“More raw” Ford GT Mk IV scorches Sonoma Raceway in first public showing

Ready the cannons, ’cause this is an explosive send-off. Last weekend, Ford debuted the final iteration of its vaunted GT supercar in public for the first time. The 800-horsepower Ford GT Mk IV was a blur of red, white, and blue as it scorched around Sonoma Raceway in California’s wine county.

Billed as the “ultimate and final track-only Ford GT,” the Mk IV adds power and downforce to the Blue Oval’s mid-engine supercar formula.

Cameron Neveu

For this ultimate expression of the production GT, Ford again turned to long-time partner Multimatic. The Canadian manufacturing and engineering firm provided assembly for the third-generation Ford GT, launched for the 2017 model year. In 2019, the company’s performance arm, Multimatic Motorsports, developed the Ford GT Mk II for customer track use. Just 45 examples were built.

Last December, Ford announced that production of GT road cars was coming to a halt, making the 2023 model year the supercar’s final one. To commemorate the run, Ford revealed plans for a juiced-up “long-tail” sequel to the Mark II track-only car, this time dubbed the Mark IV in reference to the final iteration of the original Ford GT40 that conquered Le Mans back in 1967. Appropriately, Ford planned to build 67 examples.

Nearly a year later, Ford yanked the silk off the GT Mk IV at Velocity Invitational, a historic motorsports gathering that attracts the finest vintage race cars to Sonoma, California. Multimatic’s ace driver, Scott Maxwell, was on hand to exhibit the Mk IV’s impressive pace on the 12-turn, 2.5-mile road course.

In addition to racing professionally for Multimatic since 1992, Maxwell served as lead development driver on the third-generation Ford GT road car, the Le Mans-winning race car, and Multimatic’s GT Mk II. “This is a much more aggressive car,” he said, motioning toward the Mk IV parked on Sonoma Raceway’s pit lane.

Maxwell has driven the low-slung supercar on most of North America’s premier tracks, from Laguna Seca to Road Atlanta. “Anybody can hop in a Mark II and drive it fast or slow and be comfortable. It’s the easiest supercar I’ve ever driven in my life. The Mark IV is more raw. It likes to go quicker because that’s when the downforce kicks in.”


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According to the Multimatic Motorsports team, the new GT posts lap times that rival those of the LMP2 prototype race car. Compared to the Mk II, this follow-up is approximately 400 pounds lighter and has about 40 percent more downforce. Even the car’s tub was reworked to accommodate a different roll cage.

Cameron Neveu

All told, the new machine’s body and ground effects generate 2400 pounds of plant. “The aerodynamics are pretty spectacular,” said Sean Mason, motorsports manager of Multimatic’s Special Vehicle Operations department. “We could get more downforce, but we don’t want to overload the tire.” In addition to aiding stick, the new carbon-fiber bodywork gives the car a refreshing appearance.

“There’s not a hell of a lot left from the Mark II,” said Mason. “The tail lights are the same,” he added wryly.

Cameron Neveu

Likely, competitors will see much of those old lamps, because this thing is fast. The twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-6 engine behind the driver can produce north of 800 horsepower on pump gas. The Mark IV also features Multimatic’s Adaptive Spool Valve (ASV) suspension. As the car drives around the track, the adaptive suspension’s spool valves constantly adjust the dampening based on inputs from the driver and the track surface.

Buyers aren’t expected to tame this beast entirely by themselves. Ford Performance will host driving days for customers and their new playthings, and Multimatic, including Maxwell, will be in attendance to support.

To answer the question we’re all wondering: Cost is a cool $1.7M. Though, like many limited halo machines of this nature, all 67 are sold as of this writing. That’s more than triple the cost of the standard-issue road car, which commanded a price of around $500,000.




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    This should have had a flat plane crank V8 from the start. They never sounded like they look.

    The C8R has it covered in sound and thunder.

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