Karl on Cars

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Tag: New Ford GT Page 1 of 3

Comparison Test: 2005 Ford GT versus the new Ford GT

It is my obligation as a journalist to provide full disclosure on my relationship to the 2005 Ford GT and the new Ford GT. I owned a 2005 Ford GT for 13 years and put over 30,000 miles on it before selling my GT to Doug DeMuro. I’m also the owner of a 2019 Ford GT. The good news? When I do a comparison between the 2005 Ford GT and the new Ford GT I know from which I speak. The bad news? I’m arguably not the most unbiased person to get your Ford GT information from.

My 2005 Ford GT on its way to the new Ford GT press introduction

Okay, you’ve been warned. Now, let’s talk about the two coolest cars ever made.

The new Ford GT is instantly recognizable as a track weapon

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First Drive of My New Ford GT: Palomar Mountain

It took awhile to get my 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series fully wrapped in paint-protection film, but when it was done I had an easy first drive target: Palomar Mountain.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Palomar Front

The sun was still shining when I first got to the top of Palomar Mountain

Palomar Mountain is about 80 miles from my house, and depending on the time of day and the day of the week it can be a pain to get there. But the new Ford GT is a very capable track car, which means the only way to really enjoy it on public roads is to find that magic combination of twisty asphalt and minimal traffic. I’ve taken other highly capable cars on this route, making Palomar Mountain an obvious choice on my first free weekend with my new Ford GT.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series Palomar Clouds

The images I captured on Palomar Mountain might be the best I’ll ever get of my Ford GT

The route includes a stretch on Ortega Highway in south Orange County, another potentially worthy road for a Ford GT. But traffic is almost always an issue on Ortega Highway, creating a difficult (though not impossible…) opportunity to exercise the GT. After Ortega highway it’s down through Lake Elsinore, onto the southbound 15 freeway and then exiting at California route 76 going east. Most of this drive has great scenery, but the real fun doesn’t happen until arriving at the base of Palomar Mountain.

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Ford GT Beauty Shots Series 1

2019 Ford GT Palomar Mountain
A drive up Mount Palomar and lucky timing resulted in this

If the image above looks familiar, it’s also the (current) header on my website. This shot came at the end of a drive up Mount Palomar in San Diego County, which was actually my first serious drive in my 2019 Ford GT Carbon Series. I’ll chronicle that experience soon, but it was a gloomy day to be in Ford’s supercar…until I reached the summit and broke through the clouds. Then it was epic.

2019 Ford GT Carbon Series
My Ford GT on Ortega Highway, with some saturated color thrown in

Anyway, when you have a car with stunning design at the level of the new Ford GT it’s impossible to publish too many photographs. So like a super-sized version of Instagram, I’m going to start doing a regular series of posts that simply show off the New Ford GT’s amazing body lines. The photo above shows my Ford GT in Track Mode with the rear wing deployed. Also a bit of color saturation to emphasize its Liquid Blue.

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The New Ford GT: How to Fully Appreciate Its Capabilities

New Ford GT Black Orange Comparison Shoot

The new Ford GT is more capable than most drivers will ever know

I’ve driven a new Ford GT on multiple occasions, including its press introduction in April of 2017 and during the Kelley Blue Book Ford GT comparison test in May of 2018. During that comparison test we took all three generations of Ford GT to Lake Elsinore on Ortega Highway in South Orange County.

New Ford GT Overlook Roadhouse Comparison Shoot

Our shooting location took us out along Ortega Highway for 2 days in a row

Ortega Highway, also known as State Route 74, is like many roadways in Southern California. It’s a twisting two-lane ribbon of pavement that could, theoretically, offer an amazing sports car (or motorcycle) experience. I say theoretically because Ortega Highway, like most California roads, is overrun with traffic congestion most of the day. And night. But after the final day of shooting the Ford GT comparison I drove the new Ford GT back to Irvine on Ortega Highway, and the roadway was uncharacteristically useful…

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Ford GT Owners Rally 12: Old and New Ford GTs, Plus a Mustang Shelby GT350R

Ford GT Owners Rally 12

A collection of over 80 Ford GTs attended Owners Rally 12

In August of 2017 another gathering of Ford GTs and Ford GT owners came together in Park City, Utah. While this was the 12th Ford GT Owners Rally, it was the first to feature new Ford GTs alongside 2005 and 2006 models. I had every intention of driving my 2005 Ford GT to this rally. After all, it was the same road trip I’d made in my GT just 4 months earlier to attend the new Ford GT press launch.

2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R Grille

A Mustang Shelby GT350R is the perfect alternative to a Ford GT at this rally

Sadly, after planning to drive the GT my schedule shifted and I couldn’t afford the 2 extra days to make the trip up and back. I quickly purchased airplane tickets and wondered what kind of rental car I’d be stuck in while following GTs through the mountains of Utah. Then I had an idea. What if I contacted Ford and asked for one of the new Shelby GT350Rs? I hadn’t driven one yet, and I’d be showcasing the Shelby to a highly-targeted demographic of likely customers.

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Driving the New Ford GT at the Press Launch

New Ford GT Red and Silver Press Launch

Driving the new Ford GT on the track confirmed its rumored capabilities…

After arriving at Utah Motorsports Campus in my 2005 Ford GT, and shooting some photos of it with a new Frozen White Ford GT, it was time to drive. The morning weather was still being typical Springtime in the Rockies, which meant bright sunlight one minute and overcast skies with light snow flurries the next. Both generations of Ford GT liked the cool temperatures, but it made things a bit nerve-wracking when driving the cars on the track.

The weather during the afternoon street drive was mercifully sunny and stable. The deserted roads east of Tooele provided the perfect driving conditions to explore our Liquid Red Ford GT press car. The GT lived up to its billing as a lightweight, barely-street-legal race car. The most compelling aspect was the immediate throttle response provided by the pre-boosted 3.5-liter V6 when placing the GT in “Sport” mode. Feedback through the Ford GT’s steering wheel and seat-of-pants was also pretty amazing, providing a level of confidence few cars offer at any price.

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New Ford GT: Race Car for the Street Status Confirmed

New Ford GT 2005 Ford GT Utah Karl Brauer

Having both generations of Ford GT to experience during the press launch provided great perspective

When the new Ford GT press launch was over I had almost everything I needed to understand the GT’s capabilities and purpose. I say “almost” because there was an additional dimension to the GT’s engineering brilliance I had yet to explore, but I didn’t know this at the time…

Sure, I’d driven it on the street pretty aggressively, and I’d driven it on the track even more aggressively. But it was my first experience in Ford’s half-million dollar supercar on a track I’d never driven. To say I left plenty of reserve in my approach as I piloted the new Ford GT in both locations is an understatement.

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Finally, I Get to Drive the New Ford GT

New Ford GT Press Launch Karl Brauer First Drive

My first time driving the new Ford GT left quite an impression

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.

New Ford GT Competition GT40

An original Ford GT40 sat next to a new Ford GT Competition Series during dinner

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Old Ford GT Crashes New Ford GT Press Launch

2005 Ford GT versus New Ford GT

Driving my 2005 Ford GT to the new Ford GT press launch was a unique opportunity

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.

2005 Ford GT Utah State Line

The first half of my drive to the Ford GT press launch was trouble free

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

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Sparco Race Accessories for Your New 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.

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