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Ford GT returns as hybrid

2011-02-04 Read: 2 114x

Ford's new supercar - V8 hybrid

Ford's new supercar features V8 hybrid drivetrain and will take on McLaren and Ferrari - but cost less than both.

The model follows on from the original Sixties GT40, as well as the GT, built between 2005 and 2006. It will take aim at Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren by using the most advanced technology available to deliver massive straight-line performance. And our exclusive images predict how the Detroit missile is shaping up.

In a bid to distance the new model from the 2005 GT, of which only 100 examples reached Europe, there will be a new design direction. While the GT used plenty of styling cues from the original GT40 racer of the Sixties, the latest interpretation is likely to forego the retro body panels and get a sharper, more modern look.

Evoking memories of the 1995 Ford GT90 concept, which had a 720bhp quad-turbocharged V12, the new GT will put an updated spin on the GT40’s design, with a huge front air intake, angular headlights and vents in the bonnet and flanks.

The overall proportions and mid-engined configuration will remain intact, though – and that will help to provide balanced handling. The biggest news comes under the skin, though. A supercharged V8 provides the power, but extra boost is available at the touch of a button from an electric motor driving the front wheels.

This is similar to the set-up on the Porsche 918 Spyder-style. Add stop-start and the ability to run solely on electricity for brief periods of time, and the new GT would showcase Ford’s green credentials. But as total power will be around 600bhp, the newcomer will still keep pace with other mid-engined supercars such as the McLaren MP4-12C and Ferrari 458 Italia, as well as the successors to the Lamborghini Gallardo and Audi R8.

Keeping the weight to a minimum is an all-aluminium chassis and composite body panels. Expect the GT to tip the scales at around 1,400kg, which is nearly 200kg lighter than the car it replaces. That means a power to weight ratio in the region of 430bhp per tonne, while a three-second 0-62mph time and a top speed in excess of 200mph are targets. And while it won’t be cheap, the car is sure to undercut its rivals.

There’s no word yet on when we’ll catch our first glimpse of the newcomer, and a spokesman for Ford UK remained tight-lipped. But with the economy in gradual recovery and a raft of brand new supercars on the way – the Ferrari FF, Pagani Huayra and Lamborghini Aventador all arrive at March’s Geneva Motor Show – there couldn’t be a better time for Ford to take the plunge.

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