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PRETORIA, South Africa – When the latest-generation Ford GT was revealed in 2015 it instantly became the fastest and most sophisticated Ford yet created, serving as a test bed for new technologies and ideas for future vehicles across the Ford line-up. Despite its exclusive production run, this jewel in Ford’s performance crown has arrived in South Africa and completes one of the rarest GT collections in the world!
Avid car collector and owner of Lazarus Ford in Centurion, Colin Lazarus, already has an array of iconic Fords such as a 1971 Mustang Mach 1 and 2001 F150 SVT Lightning. He is now the only person on the African continent to own the latest-generation Ford GT. This ultimate Ford supercar joins his 1965 Ford GT40 MK1 and previous generation 2005 Ford GT, with all three playing an influential part in representing 50 years of Ford motorsport.
The pinnacle of Ford engineering and design, the Ford GT was built to emulate the success of the original Ford GT40, specifically at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 where the GT40 secured one of its most famous victories of all time with a 1-2-3 photo finish. Incredibly, and despite a very short development period, the latest Ford GT won Le Mans exactly half a century later, in 2016, cementing it as a legend in its own right.
“I was incredibly fortunate to be able to get this 2020 Ford GT into the country,” admits Colin Lazarus, “but having the other two GTs proved how passionate and serious I was about these Fords and the bearing they have on Ford’s greatest motorsport achievements. Seeing everybody’s reaction to these three cars is terrific for the brand and illustrates the evolution of technology and performance. I doubt there is another private collection like it anywhere in the world,” says Lazarus.
Ordering a Ford GT is also a special occasion: A carbon fibre box contains a scale model of the GT on which the various wheel designs, paint and other options can all be applied and interchanged. Once Lazarus had decided on the final configuration for his Liquid Blue Ford GT, he built a customized Ford truck to help transport the GT safely between locations.
In terms of outputs, the dramatic evolution of engine performance between these GTs has seen a change from normally aspirated power to forced induction and each GT carries its own distinctive soundtrack as a result. The GT40 Mk1 is famous for its 7.0-litre V8 producing 361kW and 644Nm which enabled it to do 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 321km/h. The 2005 Ford GT introduced supercharging technology to its 5.4-litre V8 for 410kW and 678Nm, resulting in a 0-100km/h time of 3.8 seconds and a slightly higher top speed of 330km/h.
The latest-generation Ford GT is powered by a highly-tuned twin turbocharged 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine, visible through a glass engine cover, which produces an astonishing 492kW of power, matched to 746Nm of torque. This ensures it is capable of launching from standstill to 100km/h in 3.0 seconds, with a top speed of 350km/h. The drivetrain transfers all this power to the rear wheels through a dual clutch automatic gearbox.
For sharper response, the engineers created innovative anti-lag turbo technology that can help maximise the GT’s ability to power out of corners. This technology works by keeping the throttle open when the driver is not pressing the accelerator pedal. The fuel injectors are off, but turbo speed and boost are maintained for faster engine response and acceleration as soon as the driver hits the accelerator.
Five driving modes highlight the current GT’s breadth of capability with each one tuned for unique driving conditions. These modes work in tandem with moveable aerodynamics designed to balance downforce against speed. When the rear wing is up, cooling ducts are closed to increase downforce, while a wing-down position opens the ducts to reduce drag for a higher top speed. Downforce is further enhanced by the car’s hydraulic suspension which can drop or raise the ride height instantly with the touch of a button on the steering wheel.
The GT’s striking and functional appearance is a result of the extensive use of carbon fibre. This has allowed engineers to sculpt the bodywork more aggressively down the flanks where it wraps and tapers around the compact V6 engine. The GT also has the lowest frontal area of any Ford model, adding to its sleek aerodynamics.
A focused racing-inspired cabin doesn’t mean that the Ford GT goes without the convenience items that motorists are accustomed to. One might be pleasantly surprised to learn that the GT is equipped with Ford’s SYNC®3 infotainment system as well as multiple digital displays, including one behind the steering wheel. There are also cupholders and a hidden storage bin located under the driver’s seat, with further storage pockets behind the seats. Like a true racing car, the seat position remains fixed while the entire pedal box and steering wheel setup is able to slide closer or further away, depending on the driver’s height and other preferences.
Doreen Mashinini, General Manager for Marketing at Ford South Africa says, “These three GTs represent the high calibre of performance and design from more than 50 years of racing at the highest level. Being in their presence is simply breathtaking mixed with all the nostalgia of those famous wins at Le Mans. We are grateful that this iconic collection lives on South African soil and in the hands of Colin Lazarus.”
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