With the release of press all over the internet and the first cars making their way into customer hands, the hype surrounding the new Ford GT is at maximum right now. The first 500 owners of the total 1,000 cars have been selected by Ford, with the next round of selections coming in a few months time.
The big question everyone seems to be asking is, is the Ford GT worth the $500,000 asking price? Those already on the list certainly hope so, and those who will apply for the second half of production are frantically trying to figure it out.
I was very skeptical when I first heard Ford was going to charge over $400,000 for the new GT. But I also expected the general formula for the car would be similar to that of the previous car, just updated for 2018. What has become abundantly clear, though, is that Ford has taken a totally fresh approach in developing the new GT, and that does change some things.
$15,000 is an interesting price point if you’re looking for a solid muscle car. You can have most of the early-mid 2000’s contenders with reasonable miles on them, or you can have one of the newer 400+hp options with higher miles.
I’m more on the high performance side of things, rather than wanting a muscle car for the style just to cruise in. I do intend to do burnouts, I do intend to explore the car’s high speed capabilities, and I do expect it to handle corners competently. Also, there is no such thing as a muscle car with 4 or 6 cylinders, so 8 cylinders is a given here. Lastly, a manual transmission is a must for me. This is a car to be driven, not an outfit to wear.
I should also state up front that I am pretty much non-partisan when it comes to American Muscle cars or American car brands. I know there are those who live and die by Ford, GM, or Mopar, and for them the $15k choice is a lot simpler.
My top 3 options for a $15,000 muscle car are as follows…
We caught this incredible Ford GT Heritage Edition out in Greenwich, CT. I loved the added touch of its orange wheels that matched its livery. This is the most valuable version of the Ford GT, so it was awesome to see it out in the wild.
The new Raptor is our favorite truck, and Motor Trend did it the justice of testing it where it belongs!
I’m not really a “Truck Guy,” but this Raptor08 is definitely my kind of truck.
The Geneva Motor Show happened this week, and every year it’s like Christmas has come for the car industry.
Here are the highlights for me, and my thoughts on each…
Ferrari 812 Superfast
The front-engine V12 Ferraris are by far my favorite Ferraris. They have always been the ultimate expression of what a grand touring car can be, and their lineage goes all the way back to the beginning of Ferrari road cars in the early 1950s.
The 812 Superfast takes the insanity of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, and takes it up yet another notch. With damn near 800hp on tap from its still-naturally-aspirated-V12 engine, the 812 Superfast is now the ultimate GT car (really more of a supercar) that money can buy. I also think it looks absolutely manic, yet somehow still in an elegant sort of way.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid
Do you think anyone ever imagined this when the Toyota Prius first came out? Hybrids were once pathetic little econo-boxes, but here is a 680hp Porsche Panamera with a hybrid system developed from the 918 hypercar. This is exactly how hybrid technology should be used. I want a 680hp bullet that can still get decent MPG when I’m not thrashing it. If nothing else, isn’t technology all about having your cake and eating it too?
The Ford Focus RS is the hottest $40,000 car around right now. A new addition to the rally car segment in the US, it takes on the STI, the Golf R, and the echoes of Evos past. All things stock, the Focus RS seems to have them all beat, outgunning them by around 40 or 50hp, but what happens when aftermarket mods and tuning come into play?
The simple fact is the Focus RS’s stock turbo is out of breath around 380-400 crank horsepower on pump gas. Ford doesn’t use way oversized turbos in their cars, and as a result its basic tuning potential may seem a little lacking compared to, say, the Golf R or the Evo.
Having said that, fear not, because peak horsepower numbers are only a small portion of the story, especially for a street-driven car. So let’s have a look…
The title may sound obvious, but the obvious has often proven difficult for the corporate mindsets in Detroit. Keep it simple, stupid, the people who want a new Ford Bronco want a Ford Bronco in the iconic sense. Give them the rugged functionality they need wrapped in the classic Bronco style they want, and you will sell units. This image has been making the rounds on the interweb, and people seem to really love it. Could the path forward for Ford be any clearer?
The new Bronco is supposedly going to take on the Jeep Wrangler, an off-road champ who’s style hasn’t changed since “retro” was brand new. People love that iconic style, and most won’t settle for a watered-down alternative from Ford. The new Bronco has to be the same sort of “special” that the original was. Anything but retro styling will be a huge mistake here.
I trust Ford to make the Bronco a decent functional off-roader at this point, but I’m worried the corporate big-wigs might try to water down the styling to try and make it appeal to everyone, and that’d be a dumb move. Let’s be honest here, most people who buy a Jeep Wrangler don’t do much serious off-roading, but they all love it’s distinctive style. In my opinion, the Bronco needs to compete with the Wrangler on style above all else. Whether or not it can climb a bigger rock or not is secondary for most people.
Being a successful car journalist, Matt Farah has been able to get the hookup on modding his Ford Focus RS. It seems like he’s basically maxed out the stock turbo at this point, but just look at the huge gains his car made in the mid range. That’s a ton of usable performance!
Now, he quotes ~350whp, but remember RS’s need to be dynoed in front wheel drive, with the rear diff unplugged. Figure around 10% drivetrain loss for FWD and that shows around 380-390hp at the crank. Now figure around 20-25% drivetrain loss for AWD, and the peak power on the stock turbo (likely on 91 octane) is +/- 300awhp. Not too different from an STI, but please believe a bigger turbo will be a popular mod on the Focus RS for those wanting serious horsepower.