Looking to buy one of the year’s most eagerly awaited new models? Ford opened up the order bank for its new GT supercar today, and it expects to have a long line of potential owners signing up.
That said, don’t expect the sort of frantic rush that followed the debut of the new Tesla Model 3 two weeks ago. Ford has plans to produce far fewer GTs – at more than 10 times the price. And Ford plans to put up some hurdles that will limit who is likely to actually get one of the new supercars.
“The purchase process for the Ford GT is as unique as our all-new supercar,” said Henry Ford III, the global marketing manager for Ford Performance. “We understand GT customers are strong ambassadors for Ford Motor Company, and we look forward to providing them a service as distinct as the car itself.”
Ford has reason to be more selective, it explains. For one thing, it plans to take orders for only 500 cars, the total number it plans to produce during the GT’s first two years. The maker has strongly hinted that the new two-seater will only be produced for a few years, much like the original GT of a decade back.
If you already own a Ford GT, you’ll jump to the head of the line – unless you’ve got yours locked up on display. The automaker is determined to make sure buyers actually intend to drive their new cars and not send them off to a museum. The order process also aims to weed out speculators who only intend to lock up a space and then sell it off to the highest bidder, a problem that has plagued other supercar makers like Ferrari over the years.
Those who go to register at www.FordGT.com will be asked whether they owned the earlier GT, and how much they drove it. The online form also looks at whether the hopeful buyer has owned any other Ford or Lincoln models.
It’s unclear if the Detroit maker will cut a break for some of the celebrities who have already raised a hand. That includes Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, as well as uber-collector Jay Leno. The former Tonight Show host is at least known to drive the vehicles in his extensive collection.
Final pricing hasn’t been announced, but Ford says the new GT will cost “in the mid-$400,000s.” That makes it about three times as expensive as the original, $149,995 Ford GT. Ford produced just 4,000 of the earlier version which was unveiled in 2002 in concept form and then sold during the 2005 and 2006 model-years.
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The latest version of the Ford GT made a surprise debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2015. Ford CEO Mark Fields told TheDetroitBureau.com that the goal was to create “a showcase where we can highlight all that technology and innovation (Ford has been working on) in a dramatic way.”
The new Ford GT is meant to be more than just a high-powered muscle car. Ford engineers put a premium on lightweighting, using a mix of carbon fiber, aluminum and other ultra-light materials. There’s even a first-of-its-kind Gorilla Glass windshield that shaves 12 pounds off the GT’s mass compared to a conventional windshield.
The car’s swoopy body panels, scoops and wing are all influenced by aerodynamics, designers aiming to both reduce drag and enhance downforce to keep the new Ford GT glued to the pavement at high speeds.
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That’s particularly important with the track version of the new Ford GT which has made a so-far troubled debut on the global endurance racing circuit. The Chip Ganassi team ran into a series of problems with brakes, tires and transmissions at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but the goal is to deliver improved results in the races leading up to the classic 24 Hours of Le Mans this summer.
Ford has been notoriously tight-lipped with details about the racing version of the supercar, but the street version of the new Ford GT is powered by a modified version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 now offered in both the Taurus SHO sedan and the F-150 pickup. Modifications such as customized pistons, cams and unique twin turbochargers will boost the GT to more than 600 horsepower, with 0 to 60 times expected to run around 3 seconds or less.
(Ford planning to run four GTs at Le Mans. Click Here for an update.)