New Ford GT Mk II is a track-only celebration of North American engineering
With customers poised at the brink of electrified autonomy, Ford Performance could not resist the opportunity for one last chorus of unmuffled speed and driving delight. The newly revealed Ford GT Mk II is a second iteration of the modern Ford supercar engineered to win its class at Le Mans. We’re talking way too much horsepower, the aerodynamics of an eagle in flight, and racing slicks for phenomenal cornering and braking. If you’ve got $1.2-million burning a hole in your net worth and are one of the first 45 hand raisers, this dedicated track toy can be yours.
The GT Mk II is the Ford Performance team’s response to three what-ifs:
What if we didn’t have to comply with government regulations defining every nook and cranny of our street machines? What if we could forget about the racing rules that inhibit our power and aerodynamic performance? What if design was bounded solely by the laws of physics?
The result is a twin-turbo port-injected 3.5-liter V-6 that delivers 700 horsepower at 6500 rpm (up from the street machines 647 hp and the LMGTE Pro racer’s 495 hp). A wing only slightly smaller than a 737’s combined with a massive rear diffuser, ventilated front fenders, and a splitter the size of an ironing board yields 1700 pounds of downforce at 150 mph—roughly four times as much as the road-going GT.
Stripping out gratuitous equipment—mufflers, catalysts, airbags, air conditioning—whacked 250 pounds from the curb weight. Michelin Pilot Sport GT slicks mounted on 19-inch Forgeline aluminum wheels provide a claimed 2g worth of cornering grip. Add in huge carbon-ceramic brake rotors with ABS, sophisticated Multimatic DSSV spool valve dampers, a lower ride height, and fully optimized suspension kinematics and you’ve got a boy racer that will thrill the shorts off dudes who thought they already owned it all.
The idea behind the Ford GT sprung out of the creative minds of Ford product development chief Hau Thai-Tang and his Multimatic partner in crime Larry Holt. Eighteen months ago, after production of the GT had commenced and its racing exploits had begun bringing home trophies, they began pondering their project’s untapped potential.
Remembering the 1960s, when four distinct versions of the GT40 were created, the Mk II name was reprised for a track-only machine capable of allowing a select few owners to experience Tertre Rouge and the Dunlop Chicane without traveling to France. Dialogue with potential customers revealed rapt interest in Ford’s thinking and 30 hand raisers before the GT Mk II debuted at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed in England this Fourth of July.
Changes from existing road and race GTs are aimed at upping the enjoyment of every track lap. Larger rear-fender-mounted intercoolers are sprayed with water so thrust never drops below 700 horsepower as the heat of the day rises. The roof-mounted snorkel feeds a large heat exchanger that has taken over luggage space to cool three hard-working fluids: engine oil, gearbox lubricant, and the transmission clutches. There are no adjustments provided in the rear wing because fiddling with it would upset the ideal aerodynamic balance built into the Mk II.
In place of the race car’s Ricardo sequential-shift transmission, there’s a seven-speed Getrag TCT wet-clutch dual-clutch automatic from the road car reprogrammed with track calibrations. A new MoTeC display screen supplements the standard in-dash instrumentation while also serving as the rear-view camera’s display screen. Custom-made Sparco race seats and full six-point harnesses lock the driver and joy rider securely in place. There’s a full tubular-steel roll cage for protection if the Mk II’s world turns upside down.
Consistent with other Ford Performance products, the Mk II is calibrated to reward expert drivers and to flatter novices. Multimatic Motorsports’s test driver Scott Maxwell reports there’s gentle understeer at the cornering limit and ready means of adjusting that attitude with modest steering, throttle, and brake inputs.
While refrigerator-white paint comes as standard equipment, Multimatic can indulge any reasonable owner preference, including the blue, gold, and white graphics depicted here. The options list also includes air jacks to expedite pit stops and the passenger seat. Customers needing technical assistance or track support will be cordially served by the Ford-Multimatic crew.
The current plan is to build half-a-dozen Mk IIs in 2019 followed by 15 per year until 45 (and only 45) customers are served. This consignment comes out of the Ford GT’s 1350-car total build program. Thus far, about 500 GTs have been manufactured. Handover of the first Mk II is slated for August.
Even though it costs more than twice as much as the street-legal GT, the new Mk II is really a bargain. This is North America’s very best and brightest engineering might harnessed in pursuit of speed. Don’t dawdle raising a hand if you can.