinct edge at a racetrack.
Of course, buying a road-going exotic is less about dollars and cents and more about emotion and lust. And for those qualities, the new 2017 Ford GT easily wins, too, all while proudly displaying the red, white and blue.
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Ford GT comes as a coupe only. Power comes from a mid-mounted 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 647 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. That power is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Standard feature highlights include Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, 20-inch alloy wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, an adaptive suspension with an adjustable ride height, and adjustable drive modes. Inside you'll find fixed carbon-fiber Sparco seats and a central touchscreen display with Ford's Sync 3 interface.
Most of the options for the GT relate to cosmetic alterations such as stripes, brake caliper color and interior trim colors. Twenty-inch carbon fiber wheels are another option. The '66 Heritage Edition has a black-and-gold color scheme meant to evoke the look of the 1966 Ford GT40 that won Le Mans that year.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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