Thursday, December 22, 2016

Markham's Multimatic Assembles First Production 2017 Ford GT Supercars

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

Almost two years since its initial introduction to the public at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Ford GT has enjoyed some busy duties. The supercar propelled by one of the most powerful twin-turbocharged V-6 engines ever placed inside a North American built production car has been in the spotlight even before the first vehicle was handed to its first owner. An auto show darling and driven in virtual form in Forza Motorsport 6, the racing version of the Ford GT became a quick spectacle in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Taking three class victories in the North American sports car racing series in its debut season in 2016, the year was highlighted by the LMGTE Pro category victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With a modern pedigree established, the first production examples of the 2017 Ford GT will work on cementing its status as a road car.  


Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

Taking place in Markham, Ontario under the guidance of Multimatic (a company with ties to motorsport as well as a supplier auto manufacturers), assembly of the Ford GT is now underway in a new facility created specifically for the car. Ford's executive vice president for Product Development and chief technical officer Raj Nair was present the ring in production for the first 2017 Ford GTs destined for road-going customers. Adding that building street legal Ford GT was the second objective following a successful debut at Le Mans, Nair commented, “For everyone involved in designing and developing this car, including all of our employees and suppliers, this is a moment to celebrate,”

Construction of the 2017 Ford GT recognizes the low-production nature of the high-powered, high-cost exotic car. Each version of the machine is coming together through skillful hands of Multimatic personnel marrying the carbon fiber components, EcoBoost engine and the active aerodynamics into a completed vehicle. Only 250 Ford GTs per year are scheduled to be produced from the Ontario assembly line.

Ford hasn't even announced formal performance or pricing figures on the 2017 Ford GT to the public. While the vehicle is known to be propelled by a high-output, Twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine connected with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the auto company behind the supercar has only officially appraised the horsepower at more than 600 (although some publications have . Speculation of the 2017 Ford GT's pricing has been placed between $400,000 to $450,000 in the United States.    


Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

Even with the pre-production success of what is a third iteration supercar, the newest Ford GT has big tire tracks to fill. The original benchmark was set by the 1960s Ferrari-fighting Ford GT40 that took three consecutive victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1966 to 1968. Street legal production versions of the first GT40 models were essentially a means of homologation so it could build a racing dynasty.

In the 2000s, a continuation of the car featured the same basic shape of the pioneering vehicle infused with modern technology. Powered by a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8, just over 4,000 of the second coming of Ford's supercar were built. Constructed between 2004 and 2006, the Ford GT didn't enjoy many milestones on the race track but gains significance in another way. 2005-2006 model year Ford GTs are now hotly contested at major automotive auctions currently selling above the original MSRP. The enthusiasm that has sparked bidding on the previous GT appears to have spread to the new car. When the online order process opened for the first 500 examples of the third generation Ford GT in April, 6,506 completed applications were filled out by potential buyers in one month.

Even before the assembly of a road-going Ford GT started, it was announced that production for the supercar was extended. Sparked by heavy demand, Ford committed to an additional two production years securing the assembly for 500 additional vehicles.




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