Ford’s recent auto show appearances have all been newsworthy, from the reveal of the all-new F-150 pickup at last year’s North American international Auto Show (NAIAS), to the unveiling of the Shelby GT350 Mustang as 2014 was winding down. Showing no signs of slowing down, Ford took the covers off of three new performance-minded models at the 2015 NAIAS in Detroit, including a first look at the long-rumored successor to its GT supercar.
Like the one that came before it, the new Ford GT represents the builder’s vision of an ultimate performance vehicle for the road. The Ford GT seen at the 2015 NAIAS shows as a sort of ‘State of the Industry’ as well: the engine (mounted in the middle, of course) is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, and the manual transmission has been replaced by a dual-clutch automatic controlled by paddles attached to an F1-style steering wheel. Carbon fiber along with other lightweight materials maximize the effectiveness of the horsepower (said to be over 600). Ford plans to have the new GT available sometime in 2016.
As if an all-new GT wasn’t enough, Ford also brought two other highly anticipated performance models to the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will stand six inches wider than the new standard model, with a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine replacing the V8 from the previous model, along with a 10-speed automatic transmission, a Torsen differential up front, and a new transfer case, all meant to sharpen its off-road capability while improving fuel economy.
Amping up the performance volume is the Mustang Shelby GT350R, a track minded but street legal version of the GT350R coming in 130 pounds under the base GT-350, Ford’s first magnetic ride suspension, and ‘at least’ 500 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Availability will be later this year and only a limited number of GT350R track machines will be produced. Have you driven a Ford lately?