Detroit is the motor city in America, and because of this you would expect the Detroit Auto Show to be filled with some of the best the good ol’ U S of A has to offer. For 2015, Ford has delivered, and man did they go all out this year! Ford unveiled the new 2017 F-150 SVT Raptor, the 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350R, and the much anticipated 2017 Ford GT at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Lets dive right in and learn more about these impressive machines, shall we?
Anyone that is a huge racing fan, or a certified Ford addict, will remember the 1960s tale of Ford kicking Ferrari’s butt at LeMans, and the iconic car that did it, the GT40. A decade ago during the retro styling craze, Ford brought back the supercar as the Ford GT. Well now its back again, in the form of the 2017 GT. Its design is said to be 95% complete, and is expected to make its LeMans return in 2016, which is great news to hear! Its powered by a twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that is estimated to produce over 600 horsepower, mounted up to 7-speed dual clutch Automatic transmission, with all of the power going to the rear wheels in a traditional drivers car manner. No manual transmission is said to be offered, but the other impressive features in this engineering masterpiece make up for that. How so you ask? Well for starters, it has carbon ceramic brakes by Brembo, Active Suspension (with adjustable ride height and inboard pushrod activated dampers), an Active Air-brake (the spoiler automatically moves to correct positions to allow for increased braking and better handling), and a carbon-fiber body. The styling definitely takes cues from the GT’s of past, but with new twists, including a functional flying buttress-style air intake on the side, and heat extractors hidden in the taillights. No price has been announced, but expect it to start over $100,000.
Maybe that new GT is a bit too expensive right now, but Ford still has a performance car that can fit your budget, the 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350R. At the time of this article being published, it was announced that the GT350R lapped the Nurburgring in Germany at a mind blowing 7:32:19! How’d this track beast achieve that? While on paper, this GT350R seems almost identical to the normal GT350, but that’s where you’re wrong. The “R” is 130 lbs lighter, thanks to the help of carbon fiber wheels, radio delete, rear seat delete, and no air conditioning. These last three bits aren’t really necessary when your going after lap times, and keeping Camaro Z/28’s in the dust. It has the same flat-crank 5.2-liter V8 from the regular GT350, which is said to produce over 500 horsepower. And with no exhaust resonators, this engine is going to definitely have a distinct sound that will haunt other cars on the track. Like the previously mentioned GT, the GT350R’s aerodynamics help it achieve these incredible performance capabilities, thanks to the front splitter, curved side skirts, and heavy duty spoiler for increased downforce. All this is expected to cost well under $100,000, and should be arriving in Ford dealers soon!
Last but certainly not least is the subtlety styled… wait that’s not it, I mean the in your face, cool, America-loving, Metallica-blasting, unstoppable off-roader: the 2017 F-150 SVT Raptor. The first generation might have been one of the coolest, most unique vehicles ever made, and Ford realized that when they went to design the new model. This model is not only more capable than the outgoing one, but its also over 500 lbs lighter, and powered by Ford’s new favorite engine: the 3.5-liter twin turbo EcoBoost V6. This twin turbo powerplant is rated at 450 hp, with torque ratings expected to make more than the old V8’s rating of 434 lb-ft. The weight reduction is thanks to the switch to aluminum in the F-150’s design, a huge game changer in the truck industry. Improved suspension, with new Fox shocks that have an increased 3.0 diameter, allows this truck to blast over the trails better than the old truck too! Two wheelbases and cab configurations will be offered on the Raptor, the first is a 133-inch-wheelbase, extended-cab SuperCab with the option of a 145-inch, four-door SuperCrew. Other cool details that separate the Raptor from regular F-150 models are the LED accent lights, upgraded wheels and tires, a pre-programmed Baja mode (who needs sport mode right?) and the dark gray grill proudly displaying the letters F-O-R-D. Expect this truck to be arriving in showrooms mid to late this year.