Upgraded 2020 Ford GT is resplendent in 1969 Le Mans livery


For an event that took place more than a half century ago, Ford continues to get a lot of, ahem, mileage out of the GT40’s Le Mans victories in the 1960s. On the eve of the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, the company revealed upgrades to the 2020 Ford GT, including more power, a new standard titanium exhaust system, a “naked” carbon fiber GT, and the latest iteration of the the Ford GT supercar’s Gulf Racing Heritage livery, this time honoring the 1969 LeMans winning car.

The upgrades for 2020 also include better engine cooling, even more tricks to control airflow, and a retuned suspension with stiffer shock absorbers.

2020 Ford GT
2020 Ford GT

While aero tricks are cool, I’m sure you want to know about the increased power from the GT’s twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6. Thanks to things like revised engine mapping, oil gallery-cooled pistons, higher-energy ignition coils, and larger intercoolers for the boosted induction, the 2020 GT will put out 660 horsepower, an increase of 13 equine equivalents. There is also a broader torque band.

Those larger intercoolers are the recipients of a 50-percent increase in airflow due to new air ducts fed by the GT’s signature flying buttresses.

For your auditory pleasure, the premium titanium exhaust system from Akrapovič is now standard. I’m not sure anyone but the most refined drivers will be able to sense the nine pounds shaved from the vehicle’s weight using Ti mufflers, but they do enhance the sound of the EcoBoost six.

For your visual pleasure there are two new colorways, as the wrist watch crowd says. There is a new spin on the Gulf Racing Heritage livery, and for the first time, the GT can be ordered “naked,” with the visually stunning Liquid Carbon package.

2020 Liquid Carbon Ford GT

First, the Liquid Carbon GT. Now and then a custom car fabricator will display an unpainted body to show off his/her body-forming skills. Ford and its vendor Multimatic, which fabricates the GT, are using the Liquid Carbon version to showcase the partnership’s expertise with carbon fiber. The laid up CFRP is left exposed, covered only by a UV blocking clear coat. In a sense, each Liquid Carbon GT will be a one-of-one, since there are slight variations in the weave of the carbon fiber mats that make up the GT’s body. Liquid Carbon editions will also come with carbon fiber wheels standard and buyers can opt for titanium lugnuts, five different brake caliper colors, and select from five interior trim options. For track use, a six-point safety harness is also available.

On the heritage side of things, the now-almost-cliché light blue and orange Gulf Oil livery edition, first made famous by the ’60s-era GT40, has been updated with a black pinstripe that separates the colors, and was done on GT40 chassis #1075, which had back-to-back victories at Le Mans in 1968 and ’69. As with that Le Mans winner, the Gulf Livery Heritage edition wears #9 on its door.

After seeing Gulf’s mid-century corporate colors grace everything from Tata Nanos to bicycles, it’s nice seeing it on something at least related to the original.

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