Ford’s reborn GT promises to deliver breathtaking performance that should more than match its exotic styling. But don’t let that swanky bodywork fool you, this car shares more with an F-150 or Explorer than you might expect.
And surprisingly that similarity is found in the engine compartment. Unlike rival Lamborghinis or Ferraris, which typically have 10- or 12-cylinder powerplants this humble Ford is making do with a just half a dozen pots under its hood. The origins of this engine might surprise you.
Dave Pericak, head of the newly formed Ford Performance division said, “When you look at the block, when you look at the heads, 70 percent of the engine is that 3.5-liter.” Yes, it’s mostly the same EcoBoost bent-six you can get in a commercial vehicle or crossover. Are you depressed yet?
Well you shouldn’t get too upset because this powerplant will deliver more than 600 ponies (hopefully A LOT more). To achieve those inflated figures Pericak said, “We’ve got a different calibration strategy in there, we’ve got different turbo sizing and stuff like that,” but he wouldn’t go into greater detail than this because they’re “still in the engineering phase.” Presumably things could change between now and when the car goes on sale.
In addition to these enhancements this next-generation powerplant features low-friction roller-finger followers instead of the flat mechanical tappets found in today’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost unit. It also benefits from a unique fuel delivery system with both port and direct injectors. This is a technology Toyota has implemented for a number of years, particularly in its Lexus models.
Proving the overall robustness of this powerplant the stock aluminum block is more than capable of handling the GT’s stable of horses. “It’s been proven out on the racetrack so it’s very durable,” said Pericak. In fact vehicles powered by this engine took home three wins in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship last year. That includes a victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring and more than seven podium finishes. To date the blue oval’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine has proven itself by racking up more than 15,000 miles competing in endurance races.
With the engine in the new Ford GT is it a case of racing-grade hardware trickling down to the street or everyday components making their way into competition? Yes, yes indeed.
Discuss this story on our Ford Forum.