Want a Ford GT with Even More Racing Pedigree? Call Superformance
Superformance ‘Future GT Forty’ pays tribute to 50th anniversary Le Mans victory in 1968 with modern Ford GT livery and powertrain.
This is a Superformance Mark I GT40 recreation car, and astute readers will notice that it bears the livery of the current Ford GT Le Mans car. However, despite being based on the 1968 Ford GT40 that won Le Mans, this Superformance super car is thoroughly modern beneath the pretty retro bodywork.
How modern you ask? Well, if you peer through the acrylic glass behind the cockpit you will find out just how modern it truly is. Instead of a period-correct Ford Racing V8 engine, a thoroughly modern Ford EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 has been fitted in it’s stead. Sacrilegious? Hardly, says Doug Campbell, the car’s owner and public relations rep for Superformance. After all, the wild, and near-impossible is what the SEMA show is all about.
The modern Ford GT uses a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, chosen specifically to go racing. Campbell told 6SpeedOnline that with Future GT Forty, he was inspired by watching the Ford GT race at Le Mans. Between the livery, the thoroughly modern powertrain, and his role at Superformance, he knew that there was something there.
The Mark I is, to many people, Campbell included, the most iconic GT40 shape out there, so it was a natural basis for the build. From there, he says, Superformance worked with the team at V’s Performance, in Orange, California, to tackle the unconventional swap. The basic engine was cribbed from a wrecked Ford F-150 pick-up truck, where the motor was then disassembled, and rebuilt for big power. After all, the Ford GT makes 647 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque. Beyond the motor build, custom manifolds, twin Garrett GTX Gen II turbochargers and a custom Magnaflow exhaust produce in excess of 700 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. The car has been tuned to run on E85 fuel.
Speaking of tuning, when asked about the swap, Campbell said, without hesitation, that the greatest difficulty was getting the modern Ford powertrain to run properly. Like many newer engines, the direct fuel-injection system prove tricky to fully-integrate into the GT40. Ultimately, it was ditched for conventional port fuel-injection, which can be seen with injectors feeding fuel into those pretty intake manifolds. With a custom-calibrated AEM Infinity standalone ECU, the now port-injected engine proved much easier to get going.
An adapter plate and custom Centerforce clutch and flywheel were used to marry the boosted V6 to the GT40’s Quaife 5-speed manual transaxle. However, inside the Future GT Forty, you would be none-the-wiser that anything unconventional was afoot. Well, other than some nice leatherwork by Stitchcraft and custom Speed Hut gauges, at least, it’s all standard fair, and it all works. No last minute SEMA scramble here.
Of course, it’s more than an engine, as Future GT Forty has a lot of custom exterior touches, as well. Large 19-inch HRE centerlock wheels replace the standard, period-correct 15-inch units and are shod in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 track tires. While Mark I GT40s sit low, as is, this one is in the weeds, thanks to an air suspension sourced from Ridetech.
The bodywork itself is also changed, to be more reminiscent of the modern Ford GT race car. There are carbon fiber aero pieces all over the car. A large front splitter is accentuated by dual dive planes and out back an adjustable carbon GT wing is also part of the flavor. Amusingly enough, this is the only hiccup Campbell says the team ran into, when preparing the car for SEMA. A third party supplier got backed up and the splitter almost didn’t make it to the show. Of course, if that’s the biggest hiccup in the whole build, we would consider that a rousing success, overall.
The Future GT Forty weighs in at around 2,400-lbs, so we’re guessing the effect of this all is a retro GT40 that can hang with, or probably beat the new car. Campbell is a bit of a track day enthusiast, and he said we can expect to see him running Future GT Forty at track events, likely with Speed Ventures, all over Southern California.
The most interesting part of this all came at the very end. We were under the impression that Campbell and Superformance had built Future GT Forty is a design study, tribute and showcase of what the company can do. Nope. These things are going on sale for $179,900. Considering a Ford GT costs $478,750 before options, if you can even get an allocation spot, the Superformance Future GT Forty is an absolute bargain. How about that for a SEMA showstopper?