A Ford engineer responds to our last piece on the Ford GT.
In “Ur-Turn: The Hater’s Guide to the Ford GT”, we get a glimpse into the Ford product development cycle for high-volume vehicles. The authors, who humbly claim that it was a broad overview, give a rather complete account of the roles, responsibilities, and procedures behind nearly every Ford product that comes to market. It’s a fascinating process, and it occurs every day at virtually every OEM and supplier. But what happens when a particular design or system defies convention? How do you validate something that is unlike anything your company has ever produced? What happens when you push the product development envelope so far, that you enter a completely new and unfamiliar design space? This is where we’ll find the Ford GT.
TTAC and the Blue Oval have a wonderful back channel that bears all kinds of fruit. Information on the new Mustang, the F-150’s aluminum construction, the subsequent delays in manufacturing aluminum bodies and the Raptor’s upcoming EcoBoost engine were just some of the scoops we’ve obtained via our sources. We also blew it when we called BS on the new Ford GT.
As it turned out, the car is real. But it’s being done outside of normal channels, and this could have potential negative consequences for buyers of this very exclusive, very expensive supercar. A few of our sources penned this editorial to help shed some light on the matter. They are drawing on their collective experience in various functions to help illustrate how the GT was developed, and why the secret, skunkworks nature of the project could be negative.
If you’ve read any media outlet (automotive or otherwise), you’ll know that the new Ford performance group will be releasing 12 performance inspired vehicles coming before 2020. The star of the show is the Ford GT, with its carbon fiber construction and mid-mounted EcoBoost V6 engine. The reception from the press could not have been any more enthusiastic. The last thing we need is to throw more lube on the collective media hand job for this car.
TRIGGER WARNING: The following editorial might be offensive to Ford fanboys, supercar geeks and those who aren’t acquainted with the way things work inside Ford. You have been warned.
We thought this wouldn’t happen, but here it is: The Ford GT has returned.
Car and Driver thinks that this Holden Ute/Batmobile/Mad Max thing is a mule for a mid-engine Corvette. I’ll believe it when I see it. Then again, it looks like I was wrong about the upcoming Ford GT revival.
Bob Lutz is not the only one who is “often wrong, never in doubt”. When I penned my Ford GT editorial, I had a pretty sound case for believing that the latest reports of a successor to Ford’s supercar were little more than clickbait. By usually reliable sources inside the Blue Oval seemed to concur. And then I got a phone call from someone who is placed highly enough to know.
None of you could ever accuse me of having a particularly thick skin, but there is one accusation that does get to me. Cries of “clickbait” are often doled out in these pages. They seem to occur when somebody disagrees with the conclusions reached in the article, or when too much negative light is shed on the reader’s pet brand. Cognitive lapses aside, these accusations get under my skin for a couple of reasons
- TTAC has never been under a mandate to increase our click count, and as long as I am at the helm, it will not be. Unlike other competitors, who tie everything from their editorial schedule to the compensation of their writers to “clicks”, we are allowed to sacrifice quantity in favor of quality and editorial independence. This means that in exchange for our freedom, we don’t get certain things, like unfettered press car access, or the budget to hire a copy editor. But our owners at VerticalScope have consistently understood and respected our need to liberate this site from the shackles of tyranny: in this case, click-based reporting, compensation structures etc. It comes at a significant cost, in terms of budget and salaries, but the end result is a website that can bring you The Truth About Cars, rather than baseless rumors, photos of celebrity genitalia and other unseemly editorial topics designed to juice our stats.
- In terms of ROI, a 1000 word essay on the topic of automobiles is hardly the stuff that clickbait is made of. Slide shows, listicles and the like are far better instruments to cheaply generate clicks, and they’ve never appeared on this site. Not agreeing with a point of view does not equal clickbait.
That’s not to say that all clickbait appears in the form of a Buzzfeed-esque “YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT THESE 25 ADORABLE BABY DIESEL WAGONS DID NEXT” piece of “content”. Sometimes, you get it in the blind repetition of totally baseless rumors that are, at best, wish-fulfillment for poorly trained, poorly paid bloggers and at worst, inaccurate information posted out of a reckless disregard for the realities of what it takes to bring a new vehicle to market.
While I personally find the Ford GT based GTR1 that Galpin Auto Sports will be selling for a million dollars rather inoffensive, a number of the Best and Brightest expressed some distaste for styling of the 1,000+ horsepower, twin turbo 225 MPH (estimated) supercar. Even some of those that didn’t necessarily dislike the GTR1 said they still preferred the looks of the GT. I happen to agree. As a matter of fact, this is going to sound like heresy to some folks, but I think the Ford GT is even a better looking car than the original Ford GT40.
The president of Galpin Auto Sports, the Los Angeles based car dealer and tuner, Beau Boeckmann (whom you may recognize from his role on MTV’s Pimp My Ride), used the Pebble Beach concours festivities to announce that GAS will be putting their Ford GT based GTR1 supercar into limited production next year at a starting price of just over one million dollars. Boeckman says that the venture will be profitable if they sell six GTR1s and that production will be capped at two dozen, limited by the short life prototype tooling used to make it.
Automotive News reports that Galpin’s Boeckman is optimistic about its prospects. “There is a market for a car like this,” said Boeckmann, scion of the family that owns Galpin Motors, one of the largest privately held dealer groups in the United States, including the world’s largest Ford dealership. “It’s amazing how many million-dollar car purchases there are. I know several customers who will be interested in buying one.” (Read More…)
When we last reported on the saga of the 2005 Ford GT that was stolen in June during a home burglary in Rancho Santa Fe, California, all that had been found of the supercar were some chopped up parts, with no chassis or drivetrain in site. That soon changed. (Read More…)
Well, that did not take long. Authorities in Vista, California today found what was left of the 2005 Ford GT discovered stolen from tony Rancho Santa Fe last week. We usually don’t mind strippers at all, butt … (Read More…)