Ford is working on a successor to the GT, the mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 550-hp supercar that the company built from 2005 to 2006. Or at least that’s the vibe I got from Derrick Kuzak, head of global product development, during the Detroit auto show earlier this week.
The revelation came at an intimate dinner with Kuzak, Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally, chief technology officer Paul Mascarenas, and about a dozen journalists. We had entered the lightning round of Mulally’s rigid Q&A format, meaning short questions and short answers.
My question: “Is Ford interested in a successor to the GT?”
Long pause. But it was clear that Kuzak, with pursed lips and unmoving eyes, was carefully looking for the right response. Mulally stepped in, but not with a serious answer. He regularly reminds the enthusiast media that he’s not a car guy.
“All I know is, if the ground is wet, they don’t let me drive it,” cracked the always-cheery CEO. “That vehicle levitates.”
“Well I think there are certain things that we don’t want to talk about in terms of four-year product plans, if that’s okay,” Kuzak carefully stated.
And with that, the group moved on to the next question. So it’s not a confirmation, but it’s not a denial either, and that gives me some serious hope that we’ll see a GT successor in the not-too-distant future. It would have been easy enough for Kuzak or Mulally to dismiss a low-volume, high-dollar performance car as too expensive for the company, too expensive for the consumer, or inappropriate for the political and social climate. But no one said anything like that.
The possibility of a GT follow-up presents plenty of interesting questions, but there’s one that stands out in my mind: would Ford’s next supercar be an evolution of the GT, or an all-new species that’s only linked to the last car by its extreme performance? In styling and packaging, the 2005-2006 Ford GT was nearly a carbon copy of the 1960s GT40. Surely a new supercar would require a more original design, but would Ford retain any ties to the GT heritage or just start fresh? Whatever it is, and whatever Ford’s intention are, we can just hope the result will be as awesome as the GT’s supercharged 5.4-liter V-8, six-speed manual transmission, and stunning presence.