2017 Ford GT First Drive

2017 Ford GT First DriveLights flicker across the top of the steering wheel as the exhaust note builds to a full-throated bellow. Green, red, blue … shift now! Fingertips snick the right-hand paddle, a delicate, precise motion that barely interrupts the surge of acceleration. Corner! Left foot hard on the brakes, the carbon-ceramic rotors instantly turning forward motion into heat energy. Snick, snick on the left-hand paddle, a corresponding braap-braap from the engine as the dual-clutch transmission smoothly drops two gears. Now the magic happens.

When Ford’s Performance Team first plotted in early 2013 how to commemorate the GT40’s historic 1966 LeMans win, Ford’s pony car – no slouch in the performance department – seemed the perfect instrument. The LeMans 50th dovetailed with Mustang’s 50th birthday and Ford’s plans to take the iconic Yankee coupe global.

Staged in Utah, Ford’s program for the media included a run on public roads, including some sinuous mountain stretches with decreasing radius turns that ranged from slow to OMG fast.

As I am strapped into the Ford GT, I feel 50 per cent encouraged and 50 per cent dared. The ability to bring this ultra-exclusive supercar back in one piece is of significant concern. A small team of Ford Performance representatives studies the proceedings from behind pit wall; I can only assume they would frown upon damage of any kind. But setting a respectable lap time also runs through my mind. There’s pride at stake, after all, and this could be my best and last chance to drive the GT in anger.

2017 Ford GT First Drive

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