Elana Scherr Staff Editor
January 12, 2015

We’re at the Detroit Auto Show (North American International Auto Show, NAIAS), and we came here for one reason, to see if the rumors of a new Ford GT were true. They are, and that’s not the only cool performance car unveiled here.

We had to wait to see the GT, so we’re gonna make you wait too, and start, as the press conference started, with the 2017 Ford Raptor. The F-150 Raptor has all the cool aluminum parts of the standard F-150, plus a 3.5L Ecoboost V6 that Ford says is more powerful than the 6.2L V8 in previous Raptors (411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque). It has a 10-speed transmission, and multi modes for various surface conditions. It also has an enormous grille, in case people in front of you look in their rear view mirrors and don’t realize they are being followed by a DROF.

Moving on! Appearing in a dramatic cloud of fog was the Mustang GT350R. We’re going to call it a 2016 model, although Ford says it hasn’t announced the model year yet. Still, our sources say it will be available later this year. This version is everything we were expecting to see on the GT350 that was unveiled a few months ago. The GT350R is 130 pounds lighter than the GT350, has different body mods, including a larger rear wing and reworked front splitter, Magnaride shocks, Tremec six-speed (only, no auto) with trans cooler, carbon fiber wheels (painted on the show car, to be determined finish in production), and of course the 5.2L flat-plane crank (Voodoo) V8 rated at something more than 500 hp. What’s as important in track cars as the add-ons is what isn’t offered. No air-conditioning, no back-up cameras, no auto dimming mirrors and no back seat. Just how we like our cars.

Finally, what we’re all really here to see, the new Ford GT. If you’re a hot rodder worth the name, you know about the original Ford GT40 from the 1960s. Ford made everyone who wasn’t lucky enough to find one in a garage very happy in 2005 when it introduced the Ford GT, a street supercar inspired by the GT40. It was only around for two years though, and prices on those cars today are well into the “doesn’t matter, can’t afford it” range. We’ve been hearing rumors for months that Ford would be bringing the GT back, and here’s the proof.

We don’t know much yet, but we’ll spend today gathering more information. What we do know is that this carbon fiber two-seater will be powered by a twin-turbo Ecoboost V6 with more than 600hp. We’ve heard that the car will be back in racing in 2016, with a Le Mans effort spearheaded by Chip Ganassi. The racing plans would make a hard deadline for a production car, as any racing in the GTLM class where we assume this car would be) needs to be a homologated machine. Certainly we can’t wait to see what happens, and if the production car is anything near as radical as the show car. What do you think? Is it a worthy successor to the previous Ford GT40 and GT?

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