Ford Unveils Track-Only GT Supercar
Ford finally revealed the cherry on the Ford GT supercar sundae. Made exclusively for track use, and not even street-legal, the 2023 Ford GT Mk IV is designed to deliver the highest-levels of performance, handling and advanced technology ever found in the GT line.
The new model receives a unique engine and transmission, special aerodynamic design, and a longer wheelbase chassis than the road-going version.
The extra performance comes from a specially tuned twin-turbo EcoBoost engine targeting more than 800 horsepower. The GT Mk IV also comes with a racing transmission, carbon fiber “long tail” body, plus a special Adaptive Spool Valve (ASV) suspension from Multimatic.
Just 67 examples will be made, as a tribute to the original 1967 GT Mk IV racing car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Big bucks gets big performance
“The original GT Mk IV held nothing back for max track performance, and the new Ford GT Mk IV brings it in the same way,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports.
“With an even higher-level of motorsport engineering and performance, plus a completely new carbon fiber body that is functional and striking, the Mk IV is the ultimate sendoff of the third-generation supercar.”
As with all the third-gen GTs, if you want one of the 67 examples, Ford has a new client application process, and you’ll need $1.7 million. That’s the MSRP, and there’s no word on whether there would be a dealer markup on that. Ford plans to select the lucky recipients in the first quarter of 2023 with deliveries begining in late spring.
“Multimatic’s brief was to create the most extreme final version of the Ford GT, and the Mk IV is the outcome,” said Larry Holt, executive vice president, Multimatic Special Vehicle Operations Group.
“A unique larger displacement engine, proper racing gearbox, stretched wheelbase and truly radical body has resulted in an unprecedented level of performance. We are proud to have been a part of the third-generation GT from its inception to this amazing swan song and consider it a significant chapter in Multimatic’s history.”
The storied history of the Ford GT
After the Ford vs. Ferrari movie, most people know that Ford won the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1966, claiming the top three overall positions in the race. That was the Mk II GT, and then Ford’s development team redesigned the car from scratch to create the 1967 Ford GT Mk IV.
To leverage new material science advantages, Ford’s engineers and Kar Kraft developed a new lightweight chassis using adhesive bonded honeycombed-aluminum construction with a more aerodynamic body and named it the “J-Car” because it was built to the new FIA Appendix J rules.
Combined with the 427 Ford V-8 engine and a special transaxle with its own cooling system that carried power to the rear wheels the 1967 Ford GT Mk IV was 9-inches longer and built specifically to dominate global endurance racing. In June of 1967, Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt drove the Mk IV to a second Ford victory at Le Mans.
Then in 2005-06, Ford produced a new GT as a tribute to the original. The new GT carried a 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 that produced 550 horsepower, paired with a 6-speed manual transaxle. The car was hailed as one of the first of a new generation of supercars from America, with 0-60 achieved in 3.8 seconds, top speed of 205 mph, and a 1/4-mile time of 11.8 seconds. Ford made 4,038 examples and sold them in America for $266,916.
The third generation began production in 2016, continuing the tradition of bringing the newest technology into the GT. This version has been produced at Multimatic in Canada, and it carries a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine, paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle. The engine made 647 hp through 2019, and was bumped to 660 horsepower since 2020.
Top speed in this generation is 216 mph, with a 3-second 0-60 time and a 1/4-mile pace of 10.8 seconds. The 2016 MSRP was about $400,000, but prices have risen since that time. Target production has been 1,350 units, culminating in the final Mk IV supercar.
No automaker likes to walk away from their icons for very long, so it’s likely that we’ll see a new iteration of the Ford GT later this decade. Ford hasn’t said anything but it’s likely the next GT will be all-electric, much like the teased electric Corvette from Chevrolet.