GT tech trickles down
The launch of Ford’s new GT supercar isn’t just about the blue oval’s desire to continue to scare its long- time European rivals, but also to help develop technology for the rest of its range of vehicles.
“When we began work on the all- new Ford GT in 2013, the team had three goals,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice- president of product development and chief technical officer.
“The first was to use it as a training ground for our engineers as we develop future engine technology and stretch our understanding of aerodynamics. Then, to push the boundaries of advanced material usage, such as lightweight carbon fibre.
“Finally, we set out to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, referred to by many as the ultimate test of endurance and efficiency.”
New Zealanders will be able to see an example of Ford’s internal “trickle down” GT theory firsthand in its upcoming Ford Mustang ( set to debut next year). It will come with the same digital dashboard as the GT, before debuting in other blue- oval platforms.
It’s a consistent path for Ford’s engineers, with their previous- 2017 Ford GT, Ford GTLM race car and Ford GT40 ( front to rear) are a test bed for new technologies. generation GT supercar also acting as a test bed for new technologies.
These included the aluminium body, which helped form the basis for the aluminium used in the F- Series pickup trucks to save weight.
Perhaps the most important advancements from the GT, though, are those within its 3.5- litre EcoBoost engine — based on the same unit that powers Ford’s F- 150 Raptor pickup.
“Wepushed the engine’s limits beyond what we might consider in traditional development programmes, which is important as we continue to advance EcoBoost technology as a centrepiece of the company’s global line- up,” said Bob Fascetti, Ford vice- president, powertrain engineering.