Jeremy Clarkson Says Ford GT is Like ‘Pogo Dancing to The Ramones’

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New Ford GT is raw, hard, and brutal. It’s nothing like its rivals from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren – and that’s OK.

For decades, auto journalists on the other side of the Atlantic have been hard on American cars. They’ve complained about the quality of their interiors and how poorly they handle on roads that are anything less than arrow straight. At times, The Grand Tour co-host Jeremy Clarkson has been one of those critics. But not when it comes to the Ford GT. He liked the 2005-2006 model so much that he bought one. Judging by this clip, it’s safe to say he loves the newest version of the GT, too.

Clarkson starts his review at the Le Mans-winning machine’s natural environment: a race track. After putting it into Track mode, which lowers the GT, raises its rear wing, and doubles the stiffness of the suspension, he takes off. He quickly comes to a realization. “This is not as delicate as a Ferrari.” Whereas a Ferrari has a certain refinement to it, the GT is coarse and brutal. Jeremy Clarkson Tests the Ford GT

Its rough edges don’t wipe the smile off of Clarkson’s face, though. And they don’t keep him from seeing just how fantastic a machine the GT is. As he’s flying around the course, Clarkson says, “The steering’s brilliant, the brakes are brilliant. You get the very distinct impression that nothing in this has really been compromised to make it work elegantly on the road.”

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That uncompromising focus may limit the GT’s everyday drivability, but it gives the GT staggeringly good dynamics. The chassis is telepathic. No matter how hard Clarkson pushes it, the GT can take more. Jeremy Clarkson Tests the Ford GT

As much as Clarkson loves the GT, he doesn’t do it blindly. There are things about it that leave something to be desired. The lackluster exhaust note from the 647-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 is one of them. The GT’s large body and small fuel tank are on the list, too.

The GT’s acceleration? Definitely not. Clarkson jams his right foot to the floor. Even though he’s pinned in his seat, he manages to blurt out two words that convey his shock: “Jesus Christ!”

Ford managed to make another car that impressed Clarkson. Is it because they made the GT feel more European? No. According to Clarkson, many Ferraris and Lambos are bought by posers. The GT isn’t for posing. It’s for driving fast and loud on a track — One that has more than just straightaways.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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