V-MAX! 2017 Ford GT features special driving mode to reach 348km/h

Ford GT V Max rear wing

FORD GT drivers will have the benefit of five distinct drive modes, including a “V-Max’ setting for maximum straight line speed.

The V-Max mode is the fifth option after Normal, Wet, Sport and Track which adjust the GT’s aerodynamic, engine, chassis and transmission settings to suit the selected driving conditions.

It has the same low suspension tune as Track mode, but with all aero elements retracted to minimise drag and stability control activated to reach the GT’s 348km/h top speed.

The system was derived from Ford’s GT racing program but has been further developed to suit all conditions likely to face a car designed to potentially be both a daily driver and track-day terror.

Ford insists the drive modes, selected via a Porsche-style steering wheel dial, are more than just simple set-up tweaks and are designed to enable drivers to easily make the most its performance characteristics depending on the style of driving they desire.

In Normal mode the GT’s ground clearance is set to 120mm to comfortably clear speed humps, potholes or driveway inclines. Throttle and transmission calibrations are configured for standard driving, and traction and stability control systems cannot be adjusted. 

The rear wing deploys automatically in Normal mode for better aerodynamic stability at 145 km/h, returning to its stowed position at 130 km/h. The wing still deploys as an airbrake if sensors detect aggressive braking. 

Wet mode is similar to Normal mode but adjusts throttle sensitivity to help drivers manage the reduced grip offered by rain-affected surfaces for greater traction.

Normal and Wet modes also have a Comfort option to soften the car’s ride on bumpy roads by adjusting compression and rebound in the dampers.

Meanwhile Sport mode adjusts throttle settings to sharpen response from the GT’s 470kW twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine, also activating the anti-lag system that keeps the turbochargers spinning when the throttle isn’t open. 

Stability and traction control settings become driver-adjustable using the AdvanceTrac system, allowing three additional settings. Slacker slip, yaw and oversteer parameters enable drivers to further explore the Ford GT’s handling and driving dynamics. Ground clearance remains 120 millimetres, and the Comfort option is deactivated. 

Crave a more hardcore experience? Track mode is only recommended to use on smooth racetracks that allow for a lower ride height, and it puts the GT in the most focused posture possible. It can only be selected with the transmission in park and almost halves the ride height to a catseye-scraping 70mm. It also adjusts the suspension to its firmest setting.

The rear wing – complete with gurney flap – deploys permanently, and the aerodynamic openings in the front close for maximum downforce. All of this happens in less than two seconds. 

In V-Max (maximum velocity) mode, every setting is tuned to make the Ford GT go as fast as possible. Ride height is 70mm as in Track mode to keep air from spilling under the car and generating lift, but all aero elements are stowed to minimise drag. Stability controls remain active to help ensure the car moves forward in a straight line.

The Ford GT also features an advanced, yet easy-to-use launch control system that provides optimal traction for the perfect launch every time. Designed for track use, it’s available in all modes except Wet. 

The bad news? Us Australians will never get to sample the GT’s delights on these shores.

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