It has been awhile since we heard from Ford and its iconic GT supercar. When we last spent some time with it, it was on the mean streets of Woodward Avenue where the company allowed a select group of journalists (us included) to experience its charms during the lead up to the Woodward Dream Cruise. But while GT production may be reaching the home stretch, the company is still doing its part to sensure that each model is distinct and special. On that note, Ford has chosen to turn up the flames for 2020 with several performance upgrades as well as two new special editions that both take a very unique apporach to the GT legacy.
Befor we get to those though, we might as well cover the performance enhancements that Ford Performance has bestowed on the car for the 2020 model year which help increase performance to 660 horsepower and also enhances cooling of the engine. While a 13 horsepower boost and improved cooling may not seem like much at first glance, these little details add up to a big diffrence when added into the broader GT equation especially when compared to the 2017-2019 models. In addition to the beefier numbers, the engine has also been tweaked with a broader torque band and revised engine calibration, as well as mechanical upgrades including galley-cooled pistons. and higher energy igntiion coils.
These particular items were lessons that the company learned not only from LeMans, but also from the limited production Mk II variant.
On the cooling side of things, Ford engineers have made several revisions including new buttress air ducts that are designed to increase air flow by 50 percent, while larger intercoolers help keep charge air temperatures much cooler which preserves higher amounts of power for rigorous track work. Even the exhauts system has been upgraded with Ford revealing that it has enlisted the services of premium exhaust maker Akrapovic to comission an all new titanium exhaust as standard equipment for all GTs. The novel exhaust system helps provide a nine pound reduction in weight while also providing a throatier and more authoritaive soundtrack that still retains the character that the GT is known for.
With the performance hardware on hand, it would be a shame if the GT did not do anything else to diffrentiate the GT from its 2019 cousins, but Ford once again delivered with two all new special edition GT models. The first model is dubbed the Liquid Carbon edition which places a greater emphasis on shedding weight, and improving track ready performance. The weight savings here are extreme, with even traditional paint work being sacrificed for a special clear coat that is slathered all over the exposed carbon fiber body.
“This next chapter in the Ford GT story allows us to fully demonstrate our mastery in both the art and science of carbon fiber craftsmanship and finishing,” said Angus Smith, General Manager of Multimatic Niche Vehicles, North America. “The results of this ongoing partnership between Multimatic and Ford Performance speak for themselves, as each visually stunning and unique Liquid Carbon GT is a manufacturing marvel, showcasing the characteristics and nuances inherent in carbon fiber composites.”
Along with the carbon fiber body, the Liquid Carbon model also features standard carbon fiber wheels, with owners being able to choose lighter titanium lugnuts, six point racing harness anchors, five interior color choices, and even five caliper hue options (we weren’t joking when we said that Ford left no stone unturned.) Personalization is also a priority with two diffrent stripe packages including the single stripe found on Carbon Edition GTs.
As for the iconic Gulf Livery models, Ford designers have updated it with a brand new design that features a black pinstripe to help divide the blue and orange accents, with the look drawing inspiration from the 1968-1969 GT40 racer that won the grueling 24 hours of LeMans race. The optional carbon fiber weaved number on the doors switches from the number 9 on the 2019 models, to 6 for the 2020 model which matches that of the iconic two time winning car chassis number. 1075. Lastly for the first time ever, carbon fiber wheels are avalible in lieu of the standard alumimum alloy hoops.
“Our team is very focused on delivering a car that exceeds customer expectations,” said Mike Severson, Ford GT program manager. “The black pinstripe and carbon fiber wheels have been highly requested with the Gulf livery, so we committed to making that happen.”
Deliveries for the 2020 model are currently ongoing, with the rest of the production run expected to formally end in 2022. Like other GTs, ordering is a very strictly controlled affair, with Ford only choosing owners that it feels are worthy of owning one. Liquid Carbon models will be extremely limited, with only 12 being produced per year.
Ford did not release any pricing information with this unveiling, but look for the 2020 models to command a good premium over the outgoing 2019 model.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.