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GT90 Concept
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  Ford GT90 Concept

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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:1995
Numbers built:one-off
Introduced at:1995 NAIAS
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 21, 2010
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Click here to download printer friendly versionLaunched at the 1995 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the Ford GT90 has gone into history as one of the most spectacular and influential concept cars. Ford spent just over six months and around $3 million to create the one-off machine. This was wholly justified as the GT90 served to introduce Ford's 'Edge' design philosophy to the world. Fortunately a considerable chunk of the resources was used to back up the revolutionary styling with a hugely impressive drivetrain.

As the name suggests, the GT90 was a modern interpretation of the all-conquering GT40 sports racer of the 1960s. The two machines share a similar drivetrain-layout and proportions but the GT90 is certainly not a retro design. The core of the fully functioning concept car is formed by an aluminium honeycomb monocoque. Although the majority of the car was custom built, some 'off the shelve' components were used to speed up development. Many of the existing parts used on the GT90 were lifted off the Jaguar XJ220. The biggest XJ220 sourced bits were the double wishbone suspension components on each corner.

Mounted amidships was a unique V12 engine, boosted by no fewer than four Garrett turbochargers. The 6-litre unit was built up of two of the quad-cam V8s found in the Lincoln Mk VIII road car. On one block the last two cylinders were cut off and on the other the first two. The two six cylinder blocks were vacuum-welded together to form a single engine. The quad-turbocharged V12 produced a mind-boggling 720 bhp at a time when the most powerful Ferrari struggled to get past the 500 mark. The all-aluminium engine was mated to a very sturdy five-speed Ricardo gearbox that was also used on the XJ220.

The spectacular rolling chassis was covered in lightweight carbon fibre body panels. With large flat planes, angles and triangular shapes, the exterior was a major departure from the clean, flowing designs that had become the norm in the early 1990s. Ford called it the 'Edge' design philosophy, which inspired a whole generation of road cars like the Ka, Cougar and Focus. Some elements can still be found on Blue Oval's latest products. One of the GT90's most spectacular feature was the massive canopy style front window that arcs well into the roof. The tail of the car sported a wing that raised from the deck for additional stability at high speeds.

The GT90 was received with universal acclaim at its 1995 NAIAS launch. It was subsequently toured around the world, making appearances at the Frankfurt and Tokyo shows. Several journalists were also allowed to sample Ford's new supercar and found the GT90 was much more than just a styling statement. Ford's official figures suggest it could accelerate from 0-60 mph (96 km/h) in just over three seconds on to a theoretical top speed of 253 mph (407 km/h).

Ford never had plans to produce the GT90 and after its show and test duties, it was retired to the Ford SVT facilities. Some years later Ford did produce a modern GT40 interpretation but this followed the original's design much closer. Now fifteen years after the GT90 was first introduced, Ford have decided to part with one of their most prized possessions. It was going to be during RM'sr Automobiles of Arizona auction at Scottsdale but it was withdrawn a few days before the sale.

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  Article Image gallery (12) Specifications User Comments (1)