Ford GT90. The GT90 was created as a “test bed for technology, engineering and design concepts, and driver-oriented features that may be employed in future Ford production vehicles,” according to a Ford news release, even though it was never intended for mass production.
The GT90, which was shown to the public for the first time in January 1995 at the Detroit Auto Show, is completed in brilliant white with a brilliant blue and carbon fiber inside. It is equipped with a mid-mounted, quad-turbocharged V12 engine that generates an estimated 720 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque. Consequently, it claimed a top speed of 253 mph, which, even by today’s standards, would make it one of the world’s fastest production cars – quicker than a McLaren F1, which was widely regarded as the world’s premier supercar at the time.
Ford Gt90 Concept Car
The doors, as well as the interior and outside lighting, may be remotely opened or turned on.
In 1995, after its debut in Detroit, the GT90 participated in the Auto Show Circuit, traveling to Frankfurt and Tokyo, among other locations. The car was just shipped to Europe to be displayed in the Ford of Europe 2008 exhibit at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, with few smaller exhibitions in between. After returning to its home country, the vehicle was transported to Alabama, where it was displayed as part of the Mustang 45th Anniversary Celebration.
This outstanding concept car has been properly housed and maintained throughout the years in between its exhibition appearances, preserving its exceptional operating condition. RM Auctions is thrilled to offer the GT90 at auction for the first time ever. Ford aficionados and concept vehicle enthusiasts may have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire this one-of-a-kind piece of automotive history and cutting-edge design.
Built by a small, specialized team at Ford SVT in less than six months, the idea used components from other vehicles due to a tight development schedule. The majority of the team’s components were borrowed from another supercar that was decades ahead of its time, the Jaguar XJ220.
The engine, which was a six-liter, 48-valve V12, was based on the Ford Modular engine and required four Garrett Systems T2 turbochargers to produce an estimated 720 horsepower. Engineers removed the last pair of cylinders from the rear of one engine and the first pair of cylinders from the front of the other engine to create a new Lincoln V8 engine. The cut-down engines were then welded together to create a 90-degree V12 engine with a bore of 90.2 mm and a stroke of 77.3 mm for maximum power.
The GT90 is equipped with the same FFD-Ricardo five-speed manual transmission as the XJ220. Considering the torque load it is meant to carry, the GT90 is recognized for its very mild shift quality. Also inherited from the XJ220 is the all-around double wishbone suspension, which was designed to provide the vehicle excellent handling at high speeds.
Using Ford‘s innovative “Edge” design philosophy, the automobile blended cutting-edge technology with a collision of flat planes, angles, glass, and triangular shapes. The GT90 was the first vehicle to be designed following Ford‘s new stylistic direction, which influenced the design of subsequent Ford vehicles such as the Ka and Cougar. The result is very stunning and a beautifully accomplished stylistic throwback to the GT40’s forerunner, which both honors its heritage and embraces the innovations of contemporary design. The GT90’s body panels are made from carbon fiber, while the chassis is a honeycomb-sectioned aluminum monocoque. This design is derived straight from race car technology.
The GT90 is a testing ground for innovative design and technology. It features a tinted, laminated glass bubble over the cockpit and a rear deck spoiler that raises at high speeds. According to Ford, it features a “design that tightly encloses its mechanicals with little wasted space, high-tech lighting and blind-spot detection systems, and space-age tiles to conceal the V12’s exhaust ports.”
By pressing a small yellow panel on the B-pillar, which allows the door to swing open, the interior of the vehicle is easily accessible. Unbelievably for a supercar, the cockpit is quite easy to enter, as the door sill is low and narrow, and the glass that arcs deep into the roof is attached to the door. The interior is decorated with vivid blue suede and leather, a carbon fiber central console, and bespoke blue-lit gauges, like an aviation cockpit. The interior features an abundance of brushed and polished aluminum, from the open shift gate and linkage to the controls on the center console and the car’s key.
Ford GT90 Update
Ford‘s presentation of a magnificent supercar prototype at the 1995 North American International Auto Show in Detroit was a pivotal moment for the legendary automaker.
The Ford GT90 was not only the spiritual successor of the iconic GT40, which dominated endurance racing in the 1960s and defeated Ferrari at its own game, but it also served as a vision for Ford‘s future range by adopting the ‘New Edge’ design language. Jack Telnack, a prominent automotive designer whose nearly four-decade career at Ford ended on a high note, guided the development of the new design philosophy.
New Edge was distinguished by its sharp lines and crossing arcs, which added creases to aerodynamic surfaces. Ka (1996), Mondeo (1996), Focus (1998), Puma (1998), Cougar (1998), and Fiesta (1999) were notable examples of production vehicles that used these aspects, although the sixth-generation Ford Falcon’s application was admittedly less effective (1998).
John Coletti, the leader of SVT (Special Vehicle Team), and Fred Goodnow supervised the GT90 engineering team. The design and construction of a unique prototype took six months and cost around $3 million. The carbon-fiber body of the GT90 was supported by an aluminum honeycomb monocoque chassis. Several of the foundations were drawn from the Jaguar XJ220 (1992-1994), while the engine was an entirely new design.
The 6.0-liter V12 with four turbochargers generated 537kW (720hp) and 895Nm of torque. During the mid-1990s, these figures were unheard of, placing them well below the production supercars supplied by Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Bugatti, and McLaren.
The engine was created by merging components from two V8 engines and was afterwards equipped with four Garrett T2 turbochargers. Jaguar supplied the FFD-Ricardo five-speed manual transmission that provided power to the rear wheels, as well as the double wishbone suspension. 0-97km/h acceleration in 3.1 seconds and an estimated top speed of 378 km/h were similarly outstanding (although those numbers were never confirmed).
Beginning with the dimensions, the idea featured a cab-forward posture with a very low hood, a long wheelbase (2,946mm), and a short rear overhang, which revealed its mid-engined configuration. The triangle motif is evident in every design element, from the front fenders’ angular shape to the dual side air intakes.
The GT90’s greenhouse is comprised of tinted glass that conceals the A-pillars and roof structure. The windscreen angle is quite steep, and the aggressive side window line is nearly parallel to the line that forms the air intakes.
The shape of the openings on the front bonnet, the fog-lights on the front bumper, the doors that included a portion of the roof, the centre-lock wheels, and the positioning of the tailpipes are all clear references to the original Ford GT40 (1964-1969), even though they were applied in a contemporary manner not long before the retro trend began in the automotive industry.
The horizontally aligned headlamps gave the car’s front end a futuristic appearance. The central intake with the huge Blue Oval insignia resembled a mouth, channeling air through the front bonnet inlets, while the yellow fog-lights suggested that this vehicle had the genetics of a race car. In addition, the mirrors were mounted on wide fenders with aerodynamically designed covers.
The car’s trapezoidal taillights with integrated turn signals are its most recognizable design feature at the rear. Between them, an adjustable spoiler gently covers the triangular shape of the quad exhaust surround, giving the entire structure the appearance of a human nose. So that the ultra-high temperatures of the tailpipes wouldn’t melt the bodywork surrounding them, NASA supplied the tiles with the same material used on the Space Shuttles.
Above the rear window, which also acted as a glass cover for the mid-mounted V12 engine, is a slight step that forms a large third brake light, visually separating the greenhouse from the remainder of the vehicle. Before the air met the retractable rear wing, an extra spoiler below the engine cover divided it.
The back bumper included two small reverse lights and an array of four rectangular pieces, three of which let hot air to escape the engine compartment and the fourth of which was a license plate holder bearing the autographs of everyone engaged in the construction of the prototype.
In contrast to the small interiors of most supercars of the 1990s, both the driver and passenger could enjoy ample space when entering the cabin via the electronically controlled doors, while entry was fairly simple.
The cabin was almost entirely upholstered in bright blue leather and suede, with a carbon-fibre center console and embellishments in brushed or polished aluminium. Other noteworthy elements are the open gated shifter and aluminum linkage, the custom instrument cluster with a floating sunshade, the additional gauges inside the driver’s door, and the yellow triangular accent on the blue steering wheel.
Ford provided chosen members of the automotive media with test drives of the vehicle, which was warmly received by the public. Positive reviews praised the car’s handling and design, despite the prototype having less power than stated due to dormant turbochargers and the majority of its interior controls being inoperable.
Ford officially refuted rumors of a production version of the GT90, which would have allowed the manufacturer to enter the supercar market, noting that the project had accomplished its design and engineering objectives.
Several years later, at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford debuted the GT40 concept with retro-inspired style by Camilo Pardo, which resembled its iconic predecessor closely but had greater exterior dimensions.
2005 marked the debut of the Ford GT, a flagship mid-engined sports car with a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 engine producing 410 kW. (550hp). The production of 4038 units of the first generation of the current Ford GT fell short of the planned goal.
At the 2015 North American International Auto Show, 20 years after the premiere of the GT90, Ford presented a successor of the GT which commenced limited production in 2016. The all new Ford GT featured creative design with state of the art aerodynamics. The carbon-fiber body was installed on a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis and powered by a mid-mounted 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine delivering 486kW.
Its performance, power-to-weight ratio, and driving characteristics closely mirrored those of competitor supercars, attracting purchasers from all over the world and establishing a lengthy waiting list. 50 years after the original GT40 finished 1-2-3 at the 1966 Le Mans event, its racing version in the LM GTE Pro class won the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans with the team Ford Chip Ganassi Racing.
We would be lying if we said we didn’t want the Ford GT90 to be produced in restricted quantities. In its prototype version, it possessed the exotic appearance, performance, and personality to compete with the finest in its category.
Ford was known for manufacturing compact, inexpensive, and fun-to-drive automobiles in the late 1990s, but its engineers shown they could be very competitive in the supercar sector if given the opportunity. However, the GT90 was created in a relatively short period of time and on a very restricted budget, and it would take two to three years to enter production.
Almost twenty-five years after its introduction, the GT90’s design is still bizarrely gorgeous. This idea embodied the vision of a futuristic performance car that might return Ford to the golden days of the 1960s and provide its brand image a significant boost.
The GT90 was a smash hit among those who wished to sit behind its blue steering wheel and those who hung its poster on their bedroom walls as teenagers. The same holds true for Ford‘s decades-long ‘New Edge’ design, which placed the firm at the forefront of automotive design innovation.
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Ford® built the GT90 prototype in 1995 to fulfill the desires of an American-made V12 mid-engine supercar, with quad (yes, four) turbos producing over 700 horsepower and 660 foot-pounds of torque. With an avant-garde design philosophy termed “New Edge Philosophy” by Ford‘s® design team, the GT90’s sweeping, Jaguar-like aerodynamic snout transitions fast into sharp profiles on the doors, which feed into the rear clamshell’s side air intake ducts. The rear features an active aero rear spoiler that rests above a four-port (four turbos!) exhaust system styled like a triangle.
Even by today’s standards, the GT90 was decades ahead of its time, with its aerodynamic shape and tremendous horsepower for a production vehicle.
What transpired with the GT90?
The GT90 was the unofficial successor to the GT40, however discerning Ford enthusiasts will note, there was also a GT70 and GT80. John Coletti, head of the SVT Special Vehicle Team, conceived the GT90 as a rival to the McLaren F1; he led the team that created the vehicle. Coletti formed a team that engineered and assembled the GT90 in only six months using components from other Ford family vehicles, such as the transmission and suspension from the Jaguar XJ220 and the V12 engine developed from modified Lincoln Town Car v8s (4.0, not the 4.6). Two 4-valve 4.6L heads were electron beam welded together for each side, a bespoke crankshaft was installed, and four Garrett T2 turbochargers were added to achieve the huge 700 horsepower output.
Obviously, the GT90 was assembled in an extraordinarily short period of time. Even when existing automobile parts are repurposed, the amount of engineering and manufacture necessary is remarkable. Not forgetting that they also produced a competitive quad-turbo V12 by today’s standards. Sadly, this speedy production was not accompanied by a flawless implementation; most notably, the engine was not properly tuned, had a tendency to overheat, and became so hot that the exhaust pipes would melt the composite body. All of these engineering obstacles have been overcome by the year 2020, however in 1995, the GT90 introduced a number of novel innovations into street-legal vehicles.
While the design was divisive, Ford refused to supply prospective GT90 owners with a price, however they were said to be offered for as little as $150,000 in 1995, or $261,000 in 2022 dollars. Compared to its chief competitor, the McLaren F1, which retails for $800,000, the economics of producing a relatively affordable supercar may not have been realistic. As time passed, Ford determined that the GT90 would serve as the first example of their new design pattern seen on many Ford vehicles of the 1990s and 2000s, and that fans would have to settle for the dream of driving a GT90.
After Three Decades, the GT90 is Revisited
Any gamer from the mid-1990s will recall seeing the GT90 in Need for Speed II and Gran Turismo 2, which is the closest most car aficionados will get to seeing the actual thing. Given that only one GT90 was ever manufactured, this V12 unicorn is even more elusive, and the internet is abuzz with speculation about its whereabouts. From 1995 through 2009, the automobile was stored away along with other prototypes judged unfit or uninspiring for mass production.