Notes and Quotes

9:10-9:35 am // Ford Unveils GT High-Performance Supercar, New Version of F-150 Raptor

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ford Unveils GT High-Performance Supercar, New Version of F-150 Raptor

DETROIT – Ford Motor Co. staged a worldwide premiere of its new Ford GT high-performance supercar at the 2015 North American International Auto Show here today.

Ford CEO Mark Fields noted that the young company’s performance in a 1901 car race was what inspired financial backers to invest in Henry Ford’s enterprise in the first place.

Fields and other top Ford executives, including Chairman William C. Ford II, also highlighted other vehicles, including a new Mustang Shelby GT350R and the new version of the F-150 Raptor off-road pickup truck.

Ford said it will begin production of the GT late next year, with the car serving as a technology showcase for top EcoBoost engine performance, aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fiber construction.

The GT is one of more than 12 new Ford Performance vehicles coming by 2020. It joins Focus RS, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R in the growing Ford Performance lineup, the company said.

The new GT will hit the road in select global markets to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Meanwhile, Ford also unveiled the Shelby GT350R Mustang and called it “the most race-ready and road-legal” Mustang ever. It features a front air splitter and a new rear wing for enhanced aerodynamics, and the air conditioning and rear seat have been stripped out to save weight, said Raj Nair, Ford’s group vice president of global product development.

With the car, Ford also became the first major automaker to introduce carbon-fiber wheels as standard equipment. The new performance Mustang will generate more than 500 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, Nair said.

The new F-150 Raptor has a high-strength steel frame suited for off-roading (as well as the aluminum body common to the entire new F-150 family) and an all-new, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that provides more power than the eight-cylinder engine in the current Raptor. Ford stripped about 500 pounds out of the old version, said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas.