Even the wheels and racing stripes are made out of the fibrous stuff.
Up until this week, the only two Ford GT cars we knew of were the standard GT and the ’66 Heritage Edition, which left performance specs the same but used matte or gloss black colors to pay homage to the GT’s string of Le Mans victories in 1966. Then, a copy of the GT owner’s manual found its way onto the Internet and hinted at a special Competition Series variant of the GT, which we speculated was a lightweight version of the GT given the car’s lack of a hydraulically operated engine cover.
Now, Ford has gone ahead and confirmed our hopes by announcing the Ford GT Competition Series, a lightened and track-optimized version of the GT that should give today’s crop of supercars a reason to worry. The 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 still makes the same 647 horsepower, but now it has less weight to lug around and the pounds of body mass that are present have been moved lower in the car to help lower the supercar’s center of gravity. “The Ford GT Competition Series is the lightest, highest performing version of the Ford GT road car and the closest one can get to experiencing the car that won the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans,” reads the description on the GT’s online configurator.
Helping attain that reduction in mass are carbon fiber wheels (like on the Mustang GT350 R) with titanium lug nuts, a titanium exhaust, and a bulkhead fitted with Gorilla Glass. In this case, the thickness of the bulkhead glass behind the passengers has been halved, helping reduce weight. Inside, the weight loss theme continues with black Alcantara seats and headliner, an exposed carbon fiber console, and a radio and air conditioning system delete. As outlined in the owner’s manual reveal, the last weight-loss component will be the engine hatch, which will be race-inspired and be lighter than the standard GT’s hatch thanks to a Perspex cover and the inclusion of a manual latch in place of the button-operated one in the “regular” GT.
Ford wanted to be sure to advertise the Competition Series’ superiority and did so by adding an exposed carbon fiber racing stripe and left the carbon weave exposed on the A-Pillars and side mirrors. Inside there is exposed carbon trim with red accents to compliment the Alcantara components. Customers lucky enough to get one can choose between Shadow Black, Frozen White, Ingot Silver, Liquid Blue, Liquid Grey and Triple Yellow body colors. See the Ford GT Competition Series for yourself this weekend at Turn One of the Daytona 500 and be sure to remind Ford that we’d love to see a back to back comparison between the GT and GT Competition Series on the track when both are alive and kicking outside of dealership lots.