We met with the new GT in the development center of Ford in Dearborn, United States
Author: José Caetano
Secretly, in the basement of Ford-Conn’s Development Center in Dearborn in Detroit, twenty of us firsthand from the designers and engineers who worked in this studio for 15 months of the design process, and design, we were introduced to the new GT. The presentation of the project of the NAIAS 2015 didnt surprised this group of people. Twelve months later we looked exclusively “inside” in this exceptional supercar …Ford counts down 50 of the first of four consecutive victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969 against Ferrari and the rest of the world. It will be celebrated simultaneously in two places – on the GT racing and on the road,with the new supercar who is sharing its DNA with the original model and the descendent of the 2004 . Therefore, theoretically, it is an animal that can enter in the territory of Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and company. On paper, the third generation of the GT is explosive: the two-seater whose start of production is planned for late this year is made from aluminum and carbon fiber, has a 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine with 600 KS, 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, rear wheels, ceramic brakes …
After the North American International Auto Show NAIAS in Detroit, Ford opened the doors of its Development Center in Dearborn, a town on the outskirts of the capital of the automotive industry and told us (almost) everything about GT. Jamal Hamed, head of Ford Performance (flagship engineering), Chris Svensson, Director of Design and AMKO Leenarts, interior designer, were the hosts of the meeting held in highly secured studio in the basement. There is history behind the story and, thankfully, it is much less secret after the presentation of a brand new supercar in January 2015,at the last edition of the biggest automobile exhibition in North America. Until then within the company only thirty people knew about the project, including 20 technicians selected for the design and development of the model. And they had only classical magnetic cards instead of keys or other electronic systems to access the object deliberately built away from suspicious and indiscreet views, something that angered many in the building. For example, of 600 designers in the complex, only 12 worked on this program and the number of engineers was even smaller.
Needless to say so because in the production portfolio of the brand there is nothing like that, but this dream car is made from a white sheet of paper after marathon discussions between designers and engineers to define the objectives and choice of priorities.For basis the working group took the model from the 60s, promoting it, particularly in terms of innovation. The model 2004 is not (much) reinterpretation of the original, largely conditions intakes of technicians who were involved in developing the design. To realize it took only 15 months after the election of efficiency as a starting point because of its importance in racing, and the serial cars. Proritѕ was given to the aerodynamics, and prototypes were made after thousands of tests – computer simulations and wind tunnel optimization of parts and the whole body, since no component was rejected. The result is this automobile sculpture – or sculptural car! Interesting: determining the seating position who is fixed, was described that is crucial for GT to get its initial form which affects many choices in design and construction, including the cockpit, aggressive and withdrawn and shaped windscreen as the helmet.
As the return of the race 24 Hours of Le Mans was included in the specifications that were in the hands of the development team, there are also no doubts about the choice of materials – carbon fiber reinforced plastics and magnesium are on the list before the aluminum and steel although difficult shape exotic materials that are (very) expensive. So GT rose to the level of aerodynamic perfection, achieving the goal of stretching the limits of the art of light structures, a field in which Ford also intends to dominate, to seek and investigate solutions that would enable a significant reduction in emissions and consumption in order to meet environmental protection standards that are more stringent, especially in regions such as North America or Europe.
The birth of the Ford GT: a forward is amodel of clay, in the middle he is from last year concept and backward production model
And in the studio, stacked, three copies of this new GT: first clay model in scale 1: 1; in the middle the model presented at NAIAS last year surprised everyone – even those of top management and the development center of the blue oval brand; back version designed for mass production, obviously 100% ready to meet the certification requirements to all four corners of the world. The fact is that the differences of the car from January 2015 to her barely noticeable and rare – we are mentioning only the most important: the front and rear lights, turn signals integrated into the mudguards conventional mirrors, storage space under the hood spoilers lined with alcantara and leather , mobile and adjustable in height and inclination on the rear side to generate additional force of adhesion or to act as an air brake capacity greater braking … Others are not visible because they are in the cockpit.
The new GT is designed from the outside in, with fixed seating position – the pedals are governed by electric motors and the steering column is adjusted to 200 mm! It largely conditions the development of the project and determine many technical solutions. So, as expected, high or heavier individuals or those less turns will have difficulty in access to the cockpit, where the driver and passenger are seated side by side, with very little freedom of movement. The lack of inches in the cockpit surrounded by glass surface as the helmet has an effect that should ensure more sporty and provocative ambience, complemented by the small size of the wheel, which is a formula for limiting contacts with the panel door while driving. Steering wheel integrated controls the majority of comands – from buttons for selecting various effects to flash-to-pass function served during the race to inform the driver forward to be overtaken. The steering wheel also has a vertical LED strips that indicate the operating mode of the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost and report on perfect timing for changing gears.
Cockpit: The shape of the body define the architecture of the two cockpit seats
The primacy of formula minimalism is remarkable at the digital dashboard whose content changes according to the existing five driving modes on the 3.5 inch screen in its center. Between the seats is raised console with controls and relying rear wing, plus the start button and e-shift feature that Ford introduced the Chinese version of Fusion in 2015. This command operates with automatic 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with manual mode controlled via steering wheel controls. This reduces the number of components and weight. The impression of “lightness” is reinforced with carbon fiber components of the structure of the car, as it revealed the Dutchman in charge of interior design, AMKO Leenarts. Also, due to limitations of space in the cockpit, open for air conditioning and ventilation are placed on the doors.
To win at Le Mans, as Ford’s known since the mid 1960s, mechanical efficiency and reliability are required. As the return of this race has emerged as provided in the documents in the hands of the team to develop the 3rd generation of GT, instead V8 it has 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that combines the advantages of turbo charging and direct injection. The transmission is a 7-speed automatic transmission with dual clutch of the engine capable of exceptional performance and moderate consumption displaces best. GT relying on dual struts and springs and shock absorbers mounted horizontally borrowed from the world of racing tires Pilot Sport Cup 2 produced by Michelin, brake discs and ceramic, a material that provides more power and a greater resistance to fatigue. Ford GT has five driving programs that are selected with a rotary button: Normal, Sport, Track, Wet and VMax. In the most extreme distance from the ground is only 50 mm and spojlerite been repositioned in height and inclination. So for less than three seconds to 100 km / h and more than 320 km / h!
Ford GT is designed from the outside in
Top version of the Chevrolet Corvette C7 (Z06 with 6.2 liter V8 compressor engine with 625 KS) will lose the status of the best supercar made in the United States. If confirmed everything Ford announces new GT, which is a reinterpretation of the original 1960 version as of 2004, the most exciting car of the brand with the blue oval will compete in the same league with Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and similar, as a symbol of technological competitiveness and innovative features! Awesome.