The new model comes in both gloss and matte finishes (Click Image To Enlarge)
Just over a week after its LM GTE Pro category win at Le Mans 2016, Ford is taking a trip back in time to an even bigger win. The all-new 2017 Ford GT '66 Heritage Edition pays homage to Ford's historic 1966 Le Mans victory. This special edition Ford GT brings a race-inspired look to the streets.
Ford made its historic come-back to the most mythical endurance race in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After more than 50 years, and its last victory in 1966 with the Ford GT40, they came back, and snatched 1st place, 3rd & 4th. That's a pretty awesome come-back.
Inspired by the GT40 Mark II driven to victory by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon in 1966, the 'No. 2' 2017 Ford GT wears "shadow black" paint (in a choice of gloss or matte finish) with silver stripes, "frozen white" #2 graphics on the hood and sides, and an exposed carbon fiber package. The car rides on 20-in one-piece forged aluminum wheels in a gold satin clear coat.
The Heritage interior has ebony leather around its carbon fiber seats, instrument panel, pillars and headliner; debossed Ford GT logos on the headrests and leather-wrapped steering wheel; exposed matte carbon fiber on the center console, door sills and air register pods; gold appliqués; and blue-webbed seat belts. The "2" appears inside the door, as well as outside, and an identification plate lends authenticity to the unique limited edition.
Garen Nicoghosian, the exterior design manager says.
"While the looks are distinctly based on the GT40 Mark II race car, we've accentuated new styling cues to provide a modern interpretation."
Ford will offer a limited number of Heritage packages exclusively for the GT's 2017 model year.
COMMENTARY: On the outside, the Ford GT has been painted to resemble the No. 2 GT40 MkII race car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. If you’re not a big fan of vintage racing, the car driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Among was painted black with a pair of silver stripes running from the nose toward the deck lid. Ford used the same livery for the modern GT, but offers its familiar Shadow Black in either gloss or matte, so customers can choose between something similar to the original car or a more modern matte finish that goes well with the exposed carbon-fiber package that comes with this limited-edition model. The black paint is complemented by silver stripes and Frozen White No. 2 graphics on the hood and the doors. Rounding off the exterior is a set of 20-inch, one-piece forged aluminum wheel in gold satin clearcoat and with black lug nuts. Although the twin-five-spoke design has nothing in common with the racing rims of the original GT40, the gold color is true to the car that won the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
Click Image To Enlarge
The interior of the ’66 Heritage Edition also received special features, starting with the carbon-fiber seats wrapped in Ebony leather and equipped with pillowed inserts and plow-through stitching. It would have been nice for Ford to replicate the GT40’s famous brass eyelets into the upholstery – as it did with the previous GT – but the pillowed inserts are enough to give the interior a vintage-style appearance. The instrument panel, pillars, and headliner also features an Ebony-leather wrap, while the trim on the instrument panel, the seat’s X-brace and shift paddles are finished in gold. The seats’ head and restraints and steering wheel are debossed with the "GT" logo. Like the 1966 race car, the steering wheel and the seat belts have a unique blue webbing. Rounding off the cockpit is a serialized identification plate, "#2" door panel graphics, and exposed matte carbon fiber door sills and center console.
Click Image To Enlarge
Not surprisingly, the ’66 Heritage Edition is a standard GT under the hood, meaning it uses Ford’s race-derived 3.5-liter EcoBoost (twin turbo) V-6, which generates in excess of 600 horsepower. All that power travels to the rear wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch transaxle, making it the first GT ever to not use a manual gearbox.
No word on pricing yet, but with the standard GT said to fetch around $400,000 before options, the ’66 Heritage Edition could cost in excess of $450,000. Ford said it will be built in "limited quantities," but gave no actual figures. I expect a production run of 66 unit in order to match the company’s most important year in motorsport.
Nine years after it discontinued the first-gen GT, the spiritual successor of the iconic GT40 race car, Ford introduced the second-generation GT at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Initially just a non-running prototype, the GT began hitting public roads months later, as Ford began testing the production car. Although the first GTs won’t reach their customers until late 2016, the supercar has already spawned a full-fledged race car that has been battling for glory in GT classes in North America in Europe. Its most important achievement as of 2016 is a class win at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, where just like in 1966, it crossed the finished line ahead of arch-rival Ferrari.
NOTE: The entire production of 250 vehicles have been sold and Ford Motor Company is no longer taking orders