New Ford GT documented as technological innovation with ties to glorious past

The Ford GT: New Vehicle Engineering and Technical History of the GT-40 - New SAE Publication

Warrendale, PA, (April 16, 2004) - The 2005 Ford GT made its television debut during the 2004 Super Bowl, but automotive enthusiasts are still holding their breath for the official launch in the summer. Anticipation grows as this modern interpretation of the car which took Le Mans by storm in the 1960s hits the streets.

SAE's latest publication: The Ford GT: New Vehicle Engineering and Technical History of the GT-40 covers the technical challenges of creating both the reborn GT and its racetrack-bound predecessor. This book contains 11 SAE papers about the new GT that explain how Ford engineers managed to meet numerous modern-day requirements, such as exhaust emissions and crash protection requirements, while staying true to the sprit of the original. What will make this publication a treasure among technophiles is that there are also seven SAE papers from the 1960s contained in this book that provide a wonderful insight into the development of the original Ford GT-40 race car, during what many consider the most technically interesting period of sports car racing.

In the 1960s, very little science and engineering had been applied to the art of motor racing. When Ford first assaulted Le Mans in 1964, the company initially purchased a race car design from the English firm Lola. This car's numerous shortcomings soon led Ford to apply its considerable engineering and developmental resources to the project, and the result was a one-two-three finish in 1966. First place finishes followed in 1967, 1968 and 1969. It is the fabulous victories by Ford in the 1960s that inspired the new 2005 Ford GT. Based on a concept car the new production car embodies the characteristic proportions and styling elements of the original GT. Under its skin, however, it has little in common with the original other than its mid-engine layout. The 2005 Ford GT must function as a street car, with a climate control system, moderate interior noise levels, a reasonable ride, and the ability to operate in extremes of hot and cold. However, the racing prowess of the original has been well replicated, according to Car and Driver Technical Editor Larry Webster, who witnessed the adrenaline rush as the car rocketed to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and to 150 in 16.9.

The Ford GT: New Vehicle Engineering and Technical History of the GT-40 is a must-read for anyone who loves auto racing and the great cars of that heritage. The book, with preface by Csaba Csere, is a 242-page softbound book, ISBN 0-7680-1421-2. List price is US $89.95 and Order No. PT-113. SAE members receive a 20% discount. To order, call (877) 606-7323 (U.S. and Canada) or (724) 776-4970, e-mail to customerservice@sae.org, or order on-line.

*Attention automotive journalists: For complimentary review copies or for more information, please contact Marge Milligan in SAE's Public Relations department via email at milligan@sae.org.