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Refreshing or Revolting: Ford GT

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/16/2015 Jason Udy
Ford GT at 2015 Detroit Auto Show© Provided by MotorTrend Ford GT at 2015 Detroit Auto Show

While no one thought Ford could top the new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor and Ford Shelby GT350R revealed at the 2015 Detroit auto show, the Dearborn automaker did just that with the new Ford GT. With all three cars painted the same hypnotic shade of blue, Ford stole the show. Although the new F-150 Raptor (hybrid all-wheel drive/four-wheel drive transfer case) and Shelby GT350R (carbon fiber wheels!) come with impressive new features, the most impressive bit of information is that the carbon fiber-intensive Ford GT with its 600-plus-hp EcoBoost engine and dual-clutch transmission is also headed to production. Here we compare the new Ford GT to the last model from the mid-2000s.

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While the previous Ford GT and the new model trace their styling roots back to the Le Mans-winning Ford GT40 of the 1960s, each version receives influences from their respective eras. Where the last GT featured round side-by-side projector headlights within sleek, angular housings, the new GT features offset-stacked rectangular headlights with LED piping around the housing. The new Ford GT features a more aggressive trapezoidal air intake flanked by brake cooling ducts. While the heat extractor hood vents are of a similar shape, the new Ford GT has more defined lines that reach to the very front edge of the car.

Although both cars have a similar side profile, the details between the two generations are noticeably different. Side mirrors sit on thin carbon fiber mounts. The new GT’s rocker panel has a heat extractor behind the front wheel and channels air into a scoop at the lower part of the quarter panel. The rear quarter panel air intake is taller and rakes rearward at the top. Air is also channeled through the C-pillar toward the rear of the car. The previous car ’s conventionally hinged doors with roof cutout have been replaced with Lamborghini-style upward swinging doors.

Refreshing or Revolting: Ford GT

Styling at the rear of the new Ford GT is the biggest departure from previous iterations. The rear engine cover tapers as it travels from the roof toward the high-mount center-mounted exhaust tips. That taper aligns with air channeled from the side through the C-pillar and in between the exhaust tips and the taillights. While round taillights remain, they are now three-dimensional, and the center reverse lights have been replaced with the EcoBoost engine’s wastegates. An integrated rear deck spoiler stretches across the rear from the taillights over the air channel and exhaust tips. A more aggressive rear splitter frames the license plate.

Where the last model used a large center-mounted tachometer with most ancillary gauges mounted between it and the far right-mounted speedometer was a throwback to the original GT40s, the new Ford GT features a digital instrument cluster with a horizontally mounted tachometer with a 7000-rpm redline and the speedometer reading below the redline. A new navigation infotainment system replaces the previous model ’s basic audio system

What do you think of the styling of the new Ford GT compared to the previous model from the mid-2000s? Share your thoughts below.

Last week, we compared the styling of the new 2016 Lexus GS F to the BMW M5, Cadillac CTS-V, and Mercedes-AMG E63. The Lexus received several negative comments: The Ford Guy thought it “Looks like a fancy cheese [grater]. The Lexus GS-F Cheese [Grater].” earlyapache wasn’t impressed with Lexus’ styling either: “I'd go with the Mercedes E63 AMG. The Cadillac would be my second choice. The M5 is good but the styling is too boring. And the Lexus is just plain ugly."

Some preferred the Lexus to the other cars: PR said, “The GSF looks more aggressive and has a better interior.” And whaley.dominic thought, “The Lexus GS F is a striking car to me. I have some issues with the rear end (the quad stacked pipes are fine) but the grill in my opinion is bold and sculpting. The interior works for me. Functional while technologically laid out.”

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