Ford has gone on record saying its GT supercar will compete one final time at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it is not retiring from the French race quietly. Instead, it is going out with a bang. Ford and its race partner Multimatic today revealed the Ford GT Mk II, a limited edition, track-only GT with 700 horses underneath the hood and a $1.2 million starting price.
"The GT Mk II unleashes the full performance potential of the Ford GT without any artificial performance limitations dictated by racing sanctioning bodies," said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer. "It’s the closest GT owners can get to the Le Mans-winning performance and exhilarating feeling of crossing the finish line in the Ford GT race car."
Production is limited to just 45 cars. At a minimum of $1.2 million a pop, that comes out to at least $54 million in automotive muscle, as every single model will undoubtedly find a buyer.
The GT Mk II is sort of a hybrid between the street-legal GT supercar and the GT race car. It is built in Markham, Ontario, starting at the main Ford GT plant before being transferred to a specialist facility at Multimatic Motorsports for the final touches.
Its design is focused around aerodynamics and engine improvements. Part of that entails a large dual-element rear wing that provides even more downforce than the Ford GT race car. It also features an all-new front facing splitter and diffuser, along with new fender louvers and drive planes to help balance out all that additional rear downforce.
"These aggressive aerodynamic changes enable the GT Mk II to generate over 400 percent more downforce than the Ford GT while fixed aerodynamic elements along with its race-proven suspension and Michelin Pilot Sport racing tires enable the car to pull more than 2Gs of lateral grip," Ford says.
It's also lighter and more agile, as Ford was able to shave 200 pounds off the weight. As for power, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine generates an extra 200 horsepower compared to the race car since it is not limited by any racing sanctioning body, making it the most powerful version of the Ford GT. The engine is mated with the same 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, except it's been specially calibrated.
This is a poetic way to close things out. The Ford GT was built specifically for the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, and on its first attempt in 2016, it won the GTE Pro class, exactly 50 years from the first of four successive Le Mans victories.
The Ford GT will continue to race through the remainder of the IMSA season, culminating at Road Atlanta in October.