Bill Ford, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Company and the first family member to lead the company since 1979, made his first appearance at this year’s NAIAS.
“You can’t succeed in a product-driven industry if you aren’t a product-driven company,” Ford told the journalists and Ford employees—“extended family” as Ford called them—who packed Cobo Arena.
“We know that the company that builds the best cars and truck wins, and we intend to win.” Ford explained. “Quality and value will return as hallmarks of our company.”
“Tonight we are going to show you a concept car that will symbolize where we are heading; the reissue of the GT40,” proclaimed Ford.
“In times like these, people look for heroes,” J Mays, Ford vice president of design told the crowd as he prepared to provide details about the GT40. “In terms of automotive legends, they just don’t come any more glorious than this.”
“Above all else, this GT40 is a celebration of Ford,” Mays added. He described the GT40 concept as “a true supercar with appeal equal to that of the greatest sports cars in the world, but with the addition of a heritage that no one can match.”
Both the GT40 concept and the original share the GT40 mystique, but they don’t share a single dimension. The GT40 features a long front overhang—reminiscent of 1960s race cars—and is nearly a foot and a half longer and four inches taller than the original.
The GT40 concept is powered by a supercharged and intercooled 5.4-liter 32-valve V8, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The engine produces 500 horsepower and more than 500 lb-ft of torque.
To celebrate the Ford racing heritage, Ford brought out five racing legends: Phil Hill, Lloyd Ruby, Bob Bondurant, Carroll Shelby and Jackie Stewart, along with three examples of the original GT40.
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