Thursday Thunder – Ford GT
The Ford GT order books have now opened. A supercar with carbon fibre tub, fully carbon fibre body panels and aluminium structures underneath. Time to have a look at it.
For some it wasn’t love at first side. Especially those struck with the very product-like interpretation of the 2006 GT. That car was a great way of seeing the ‘60’s GT40 original, honouring the heritage in a crisp, clean and modern way. Why the sudden change?
Taking in the 2006 GT, it probably could not be done better today. More importantly: why go down the route of retrospective thinking? It contradicts what the original GT40 was and stands for and is a dead end road, design strategy wise. It was time to leave the GT40 as a solely stylistic beacon behind, the 2016 GT takes a new leap.
The exterior was designed under the leadership of Moray Callum by Garen Nicoghosian and his team. The essence of the original has been maintained and instead of purely stylistically looking at the GT40, the designers, more importantly, were inspired by it conceptually. Aerodynamic efficiency, lightweightness and use of the ecoboost V6 twinturbo powerplant were the main starting points for the design.
The exterior still clearly pays homage to the GT40, but has a strong character of its own. The only way one can try to come close designing a future icon is by not only looking back, but respecting the past whilst going into the future.
The graphics in the front are a clear hint to the GT40, with the big nostrils and the shape of the headlights. The fuselage body with what the designers call the pontoons on each side, the fenders carrying the intercoolers to the engine, are absolutely striking. The flying buttresses are tying the design together and are functional aerodynamically at the same time. The small, compact engine makes it possible to actually take that amount of volume out of the body. The fuselage tapers towards the rear directly after the cabin, hugging the engine and the transmission and finally the tailpipes. A brilliant way of surface treatment and sculpture, with very pronounced body sections and fantastic intricate detail. A clever way of actually using the properties of the much more forgiving carbon fibre, which can basically be made into almost every shape compared to stamped steel.
Although the overhang on the back is way too big – something clearly forced upon the concept after its conception due to aero reasons, as the initial sketches clearly show a more pleasing short overhang – the overall car is still very impressive with great eye for detail and design consistency. The taillights, for example, don’t only look open, but actually do vent hot air through the holes in the middle.
The interior, designed by Amko Leenarts and his team, is completely in-line with the exterior philosophy. The dashboards acts as a structural component to the cars rigidity and is a very modern interpretation of the original, without being retro in any way shape or form and is again a well-executed piece of design with fantastic eye for detail.
Have a look at the work in the design studio in these two videos. Obviously staged, but still giving a nice overview of the work being done on the car.
I cannot wait to actually see it on the streets, which probably will happen sooner rather than later in London, to fully appreciate it
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