As you may recall, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine in-use on the Ford GT race car – the same one bound for employment in the GT road car when it launches in December of this year – was the product of motorsport. Ford’s EcoBoost Riley Daytona Prototype trotted around North America’s great race tracks with the very same engine starting in 2014, and at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, it was announced that the twin-turbo six-cylinder mill would end up in the new 2017 Ford GT.
Now, it turns out the 3.5L EcoBoost is not the end of Ford’s race-to-road trickle-down; Car Throttle reports that insights gained from running the Ford GT race car in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship will benefit the production 2017 Ford GT – a supercar anticipated to cost roughly $400,000.
At last weekend’s Silverstone WEC race, Car Throttle caught up with Ford Performance Director Dave Pericak, who said: “We haven’t built production versions of the GT road car yet, so we can still make changes to the final setup. Anything we learn at this first round will be considered for the road car. It’s important to remember that the two cars have been developed side-by-side from the offset.”
The comment was corroborated by racing driver Billy Johnson. Mr. Johnson, 29, is intimately familiar with each the road and racing versions of the new Ford GT. He’s serving as one of three pilots of the No. 66 Ford GT race car in the 2016 WEC season, and is involved in the development of the road-going supercar, as well.
Mr. Johnson told Car Throttle: “There are a lot more similarities than you would usually find between a road and a race car. The [Ford GTs] are so close that there are marks for where racing parts would attach still visible on the road car. As you walk down the production line you could literally pick any tub and use it for an endurance-spec machine.”
It’s exciting news, especially if you happen to be one of the 500 lucky souls whose buyer application is approved by Ford. Both Ford GT No. 67 and No. 66 completed the 6 Hours of Silverstone last Sunday, finishing fourth and fifth in the LMGTE Pro class. Their next race is the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 7th.