Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Ford GT90

Not many people remember every single concept that automakers release. Some concepts make it to production, while others remain as pipe dreams. Each concept car is a glance into the designers true artistic ability, displaying what could be if automotive designers had their way. These are cars that are made before all of the engineers get their hands on it, before costs are considered. One concept car that tugged at my heart strings at a young age, and still does to this day is the Ford GT90.


The GT90 was unveiled in 1995 at the Detroit Auto Show as the “world’s mightiest supercar”. World’s mightiest super? That is quite the tall order. However, the GT90 had all the hardware to become the world’s mightiest supercar at the time. At the heart of this dreamcar was a quad-turbocharged V12 engine that was good for 720 hp. It could reach a top speed of 235 mph, reach 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.1 seconds, and complete a quarter mile with a speed of 140 mph. With this amount of power, it is easy to say that the GT90 would have lived up to its moniker, and could even compete with the latest supercars. In fact, the car was so powerful its exhaust would heat up to the point where the body panels could be damaged. Eventually, ceramic tiles similar to those found on space shuttles were added to the car to prevent further damage. 
A small team built this car in a matter of 6 months, using parts from cars such as the Jaguar XJ220; another turbocharged supercar. From the XJ220, the team used the all-round double wishbone suspension and the five-speed manual gearbox. Instead of borrowing a normal engine from another car, they combined two V8 engines found in the Lincoln Mark VIII, and cut off two cylinders, creating the V12 monster.
Unfortunately, the Ford GT90 never came to be. Ford intended for it to be a one-off concept car, even though this could have been the Bugatti Veyron of its generation. Some even say that the GT90 could have returned Ford to its former LeMans glory, when the Ford GT40 reigned supreme.
It can still be seen from time to time at auto shows, but its appearances are rare. Frankly, I don’t know what I would do if I saw it at a show. My heart may just stop as my childhood dreams come true.

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