AMERICA now has a true home-grown supercar, and all thanks to a Ford Australia designer now working in the US.
The car-making giant last night revealed its reborn GT40 supercar, with Ford Australia confirming the mid-engined track specialist was designed by a team led by former Ford Australia exterior designer Todd Willing, who now heads up the car maker's Asia Pacific design centre.
This is not a concept: the Ford GT will be put into series production and has firmly put the Detroit show's other supercar debut, the production version of the Honda NSX, firmly in the shade. It's set to rattle the cage of the Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Huracan and Porsche 911 Turbo.
Boss Bill Ford was beaming as the homage to the GT40 that rolled Ferrari at Le Mans four years in a row from 1966 was showcased to a cheering home audience.
When Wheels asked Bill Ford if the car meant a return to the famous French 24-hour race, his answer was an enthusiastic: "Watch this space!" If it happens, Ford will join dominant Audi, Porsche, Toyota and Nissan among manufacturers competing in the iconic event.
With a body that apes both the GT40 and has classic supercar visual elements of Lamborghini and even Ferrari, its seductive wrapping showing off its construction with what Ford is claiming is the world first for a production car: carbon-fibre wheels. A much bolder design than the previous 2003 Ford GT, which looked almost identical to the now highly-collectable GT40, the 2016 GT uses a carbonfibre passenger cell and aluminium front and rear subframes, making this the first true US supercar for some time.
Power comes from a mid-mounted 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 that develops "more than 600hp", around 450kW. It's sent to the 20-inch rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Inside is an F1-style steering wheel and Ferrari-like stalkless set-up, as well as fully configurable digital dash display.
Production numbers have not been confirmed, but the GT will be left-hand-drive only. That doesn't rule out right-hand-drive markets including Australia, with a spokesperson from Ford UK confirming that it will be sold there in left-hand-drive form. Pricing would be around the Ferrari 458, meaning around $600,000.
The GT was one of three Ford performance vehicles revealed, with the new F-Series Raptor ute shown as well as the track-ready Mustang GT350R, the first Ford with magnetic-adjust dampers.