Ford has finally laid the rumours to rest by announcing that the iconic Ford GT will make its return to the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
Starting from next year, the all-new version of Ford’s ultra-performance racer will compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class on the 50th anniversary of the original GT40’s racing debut.
One of the most legendary racing cars of all time, the original Ford GT40 battled its way to fame in the 1966 24 Hours race, famously coming in first, second and third place and snatching victory from Ferrari.
50 years on from the GT40’s historic victory
Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman, said: “When the GT40 competed at Le Mans in the 1960s, Henry Ford II sought to prove Ford could beat endurance racing’s most legendary manufacturers.
“We are still extremely proud of having won this iconic race four times in a row, and that same spirit that drove the innovation behind the first Ford GT still drives us today.”
Serving as the pinnacle product for the new Ford Performance division, dedicated specifically to Ford’s high-performance cars, the racing GT will feature more unique engineering over the standard version.
Taking advantage of state-of-the-art aerodynamics to deliver what Ford calls “outstanding levels of downforce”, the racing GT will also be manufactured exclusively from lightweight carbon fibre.
The result will be an exceptionally rigid but light chassis, upon which an array of performance components will be fitted, including a Formula One-style steering wheel.
Raj Nair, Ford’s vice president for global product development, said: “As we developed the Ford GT, from the outset, we wanted to ensure we had a car that has what it takes to return Ford to the world of GT racing.
“We believe the Ford GT’s advances in aerodynamics, light-weighting and EcoBoost power will make for a compelling race car that can once again compete on a global stage.”
Power will come from a mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 version of the EcoBoost engine, which will generate upwards of 600bhp, making it the most powerful EcoBoost yet engineered.
Powered by 600bhp V6 EcoBoost
Ford has also recruited a range of performance companies like Multimatic Motorsports, Brembo, Castrol and Michelin to help develop, test and refine the racer for the ultimate possible performance.
The Ford GT is due to make its racing debut at next year’s Le Mans, while the production version of this incredible supercar will go on sale around the same time, with prices estimated to be around £250,000.
In the meantime, check out the incredible first footage of the new Ford GT in action below!