Ford promises exciting GT supercar news at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Ford is winding down its GT racing program, but the Blue Oval still has one more surprise planned around the 216-mph supercar. The automaker promises a “special announcement” related to the GT at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. While the announcement will take place overseas, it will happen on July 4 — a fitting date for news about one of America’s greatest supercars.

No other details were mentioned, although Ford released a teaser image of a GT sporting the large rear spoiler normally seen only on the racing version. That could mean Ford is planning to unveil a hotter version of the GT road car. A press release said the announcement will be made by Hermann Salenbauch, global director of Ford Performance, and Larry Holt, chief technical officer of Multimatic, the Canadian firm that designed the GT race car and builds the road-going version for Ford.

Ford launched the GT with one goal: to win the GTE Pro class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on the 50th anniversary of its famous 1966 win. The car was inspired by the Ford GT40, which beat the favored Ferraris and went on to win Le Mans three more times in a row before being retired. The rivalry between Ford and Ferrari became part of racing lore, and has even been adapted into a movie starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon, which premieres November 15.

The GT went to Le Mans in 2016 and won the GTE Pro class on its first attempt, meeting Ford’s goal. Despite the massive amount of resources Ford brought to the table, that win was far from assured. It’s always difficult for a new team with a new car to win right out of the gate, let alone at a race as tough as Le Mans. Since that fairy tale victory, Ford has remained winless at Le Mans. Ahead of the 2019 race, Ford confirmed that it would be the last Le Mans for the GT. None of the cars finished anywhere close to the front.

The rules of the GTE Pro class require cars to be based on road-going models, so Ford commissioned a handful of cars for customers. Like the race car, the road car is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6. The engine makes 647 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque, propelling the GT road car to a top speed of 216 mph. The GT is priced in the mid-$400,000 range, and customers have to apply for the privilege to buy one. Ford originally said it would 1,000 cars, but later upped the number to 1,350. Production is scheduled to run through 2022, so Ford still has time to add a hotter version to the mix.

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