Spied: 2005 Ford GT
Capturing the Centennial Supercar During Development Testing
By Jack Keebler
Photography by John Kiewicz
Motor Trend, March 2003
As dark and crusty looking as a baby buzzard on its maiden flight, this Ford GT development mule was caught howling along the sunny wind-swept straight-aways of Ford's Proving Ground in Kingman, Arizona.
Its pilot, Alex Eichhorn of Bosch Engineering Gmbh, was visiting from Germany to cook up the two-seater's anti-lock braking system. Eichhorn told MT there were six GT development cars in existence at the time and that this vehicle was number four. A "4" crayoned on the hood substantiated his statement. The work-roughened tester was powered by a 4.6-liter/440-horsepower supercharged V-8 similar to that used in the Mustang Cobra. Production versions of the GT will, however, be equipped with an even more powerful 5.4-liter supercharged engine; our estimates place final power output between 510 and 525 horses.
A peek inside Eichhorn's office revealed test equipment, a computer screen and keyboard, and a padded steel-tube roll bar. Under the flat-black bodywork was an extruded aluminum platform gliding on gorgeous aluminum control arms. On the front axle were P235/45ZR18 Goodyear Eagle F1s. At the rear were beefier P315/40ZR19s on BBS wheels. A single "Gurney bubble" on the roof made room for a helmeted driver's head. This feature is so named after the bumps engineered into the roof of original Ford GT racers in order to accommodate the helmeted head of 6'3" Dan Gurney, who with AJ Foyt won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1967.
For now, the doors swing out conventionally and a striker bolted to the roll bar holds them closed. Production versions may likely have a scissors-style door similar to the Lamborghini Murcielago.
Much work remains to be done. Indeed, the car didn't appear to be sitting level. Its nose seemed high, with a pronounced squat towards the rear, even when stationary. And so, perhaps it's not surprising that the development car's steering is said to get light at close to 170...
The first three production GTs will be built in June to commemorate the Ford centennial and celebrate the GT40's first, second, and third-place finish in the 1966 the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Full production will follow in spring of 2004, with a projected annual volume of 1500 cars.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....