After driving 700 miles to Salt Lake city (through rain, snow flurries and hail) in my 2005 Ford GT I checked into my hotel and went to bed. The next day I hit the car wash before meeting Doug DeMuro and shooting a video of my car. This was part of a 2005 Ford GT versus 2017 Ford GT comparison Doug was creating for his YouTube channel. After spending a few hours shooting with Doug we traveled to the Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, Utah for the new Ford GT’s press launch opening dinner. A few feet from our table an original GT40 was parked next to a new Ford GT, setting the stage for a celebration of Ford’s multi-generational supercar.
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In late April 2017 the much-anticipated new Ford GT was finally going to be available for automotive journalists to drive at its global press launch. Up until that point the only experience most folks, even industry insiders, had with the new Ford GT involved staring at it behind roped off sections of Ford’s auto show displays. I was fortunate enough to actually sit in the new GT at the 2017 Detroit Auto a few months earlier, but that was only for a few glorious, stationary minutes.
When I received notice of the new Ford GT press launch at Utah Motorsports Campus, about 40 miles west of Salt Lake City, I immediately knew how I was getting to the event. As I’ve stated many times, the 2005-2006 Ford GT is one of the best long-distance supercars ever created. It’s quick, it’s comfortable, and its easy going nature places almost no physical demands on the driver. It will even clear 24-plus mpg if you keep it in sixth gear, as 2,000 rpm translates to 80 mph. Plus I was pretty sure I’d be the only journalist showing up to the new Ford GT press launch in his own Ford GT
The new Ford GT is closely tied to a successful race car that’s already won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And like most high-performance street cars with a racing pedigree, Ford is encouraging buyers of the new Ford GT to exercise it at closed course race facilities. Among these encouraging factors is a complete set of race accessories designed and engineered by Sparco.
On April 5, 2017 the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) held an event in Detroit to celebrate the design and engineering aspects of the new Ford GT. The event was attended by members of SAE, Larry Holt of Multimatic (the company building new Ford GTs) and Ford GT team members, including Raj Nair.
In September 2016 the Ford GT Forum hosted the 11th annual Ford GT Owners Rally in Austin, Texas. Austin is one of my favorite towns, so having a really good excuse to go there was fine with me. Austin is also home to one of America’s better track facilities, the Circuit of the Americas (also known as COTA), which made it a great excuse to bring my car.
The new Ford GT features five drive modes to handle everything from rain to going 216 mph (hopefully not at the same time). I’ve driven the new Ford GT in each of these modes and the breadth of vehicle settings and driving characteristics offered by these five drive modes is pretty amazing. Of course many cars offer multiple driving modes, but the transformation the GT goes through when switching modes is unique, even by modern supercar standards.
Beyond the debut of a new Ford GT in Liquid Red there was another special car in Ford’s booth at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. It was the 2016 Le Mans-winning Ford GT race car driven by Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastien Bourdais. It was covered in dirt and displayed several scrapes and breaks throughout its body panels. Many people wondered why the race car would be displayed at the Detroit Auto Show looking so beat up and grimy.
At the 2015 Detroit Auto Show the new Ford GT debuted in Liquid Blue (still one of my favorite colors for the car). A year later the new Ford GT showed up for the first time in Frozen White in Detroit, and looked stunning yet again. For its third appearance at the Detroit Auto Show the new Ford GT debuted in Liquid Red.
At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, also known as CES, the Ford GT in full race trim was on display at the Ford booth. It was the number 68 Ford GT race car, driven by Sebastian Bourdais, Joey Hand and Dirk Muller for the 2017 race season, and despite all the colorful technology that headlines every CES the Ford GT stood out and caught the attention of everyone walking by Ford’s booth.
When I got my Ford GT in August of 2005 I quickly realized something was very different about this car versus all the 1960s muscle cars I’d owned over the previous 30 years. The GT was a brand-new car, and that meant replacement parts were readily available for it. After struggling to get parts for my Plymouth GTXs and Dodge Challengers I reveled in the idea I could get anything I wanted for the Ford GT by simply calling on my local Ford dealer.