Ford’s last V6-powered GT should never have seen the light of day, according to Jim Farley, Ford’s CEO.
In 2016, Ford celebrates 50th anniversary of his legendary victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 by unveiling the second generation of GT. Like its predecessor, it is obviously closely inspired by their 1966 ancestor, the GT40, which won the Sarthe event fifty years earlier, and even achieved the double. However, with a more assertive modernity that can be seen in the aerodynamic treatment and the design of the lights in particular, less “copy-pasted” of the original model than the GT of the 2000s.
However, this model was not initially planned, according to Jim Farley, the CEO of Ford, and therefore should never have seen the light of day.
Initially, it was indeed planned that it is the Mustang which competes at Le Mans in 2016, with the objective of achieving victory to celebrate the jubilee as it should be. But things didn’t quite go as planned. The American manufacturer did indeed win the event that year in the LM GTE Pro category, but the Bourdais-Muller-Hand team drove well… a GT. So what happened?
“When we decided to sell the Mustang worldwide on the previous generation (in 2013 editor’s note) we knew that the 50th anniversary of the victory at Le Mans was approaching” explained Jim Farley in an interview with Top Gear during the presentation of the Ford GTD. “And we started talking about the idea of winning Le Mans 2016 with the Mustang. Larry Holt and Multimatic were an easy choice for us. And we talked to homologation bodies like IMSA about what it would take for a Mustang to win. Multimatic started doing a lot of simulations, and it became clear that we couldn’t really win with the silhouette of a Mustang. We would be too dependent on the ACO and the French regulators. We decided at that point to take a full left turn with Multimatic and technical direction from Larry. And we designed the Ford GT,” says Farley.
And even if the original idea was not to have a new GT. The model is a great success, and will especially mark the minds of the public. ” We are very happy with the car. It sold well. But, you may remember, we raced the car before selling the road car. Which was already a feat in itself “says Mr. Farley.
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