The Car.co.uk verdict:4.2
The Ford GT was winner of its class at Le Mans, and the story goes that this supercar only exists, in fact, because Ford wanted to return to the 24-hour race and required the car that could handle the task. However, since regulations demand a road version of every car raced must be readily available, the Ford GT was born.
With first-class handling, the 2018 Ford GT is every race car driver’s dream. Perfectly balanced, it’s also a thrill of a ride. The engine might not be the most exciting, but it’s certainly got power and on the whole makes for a car that’s superb fun to drive. Every part of the Ford GT was created for extraordinary handling and exceptional speed usually found in only cars built for the track.
An aerodynamic force to be reckoned with
The Ford GT is innovatively designed for speed. It has what Ford calls an “aerodynamically optimised” shape. Everything is built around and to serve the wildly powerful V6 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine.
The car’s structural design is born from extensive and continuous wind-tunnel work, creating the Ford GT’s classic teardrop shape. The carbon-fibre body is perfectly shaped for speed and is an exceptional expression of world-class performance. Everything has been done to keep the weight off here and the GT’s body is covered with a network of vents to cool down the turbocharged engine.
The Ford GT is long by supercar standards at 4,779mm, and is built low to the ground at 1,063mm. The body of the Ford GT is surprisingly wide at 2,003mm – we say surprising because inside the cabin, the two occupants will be sitting very close together and you don’t really feel that width at all. On the road is a different story, and that extra width will have you double checking those white lines as you race by.
Just enough room for the bare essentials
With it being all about the driving, the Ford GT is never going to win any awards in the practicality stakes.
This incarnation of the Ford GT is a little more accommodating when it comes to passengers than its ancestors were. The first Ford GT40 got its name from the fact that its roof was located only 40 inches from the ground, making it a very confined cockpit that felt more than a little cramped.
In this latest incarnation of the GT, the interior is quite narrow. There’s just enough room for a six-foot driver and passenger to have adequate leg and headroom, but it will definitely be cosy in the cockpit with elbow room in short supply.
Storage space here is at a bare minimum. The GT does have a boot space of a fashion but its inclusion feels more like a technicality to satisfy those racing rules that state every road car must have one. Located behind the Ford GT’s engine, it’s a very small compartment, not much more than a cubbyhole, but you could probably squeeze in a small overnight bag if needs must.
Engine and power
An aggressive engine with plenty to say for itself
The Ford GT sports a massive 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine. This highly tuned piece of equipment is fitted with two turbochargers and it can produce 638bhp and 550lb of torque. This is actually even more than it makes in the version for designed for racing, which is hampered by the regulations it has to meet.
This is an angry engine. If you like loud, then this car is for you. If not, stay well clear and cover up those ears. The sound is absolutely explosive. It kicks off with a series of booming guttural barks that rises to a roar when you really open up. Off the throttle, you’ll hear a whooshing through the waste-gates as the dual turbocharger pressure is vented in a rush hurriedly back out into the atmosphere. The sound is exhilarating and addictive but incredibly loud.
Performance wise, this latest Ford GT version can tear off from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds, and you’ll feel the ground get eaten up and the horizon shoot towards you. The Ford GT’s top speed has been currently clocked at 216 miles per hour which is an incredible rate, especially when you’re in the driver’s seat.
Track tested and ready for the road
We’ll probably need to see this latest Ford GT over a little distance before the statistics are in for reliability but we’re hoping for great things from it.
Ford as a brand has never led the market in reliability stakes and when it comes to super cars it’s often the case that the more expensive the price tag, the less reliable the car but some serious work has gone into the Ford GT spec.
The incredibly innovative engine design has race proven results. Winner of its class at Le Mans, the Ford GT has proved itself reliable in a 24-hour race so we should expect it to handle road-work with just as much capability.
Not packed to the gills with technology, the Ford GT has far less to go wrong. The steering is hydraulic over electric. The electrics, such as they are, have been kept to the bare essentials such as air conditioning and electric windows. There’s a little tech in the form of the infotainment system, but it’s the same used by Ford’s Focus and has a reliable reputation.
Equipment and options
Simple and sophisticated
If you happen to have driven a recent Ford Focus, you’ll be more than familiar with the infotainment system on board. The Sync3 has very capable satellite navigation, but the on-board sound system definitely struggles to compete with the aggressive din coming from the Ford GT’s engines and the outside road noise echoing around its cabin.
The infotainment system also provides a Track app, which is capable of recording driver data. Available data highlights your performance on the circuit with lap times and steering information, as well as braking and accelerator inputs. The app also gives you the opportunity to record your drive through the use of your smartphone and you can replay it later at leisure.
There isn’t much more in the way of on-board electrics either, but you do get all the essentials – cruise control, electric windows and air conditioning are all present here.
Spartan style for a real racer feel
Most supercars are quite luxurious on the inside these days with their interiors hailing from a sports car design and ending up on the race track. The Ford GT did this in reverse, starting its life racing, and it certainly shows on the interior, which is somewhat austere by current supercar standards.
The adjustable driver’s seat, once you manage to slide in, is affixed to the chassis with a reclining backrest. Unconventionally when it comes to adjustment, it’s the steering wheel and pedals that move towards or away from you. With a little effort, it’s not too tricky to get a comfortable fit.
You have the dials up front facing you and everything else you need is right there on the side of your wheel. Buttons for indicators, windshield wipers, and driving modes are all present in a similar style to the one utilised by Ferrari.
Overall the GT’s interior has a real racing feel. Its stripped down Spartan styling allows you to appreciate what you’re driving and focus on all that carbon-fibre that went into its composition. When you’re seated in a car that’s built for speed you want to feel that anticipation of what to come when you open up the throttle, and the Ford GT definitely delivers.
Smooth on the road but wildly noisy at speed
For a car that began its existence as a racer, the Ford GT specifications lend themselves to a really smooth ride that could rival a family estate. Imperfections in the road are hardly felt and you won’t feel shudders and shocks through your pedals or steering wheel.
When it comes to interior noise, you realise that the Ford GT was not designed with a life as a road car in mind. There is next to no soundproofing whatsoever and the carbon fibre makes every sound resound. Everything that makes that twin turbocharged engine go dishes out a constant cacophony and even small stones can be heard as they ricochet off the underside of the car.
Third gear is where you’ll truly enjoy the Ford GT’s speed, with a smooth continuous pace of acceleration, though the two rear wheels will take full throttle even in first and second gears and perform amazingly well even on a rough-shod road.
Impossible to own!
Unlike many brands, Ford actually wants its owners to drive its cars. The manufacturer puts a priority on buyers who plan to use them and wants to get the cars out in the world and on show. What Ford doesn’t want is for the GT to be tucked away by a big collector as a trophy, or to be just used as an asset for resale.
If you haven’t already ordered one, then bad news - you won’t be able to buy one. Around 7,000 applicants have put in a bid to pay Ford £420,000 to own one of the 1,000 cars it is scheduled to build.
Although Ford has a solid reputation for cars that are cost conscious on running costs, with its origins firmly fixed in racing, this supercar is never going to be cheap to run anyway, even after you stump up the hefty Ford GT price.
Race class brakes with ultimate stopping power
The Ford GT uses motorsport technology to provide superior safety features for road-driving. Carbon ceramic brakes with six piston front calipers that are clamp 394mm discs, with hydraulic power steering and awesome stopping power.
These ceramic brakes deliver powerful stoppage at any braking distance, on any surface in any weather. They not only deliver great traction and superior grip, but make for a very comfortable drive on unevenly surfaced roads.
The Ford GT comes with front, side impact, and knee-protection airbags for both driver and passenger, and standard seat belts are fitted on both seats.
An additional safety option for the Ford GT is the 360 degrees parking camera, which is particularly effective in urban areas, where members of the public can be prone to make obstacles of themselves.
A thrilling drive that handles beautifully
The Ford GT is a stripped down supercar. All the fat has been skimmed off here and anything unnecessary has been left out in favour of lean speed and aggression. If you are after a quiet and practical ride, we suspect you wouldn’t be reading this review with a mind to buy.
Choose this car for the absolute thrill of driving. Forget about boot space or cup holders here – this is about you, the engine and the road pulling that horizon towards you.
Buy the Ford GT if you want a balanced supercar with racer origins. The engine might not be the most exciting, but it’s undeniably powerful and the road handling is a dream.
Yes, it’s a loud drive, and you can’t hear the sound system over the road noise and the explosive growls from your engine, but you bought this car for the sheer joy of driving, not to sing along to your favourite song.