The most expensive street-legal model Ford Motor Co. has ever built is getting a big bump in power this year – and there’ll be a new, special edition version, as well, the Liquid Carbon GT.
All versions of the supercar will now deliver 660 horsepower. Equally important, Ford engineers took steps to flatten out the torque curve to get the two-seater launched off the line and pulling out of corners even faster. Add improved cooling to keep the twin-turbo V-6 running flat out lap after lap.
“We never stop improving the performance,” said Ford Director Dave Pericak, during a preview of the 2020 Ford GT ahead of the formal media preview at the Chicago Auto Show. Many of the improvements will be seen on both the street version of the GT as well as on the track model that has been a force to be reckoned with on the endurance circuit.
The 2020 model adds 13 more horsepower, while torque remains the same, at 550 pound-feet. But the fact that torque now hits peak at lower RPMs will make it feel even faster. The automaker didn’t offer new 0 to 60 stats but Pericak said the 2020 Ford GT will still boast a top speed of 216 mph.
Those sort of numbers require plenty of cooling and Ford has taken steps to deal with that challenge, switching to larger intercoolers and expanding the air ducts to increase air flow on the 2020 model by a full 50 percent.
The updated supercar also will switch to a titanium exhaust, a move Ford claims improves performance while also adding a more resonant exhaust note.
And the automaker now adds two new appearance packages. The popular Gulf Livery, which harkens back to the original GT40 race car’s explosive series of wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, gets a new look for 2020.
But what is likely to really catch the eye of Ford GT fans is the new Liquid Carbon edition. It’s designed to really show off the carbon fiber used for the supercar’s body and other key components. Instead of paint, there’s only a special clearcoat layer designed to reveal the weave of the lightweight material.
It requires the use of a matched set of components all with the weave carefully aligned. While all GT’s are already hand-built, the process is “even more labor intensive,” said Pericak, adding that, “because of that, we’re likely not to make more than about a dozen” of the Liquid Carbon GTs.
“This next chapter in the Ford GT story allows us to fully demonstrate our mastery in both the art and science of carbon fiber craftsmanship and finishing,” said Angus Smith, General Manager of Niche Vehicles for Multimatic, the Canadian specialty manufacturer that assembles the GT for Ford.
The Liquid Carbon model will carry a substantial premium, coming in at $750,000 compared to the “base” GT’s starting price of just over $500,000.
Ford initially planned a brief, one-year run for the GT but has now extended it out through around 2022, the eventual cut-off tied to a planned production run of 1,350 cars. So far, said Pericak, “We’re roughly halfway through that.”