The Ford GT Mk II is a collaboration between Ford Performance and Multimatic.
Track-only supercar developed independent of race series rules and regulations.
The Ford GT Mk II joins a rich history that includes an epic battle with Ferrari.
Before this. Before the Ford GT Mk II. In the 1960s, then Ford President Henry Ford II, (Hank the Deuce) wanted the most prestigious racing crowns in Europe – more specifically, he wanted Le Mans. When Ford learned Enzo Ferrari would consider selling, it seemed promising. Ford invested numerous resources scouting Ferrari’s operations but negotiations over the racing division stalled and the deal ultimately fell through.
The message from Michigan to the United Kingdom was clear when Ford tapped Eric Broadley’s Lola GT. The car was state-of-the-art for the time, with a powerful small-block V8 designed specifically for the mid-engine chassis. The Lola GT later became the Ford GT, and under the direction of Carroll Shelby, the “Mark II” GT40 lands the famous 1-2-3 sweep of Le Mans in 1966. 50 years later in 2016, and with Ferrari hot on the chase, the Ford GT would take the GTE Pro class at Le Mans again. The now legendary rivalry is the subject of a new film, due this November, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale.
Ford ended its GT program in the FIA World Endurance Championship at Le Mans in the GTE Pro class this year. Yet the GT, its story, and now its legacy stand among what we may consider racing’s most impossible dreams; if such a thing exists. That said, it seems like a perfect time to debut a new GT, which is exactly what happened at the Goodwood Festival of Speed recently.
What Is The Ford GT Mk II?
The limited-edition, track-only supercar is a collaboration between Ford Performance and Multimatic. The GT Mk II employs the lessons learned from Ford’s FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaigns. However, the GT Mk II is engineered outside the parameters of those respective series.
“The GT Mk II unleashes the full performance potential of the Ford GT without any artificial performance limitations dictated by racing sanctioning bodies,” explained Hau Thai-Tang, Chief Product Development and Purchasing Officer, Ford Motor Company. “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.”
“The true, off-the-hook performance capability of the GT hasn’t yet been fully showcased,” added Larry Holt, Multimatic’s Chief Technical Officer. “The road car is obviously limited by the many global homologation requirements that it must comply with, and the race car suffers from the restriction of the dreaded Balance of Performance, resulting in it being 150 horsepower down to the road car. The Mk II answers the regularly asked question of how would the car perform with all the limitations lifted: the answer is spectacularly.”
Power & Performance: The Wild West
Absent regulations and with an open drawing board, the teams from Ford and Multimatic got cracking. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine benefits from the wild west mentality, now generating 200 horsepower more than the GT race car. With a grand total of 700 ponies, the Mk II is the most powerful Ford GT ever. Said ponies hit the tarmac via a specially-calibrated, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Facilitating the engine’s performance are a multitude of race-inspired elements throughout. For example, the aerodynamic changes enable it to generate over 400 percent more downforce than the Ford GT! The rear wing exceeds what the Ford GT race car offers in terms of downforce alone. To balance that additional rear downforce, the front includes a new splitter, diffuser, louvres, and dive planes. Slap on the Michelin Pilot Sport racing tires and you’re pulling more than 2 g of lateral grip.
It goes without saying, but the Ford GT Mk II is lighter and more agile. The normal GT’s adjustable ride-height and drive modes are cut for a weight savings of nearly 200 lbs. By contrast, the Mk II features a fixed (but lower) stance and five-way adjustable DSSV shock absorbers.
“Water spray technology” (which is exactly what it sounds like) prevents the Ford GT Mk II from running too hot. The air-to-air outboard charge cooler utilizes the feature; the water spray automatically engages in high-temperature situations, applying atomised water via sprays on the charge air cooler itself. This allows the GT Mk II to maintain higher levels of power, despite higher temps. The roof intake helps too, directing air to the auxiliary engine, clutch, and transmission coolers.
Only 45 examples are available for a starting MSRP of $1.2 million. Ford and Multimatic have set up a special website where ownership inquires can be directed. The Mk II is built in Markham, Ontario, then sent to a Multimatic Motorsports facility for the rest of its upgrades.
Carl Anthony studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan. Before going back to school, he simultaneously held product development and experiential marketing roles in the automotive industry.