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2017 FORD GT FIRST RIDE

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Mid-engine supercars seem to get churned out by the baker’s dozen in Europe, but until Chevrolet gets around to producing a mid-engine Corvette, America has just one: the Ford GT. The first production-spec 2017 Ford GT goes off the factory line within the next four weeks, and as the Blue Oval makes the final tweaks to its reborn supercar, Ford invited us out to Las Vegas Motor Speedway to snag shotgun and go for a ride.

Parked in a sea of black asphalt with B-1 bombers and other military hardware roaring out of Nellis Air Force Base passing overhead, the Frozen White and Black pre-production GT—fittingly nicknamed “Stormtrooper” by Ford engineers—makes quite the visual impression outside the harsh glow of auto show lighting. Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president of global product development and the man many on the team credit as the father of the GT, and Dave Pericak, the head of Ford Performance, weren’t willing to let us get behind the wheel of the GT. But they did offer a guided tour of the 2017 GT’s bodywork, suspension, and cabin before letting us loose with Le Mans–winning racer Joey Hand on the track...

When Hand fires up a Liquid Blue GT in the road course’s pit lane, it’s time for a ride. Nair says Ford briefly considered fitting a V-8 or even a twin-turbo V-8 into the GT. Instead it opted for the EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission because its smaller package and increased fuel efficiency would make it a more competitive race car—a gamble that paid off when the GT won its class at Le Mans. Ford, frustratingly, still isn’t talking horsepower or torque figures because it’s waiting final EPA certification, but it insists that the GT makes at least 600 horsepower....

A twist of the dial into Track mode makes the GT hunker down like an Olympic sprinter, and with stab of the throttle, we’re off. The EcoBoost V-6 emits a guttural growl unlike any V-6 I’ve ever heard. It pins me back in my seat as we rocket out of pit lane. Those moaning about the lack of a V-8 option ought to zip it for the time being. From the passenger seat, its thrust level feels off the charts. There’s no turbo lag that I can pick up; the engine pulls strongly through its rev range. Gear changes seem seamless, too. The seven-speed dual-clutch auto responds instantly to Hand’s pulls of the paddles. The Ford GT appears to be incredibly well balanced, too. Just a hint of steering angle had the GT instantaneously pointing toward the next car. As Hand works the GT through corners, it seemingly rotates flat on its axis. The GT feels firm and planted at all times during our stint in the passenger seat, with the traction control system (in its sportiest setting) appearing to be unobtrusive and with the DSSV shocks happily taking a beating from the track’s curbing without upsetting the car in the least...

 

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Exactly what I was saying about a new Golden age for car lovers...1970 Toyota Corona Deluxe

The Ford GT makes the Lexus LFA look like the 1970 Toyota Corona Deluxe above...

More broken glass from another bench going through someones front window....unreal how far out of the park Ford kicked it with this one...

I think I would honestly take this over a Ferrari 458...and I do not say that lightly.

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