The upcoming Mustang Shelby GT500 will be the most powerful street-legal Ford ever, with 760 horsepower. The Mustang, however, even in its ultimate form, is not the brightest star in Ford's performance firmament. That would be the $500,000, Le Mans-inspired Ford GT supercar. To burnish that star, next month at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK the Dearborn automaker will be making a “special” announcement regarding the GT.
On American Independence Day, July 4, 2019, Herman Salenbach, Ford Performance global director, and Larry Holt, the chief technical officer at Multimatic, which assembles the GT for Ford in Ontario, will have an early morning (U.S. time) press conference regarding the ultra-high-performance sports car at the Ford display at Goodwood. It's not immediately clear what that news might be. In making the announcement, Ford only teased a single image of a GT from the front, in shadows.
Henry Payne of the Detroit News thinks it might be an even higher-performance edition of the GT. Alternatively, perhaps Ford has decided to extend production beyond the 1350 units that were sold in two tranches, or maybe it will open up sales to the general public, without screening potential buyers first.
Buyers of the current GT have had to undergo an application process as Ford has tried to make sure that the cars are going to enthusiasts, not speculative flippers.
The GT needs some good news after Ford's disastrous experience at Le Mans earlier this month. This was going to be the current GT's swan song at the La Sarthe course and Ford was hoping to go out on a high note. That was not to be, though. The factory-backed cars in the GTE Pro class were off the pace, and to add insult to injury, Ford's highest-placing car in that class was disqualified for having a fuel tank that was 0.87 liters too large. A fuel tank penalty also stripped the privately entered GTE Am Ford GT of its class title, which was Ford's only win at Le Mans this year.
The new Shelby GT500 Mustang and Ford GT will compete in the Goodwood hill climb, but Ford will also be bringing a whole raft of hot cars to display at the event, including the European debut of the new Focus ST.
The #66 Ford GT that finished in sixth place for Chip Ganassi's factory-backed team at Le Mans this year will also be in attendance, along with the Ford Fiesta World Rally Championship car, Team Penske's 2018 NASCAR champion Ford Fusion, the 1980 Ford Zakspeed Turbo Capri racer, and Ken Block's Escort RS Cosworth as well as his Hoonitruck. Ford will also be showing off the European version of the Ranger Raptor at Goodwood's off-road experience course.