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647 HP 2017 Ford GT Goes 216 MPH

Supercar was benchmarked against Ferrari and McLaren

Frank Markus
Jan 25, 2017

We've had product walk-arounds with product development veep Raj Nair and Ford Performance honcho Dave Pericak and we've ridden along on a harrowing hot lap with Le Manswinning racer Joey Hand. We even know that the EPA has rated it at 11/18/14 mpg (as if anyone cares). We've been dying to learn the output of this killer EcoBoost V-6, how it performs, and how it actually feels to control this wild beast ourselves. That last part will have to wait a bit longer, but today the drip-drip-drip Chinese water torture release of information continues with engine output and top speed statistics.

Read 'em and rejoice:

  • 647 hp at 6,250 rpm
  • 550 lb-ft at 5,900 rpm
  • 216-mph top speed (with the help of Vmax mode, which trims the Gurney Lip on the rear wing among other things.)

Like any good turbo V-6, the torque plateau is broad, showing 90 percent of peak torque from 3,500 rpm and up. Those output figures naturally make this the most powerful street-legal Ford EcoBoost engine to date, and Ford claims that its baby has the chops to one-up its turbo V-8 competition on the track.

By way of backing up that bold claim, Ford put the same driver behind the wheel of a Ferrari 458 Speciale (597 hp and 398 lb-ft) and a McLaren 675LT (666 hp and 516 lb-ft)—both of which the company purchased as benchmark evaluation vehicles. When said driver was turned loose in each car on the same day on Canada's Calabogie Motorsports Park, the GT is said to have lapped the 3.1-mile circuit in 2:09.8, besting the McLaren (2:10.8) and the Ferrari (2:12.9).

2017 Ford GT production back shot Photo 2/58   |   2017 Ford GT production back shot

While we had Nair on the phone, we pressed him for lots more details, but few were forthcoming. The launch control is said to be easily engaged, and then executed by simply flat-footing both pedals and releasing the brake for a (roughly) 4,000-rpm launch. The mechanics of the anti-lag system is still cloaked in some mystery, except that we know its aim is to keep the turbos spooling and the fuel flowing during brief periods of lift-throttle so as to prevent the lengthy turbo intake plumbing from fully depressurizing. (This system is largely to blame for the GT underperforming its chief rivals on the EPA rollers, by the way.)

We asked about the length and materials of the intake plumbing, but didn't get any specifics, other than confirmation that the ram-air intake used on the race car is ditched here due to complications of calibrating the engine for idle and city driving. That means that indeed the intake air flows through the "flying buttresses" from the intercoolers to the intake plenum. All we can say is: the anti-lag system designer deserves a big raise, as our Christian Seabaugh noted no lag on his ride-along.

Ford copies its Italian rivals in only quoting a dry weight at this point (around 3,050 pounds), but we're told "race fluids not including fuel" add 120 pounds. Figuring it'll carry a minimum of 20 gallons of fuel, add another 120 pounds for a "fully wet" curb weight estimate of 3,300 pounds. That would make it a bit lighter than a Ferrari 488 GTB, but heavier than the McLaren.

Our very first question was "when do we get to drive it?" The answer: Soon. Probably at that point we'll be able to answer all our remaining questions. And yours! Ask away in the comments.

2017 Ford GT
BASE PRICE $400,000 (est)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Mid-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe
ENGINE 3.5L/647-hp*/550-lb-ft* twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto
CURB WEIGHT 3,300 lb (est)
WHEELBASE 106.7 in
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 187.5 x 78.9 x 41.7-43.7 in
0-60 MPH 2.9 sec (MT est)
ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 306/187 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.46 lb/mile
ON SALE IN U.S. Currently
*SAE Certified
2017 Ford GT digital instrument display 02 1 Photo 3/58   |   647 HP 2017 Ford GT Goes 216 MPH
2017 Ford GT 66 Heritage Edition cabin Photo 58/58   |   647 HP 2017 Ford GT Goes 216 MPH
By Frank Markus
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