Ford Lessons Learned – 2006 Ford GT vs. 2016 Ford GT
We decided to include this spectacle of a very proud 2006 Ford GT owner showing his vehicle to a crowd of eager onlookers. The 2006 Ford GT turned into a surprisingly good vehicle for a number of reasons – improved handling, fuel efficiency, and acceleration were all great things to place into the hands of race car enthusiasts. However, to be honest, the automotive world felt there were some major shortcomings to this model. Enter the 2016 Ford GT.
Showcased at the recent 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, it’s short appearance gave us all a glimmer of hope as it appeared, at least on the exterior, that Ford sought to correct previous design issues in an aggressive and creative way. The GT is Ford’s quintessential top-of-the-line pro-racer platform. And while it has always received fantastic reviews in terms of performance and handling, previous design features incorporated into the 2006 model will be highlighted to show how the 2016 has evolved over the past decade.
What’s New about the GT
Two major design features that were highlighted in Detroit’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) were the new carbon ceramic brakes and carbon fiber body panels. As discussed in some previous articles, carbon fiber panels are a great way to reduce weight without sacrificing tensile strength. And for the first time, Ford if releasing a mainline vehicle with carbon fiber – which will inevitably make those materials more available to the general market and at a lower price point. Even if you hate the Ford GT, this is a great thing. The carbon ceramic brakes is a necessity with the improved engine designs and greater power. Newly designed ceramic brakes are a decidedly great departure from the traditional ceramic plates used before. More stopping power and better handling is always great when your vehicle is in the same running class as the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918.
The old 427 V8 is gone.Â There are more than a few Ford enthusiasts out there which will shed a silent tear at this powerful, high performance engine.Â However, the 427 trul
2016 Ford GT Engine and Design Improvements
The old 427 V8 is gone. There are more than a few Ford enthusiasts out there which will shed a silent tear at this powerful, high performance engine. However, the 427 truly embodies the old school philosophy of heavy metal engine performance over viability. Ford is instead placing renewed focus on EcoBoost engine technology – designed to make the greatest use out of every drop of gasoline. Before eyes roll and faces redden, however, Ford made the right move and packed a 3.5 L twin-turbocharged V6 engine that more than holds up against the competition. Even Formula One racing is going the way of turbocharged V6 versus standard V8 – and you know what? Ford is wisely following suit. With advancements in engine technology, the 2016 Ford GT is promising an engine with over 600 hp right out of the gate. That’s incredible power in the hands of a top-to-bottom well-designed race car. The exterior of the vehicle has taken quite a few lessons from the world of aeronautics. There are two wind channels now built into the frame, allowing air to circulate through versus simply around. This makes acceleration and handling much tighter as the vehicle’s already low profile is now even, effectively, smaller.
Problems Corrected from the 2006 Ford GT
In the 2006 Ford GT, the rear diffusers were designed so poorly that it’s virtually impossible to drive anywhere without scraping them across the ground. Almost any incline or decline (heaven forbid a speed bump) makes you cringe as you know it will scrape against those rear diffusers. The fantastic news is that it looks like Ford engineers have at least partially addressed the problem with adding a slight curvature at the end of the rear diffusers of the 2016 Ford GT – making driving a whole lot more cost efficient in terms of part replacement. Confined spaces – the Ford GT is no one’s friend. With the extremely wide angle needed to enter or exit this sports car, it makes itself virtually impossible to park in, say, a mall or a movie theater. Additionally, if you don’t have enough room to open the door all the way, the curvature of that door will force you to crawl out at an extremely funny looking angle. The 2016 Ford GT has improved their doorways without sacrificing style. More like taking the lid off a spacecraft than crawling out of a tunnel, the new Ford GT doors at least give you the benefit of exiting in busy parking lots. Dual release lever on the back engine hatch requires two people. Non-negotiable! Both release levers have to be popped individually in order to get the case open and this has been a big complaint amongst those looking to do something as simple as check fluids. And finally, the greatest measure of improvement for overall superficial design elements is the rear window. Consistently a frightening thing for those moving about without a passenger who can back them out of a space, the rear now has mounted cameras allowing the driver to back out with increased confidence. With a price point estimated to start at $140,000 – who wants to take chances with shopping carts and traffic?