In a stunning reversal of fortunes; the famous Ford GT has won the second annual GT Dream Car Bracket Challenge, a fan-voted contest, a year after being the very first car eliminated from the prior year’s challenge.
Yes, it is true. The insanely rare and immensely exotic mid-engine supercar from Ford was in fact eliminated on the first day of voting in last year’s inaugural GT Dream Car Bracket Challenge, only to defeat all odds and reign supreme for 2021, taking out the very car that eliminated it last year along the way.
About the GT Dream Car Bracket Challenge:
Last year, out of the drought of the typical bracket madness that is the month of March, we here at GT: Garage Talk rose to the occasion to bring the Gear Head community together in the spirit of sport and competition with a fan-voted competition narrowing a pool of our personal favorite cars of all time down to one winner.
Voting was conducted last year on our 3 social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter. Each day fans would vote on a new competition between two cars, with the overall organization and final “seeding” of the cars and bracket done by GT: Garage Talk. Deciding to start off with a bang, we pitted the two American-made mid-engine cars against each other in the first day of voting, the all-new Chevrolet “C8” Corvette with its new mid-engine layout vs. the established Ford GT. in a stunning result, the C8 Corvette took down the Ford GT in a 73% to 27% landslide on its way to take on the overall champion of 2020, the V12 Italian Exotic Ferrari 812 Superfast.
For 2021, we expanded the pool of vehicles from 32 to 64, adding an extra round and pushing for more fan-sponsored vehicle nominations. We also focused voting two our Facebook and Instagram stories for a more consistent voting experience across platforms. The results payed off too, with a 43% increase in voting for this year’s top 32 cars vs. last year…that includes pulling back from Twitter.
As you can see from the complete bracket below, the Ford GT had some stiff competition throughout the entirety of the Challenge, including a runoff vote for a first round tie against the Ferrari 812 GTS, the convertible version of last year’s winner. From there the GT faced off against the new 702hp Ram 1500 TRX, last year’s rival C8 Corvette, newcomer Porsche 911 GT3, and lastly the new icon from Ford: the 2021 Bronco. Rounding out the victory tour, the GT had to take on a spiritual predecessor in the form of the Shelby Cobra, a car which most will know from watching Ford v Ferrari was the brainchild of one of the chief designers of the original Ford GT car, the GT40.
All in all we were blown away at the results of this year’s GT Dream Car Bracket Challenge, and were more-or-less surprised at the end result (though Matt likes to claim he had 3/4 of the Final Four picked as well as the Championship matchup, he still failed to have a perfect bracket).
We are already looking forward to next year’s challenge and are working one ways to make the whole experience more interactive, as well as allow for easier ways for you to submit your cars for nomination and your brackets for our own side-challenge of trying to guess our way to a perfect bracket.
About the Ford GT:
The current generation of the Ford GT has been with us since the 2017 model year, replacing the outgoing 2005-2006 model run of the previous incarnation of Ford’s iconic mid-engine car.
Based heavily on the ideas and inspiration of the original Ford GT40 that won its inaugural race of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans with a 1-2-3 finish, as well as the next 3 consecutive years. That car, the GT40, was designed by legendary racer Carroll Shelby in the early 1960’s in an effort by Ford to out engineer and out race Ferrari. For more on this, we highly encourage watching the film Ford v Ferrari. The GT40 was named as such to signify it’s 40-inch overall height of that car.
The Ford GT, as we now know it, is a rebirth of that iconic racer. While not designed specifically to appease any vengeful CEOs, the newest GT from Ford does command presence. The first generation was built for the 2005 and 2006 model years, roughly 4,038 units were made throughout those two years. The first generation used a supercharged version of Ford’s 5.4 liter V8 engine, good for 550 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. Performance serious for the time, and even by today’s standards does quite well:
Shifting into the second generation of the GT, Ford leaned heavily into its burgeoning EcoBoost technology and utilized a 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 to power the new machine. Power is rated at 647 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque.
All this performance will cost you, starting north of $450,000.
The Ford GT.
This is what true innovation looks like. From its 3.5L EcoBoost® technology to its ultra-efficient aerodynamics, the Ford GT is the culmination of everything great we do at Ford. And it’s the same passion for innovation that can be seen throughout our entire vehicle lineup.
You’ve Never Seen Anything Like This Before.
Innovation. That’s what the Ford GT is all about. From its aerodynamically optimized shape to its multifunctional buttresses to its extraordinarily powerful 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 engine, everything about the Ford GT is designed to deliver pure performance.
Performance and Technology
The teardrop shape of the Ford GT is the result of extensive work in the wind tunnel. Its carbon-fiber body and its 647-horsepower 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 engine are the ultimate expressions of technological innovation.
The Ford GT is improved for 2020 with increased horsepower and upgraded engine cooling
Titanium exhaust from Akrapovič is now standard for Ford GT; system brings performance exhaust expert’s signature craftsmanship with deeply resonant, unmistakable sound
Two new unique appearance options: Liquid Carbon features GT’s carbon fiber body fully exposed; restyled Gulf Racing heritage livery pays homage to Ford’s 1969 Le Mans win; plus, supercar’s carbon fiber wheels are now available for the first time with heritage livery
2020 Ford GT Liquid Carbon
2020 Ford GT Gulf Racing Heritage Edition
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 06, 2020 – Today, Ford Performance announces upgrades to the Ford GT supercar for 2020, including increased engine power to 660 horsepower and improved cooling.
Much of the 2020 Ford GT’s advancements are a result of Ford’s continuous technological innovation, especially GT’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost® twin-turbo V6.
“Ford GT continues to be the pinnacle of Ford performance,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief program engineer. “GT is always the ultimate expression of Ford racing innovation, and as we know from the 1966 Le Mans through today, that means constantly raising our game for our customers as well as earning the checkered flag.”
Continuous EcoBoost Innovation
Beyond 13 additional horsepower compared to 2017-19 GT supercars, the 2020 GT’s EcoBoost engine features a broader torque band and revised engine calibration plus mechanical upgrades that include gallery-cooled pistons and higher-energy ignition coils, thanks to lessons learned from the limited-edition, track-only GT Mk II.
Additional engine cooling and airflow updates includes new buttress air ducts designed to increase air flow by 50 percent while larger intercoolers keep charge air temperatures cooler, preserving peak power for the most strenuous, high-temperature sessions at the track. Suspension damping is increased in track mode to further enhance handling and body control, particularly for those high-speed transient sections of closed-course circuits.
New Standard Akrapovič titanium exhaust
Ford Performance is also introducing the premium Akrapovič titanium exhaust as standard equipment for GT. Boasting the signature craftsmanship of these renowned race experts, this exhaust provides a nine-pound weight savings over the previous system while featuring that deeply resonant, unmistakable sound emanating from the more powerful EcoBoost engine.
Newly available Ford GT Liquid Carbon places an emphasis on GT’s lightweight sculpted carbon fiber body completely free of paint color. A special clearcoat punctuates each GT’s unique carbon fiber weave in this limited-edition appearance option.
“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.”
Ford GT Liquid Carbon features carbon fiber wheels as standard equipment. Owners can choose titanium lugnuts, six-point racing harness anchors, five interior options and five caliper colors. Further personalization is available through two over-the-top stripe options – the dual center stripes offered on the standard Ford GT or the single stripe found on the Carbon Series as well as optional painted mirror caps. Stripes and mirror caps are available in any of the seven standard paint colors as well as the extended color palette. For the first time, these features can be ordered independently of one another.
Updated Gulf Racing Heritage Livery
Ford Performance is also updating GT’s iconic heritage livery with a new design that includes a black pinstripe to divide the distinct blue and orange colors, recalling the 1968-69 Le Mans-winning GT40. The optional carbon fiber number switches from 9 on the 2019 model to 6 for 2020, matching that of the historic back-to-back winning car, chassis No. 1075. For the first time on a heritage model, carbon fiber wheels are available in lieu of aluminum alloy.
“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 of the upgraded 2020 Ford GT are ongoing, with production wrapping up in 2022.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford trucks, utility vehicles, and cars – increasingly including electrified versions – and Lincoln luxury vehicles; provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company; and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification; mobility solutions, including self-driving services; and connected vehicle services. Ford employs approximately 186,000 people worldwide.
Cory’s love of cars came at a time of great change in his young life. At the age of 9 his family moved 200+ miles away from the only home he knew. During the first few months of life in a new town, a certain green pony car caught his eye and just begged the question that had to be answered, “what kind of car is that?!?”The answer led to much research in the pre-internet world. Within the first summer, an entire 29 year history of the Chevy Camaro had been gathered and obsessed over. There was no going back, he was hooked.
Flash forward 16 years and that kid finally had his dream car, an anniversary edition no less. While that car may be gone from his life, the passion it created and stirred certainly did not. After working years in the retail industry it became apparent it was time for something new, something that brought that passion back to life.