The Ford GT has served as the ultimate test bed for new technologies, with lessons learned from its development having led to the innovative use of high-strength aluminum alloy in today’s Ford F-Series pickup trucks and the new Ford Expedition SUV.
Ford GT’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine was developed alongside the GT race engine and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine used in the F-150 Raptor high-performance off-road pickup, which shares almost 60% of its parts with the GT’s engine.
During racing, the test engine’s crankshafts in the Daytona prototype were cracking under grueling conditions. With little time to get ready for the Sebring endurance race that year, the team made a key decision to substitute the Daytona prototype’s race crankshaft with a pre-production F-150 Raptor crankshaft.
“We pushed the engine’s limits beyond what we might consider in traditional development programs, which is important as we continue to advance EcoBoost technology as a centerpiece of the company’s global lineup,” said Bob Fascetti, Ford VP, powertrain engineering.
The GT’s role as a test bed is evident throughout the supercar, with innovations such as the carbon fiber lightweight structure. All-digital dashboard technology similar to that in the supercar is available in the 2018 Mustang, and will be applied in additional new Ford models.
“When we began work on the all-new Ford GT in 2013, the team had three goals,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive VP of product development and CTO. “The first was to use it as a training ground for our engineers as we develop future engine technology and stretch our understanding of aerodynamics. Then, to push the boundaries of advanced material usage, such as lightweight carbon fiber. Finally, we set out to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, referred to by many as the ultimate test of endurance and efficiency.”
May 16, 2017