Ford GT serves as ultimate test bed for new technologies

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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

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive, marine and entertainment divisions. Currently editor of Automotive Testing Technology International, Crash Test Technology International and Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as co-chairman of the annual Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards and can be found sniffing out stories throughout the halls of several of UKI's industry-leading expo events.

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