Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week, Ford reveals stunning Ford GT Mk II with unleashed potential, Ford confirms pricing for the GT500, BMW makes another stupid X6, and Lee Iacocca has passed away at the age of 94.
Ford GT Mk II
Ford delivered on their promise of bringing an extreme version of the GT to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Unveiled on the Fourth of July in the driveway of an unsuspecting red coat, it’s the Ford GT Mk II. A limited-edition, track-only ordeal that represents “the next stage in Ford GT performance”. Hopefully it isn’t the last.
Developed independently from any series regulations and balance of performance adjustments, it’s a Ford GT that’s truly been allowed to run free. Co-developed by Ford Performance and Multimatic, it utilizes lessons learned from their successful IMSA and FIA WEC programs and unleashes those lessons to their full potential. It has more power, more downforce, less weight, and everything else needed to dominate a track day. For only $1.2 million.
The unrestricted 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 produces 700 horsepower in this trim. That’s 50 more than the standard car and roughly 200 more than the race car (because series regulations). It’s paired with a recalibrated seven-speed dual clutch transmission lifted from the road car with added trans and clutch coolers (fed by the roof scoop).
The standard car’s height-adjustable suspension has been replaced with a fixed-height setup that features Mutlimatic’s 5-way adjustable DSSV shock absorbers. Not only does that make the handling sharper and do wonders for the aerodynamics, that alone saves 200 pounds.
Then there’s the aero. It rocks a new front racing splitter and diffuser, fender louvres, and dive planes for phenomenal front end grip at speed. That’s all needed to balance out the large, dual-element rear wing which provides more downforce than the one on the race car does. In total, the GT Mk II develops 400% more downforce than the standard car.
Meanwhile, Michelin racing tires are tasked with putting all that to the pavement. They say it can easily exceed 2G of lateral grip. Braking is provided by the street car’s carbon ceramic brakes from Brembo measuring 15.5″ front and 14.1″ rear. Those hide behind forged aluminum 19″ wheels.
The interior includes a Sparco racing seat with a six-point harness and an optional passenger seat. A full MoTeC data acquisition system and rear-view camera is also included.
Only 45 of these cars will be built. Ford did not go into detail as to whether they’ll do private customer track days like in the Ferrari XX Programme and others. Even if the majority of these never see track time, this will forever remain one of the coolest things Ford has ever built. Caffeine couldn’t wake me up early on a day off, but this news sure did.
2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Starts at $70,300
The King of the Mustangs will have an MSRP of $70,300 when they go on sale later this year. Ford’s high-tech and crazy fast GT500 was never going to be cheap, but considering all that you get for that money, this doesn’t sound bad at all. Of course dealer markups are a thing, but find yourself a Ford dealer that isn’t a bunch of assholes and you’ve practically got a bargain on your hands.
With 760 horsepower on tap, Ford’s Product Communications manager, Mike Levine, cheekily pointed out that it’s $92.50 per horsepower on the GT500; a true bargain compared to the $140 per horsepower for the Toyota Corolla. With some convincing I’m sure you can get your spouse to sign off on it with that logic.
2020 BMW X6
Meanwhile, BMW came out with a new X6 this week. All of the previous generations of the X6 have each been the single dumbest vehicle on sale at any given moment. With this new third-generation X6 though, things change.
It’s now the single dumbest vehicle on sale but also the grille lights up.
It starts at $64,300.
Lee Iacocca – 1924 – 2019
Lee Iacocca introduces the new 1965 Ford Mustang to the media in the Ford Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. (Ford)
Of course, probably the biggest news of the week – and not the good kind – was regarding a true titan of the automotive industry. Lee Iacocca passed away at the age of 94 on Tuesday at his home in Bel Air. The immediate outpouring of love shows just how big of an impact he had on the industry.
Iacocca served as an engineer, sales manager, and through all major levels of the executive chain leading up to the title of President. During his time there, sales surged at times and he helped launch some groundbreaking new vehicles that became cultural icons. Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company, put out the following statement:
Lee Iacocca was truly bigger than life and he left an indelible mark on Ford, the auto industry and our country. Lee played a central role in the creation of Mustang. On a personal note, I will always appreciate how encouraging he was to me at the beginning of my career. He was one of a kind and will be dearly missed.
He performed many other roles throughout his career at different companies and most notably led Chrysler through a remarkable recovery. He joined while they were on the verge of going out of business, secured a bailout from Congress, and managed to guide them through such a strong recovery that they paid it off seven years ahead of schedule. Without him, Chrysler would not be around. Full stop. FCA commented on his passing as well:
The Company is saddened by the news of Lee Iacocca’s passing. He played a historic role in steering Chrysler through crisis and making it a true competitive force. He was one of the great leaders of our company and the auto industry as a whole… Lee gave us a mindset that still drives us today – one that is characterized by hard work, dedication and grit. We are committed to ensuring that Chrysler, now FCA, is such a company, an example of commitment and respect, known for excellence as well as for its contribution to society. His legacy is the resiliency and unshakeable faith in the future that live on in the men and women of FCA who strive every day to live up to the high standards he set.
But the one thing he’s perhaps most known for is his significant role in making the Mustang a reality. In a life full of home runs, this was a grand slam. As a kid I had learned all about the Mustang’s history and how revolutionary it was back in the day, pretty much to the point where I idolized it. I’ve loved and appreciated all kinds of different cars throughout my life and still do, but the Mustang was always held in higher regards than most. It was the car I looked up to. Now I get to enjoy one for myself, and I owe a lot of that to him. All the other 10,000,000+ Mustang owners out there do, too.
If you’re interested in reading more about him, I highly recommend the Los Angeles Time’s coverage.
[Sources: Ford, Los Angeles Times]
What’s Your Automotive News?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.