We were reminded what a genuine surprise feels like when the stunning 2016 Ford GT was unveiled at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.
Although it is only January, it would not be a surprise if the daring new supercar by the American automotive giant would become the most significant car of 2015.
Here are the five things you should know about the new Ford GT:
Ford GT Specs: Gone are the days of the 427 V8 motor that won at Le Mans for three years in a row. The new era of Ford power is all about Ecoboost. The 2016 Ford GT packs a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that promises more than 600 hp to the rear wheels.
The new Ecoboost Ford GT engine is derived from Ford's Daytona Prototype competition engine that won the 12 Hours of Sebring in the United SportsCar Championship series last year. Ford is still keeping details close to the chest but we know the high-performance Ecoboost features port dual fuel-injection system as well as a specialized low-friction valvetrain that delivers instant engine response.
The 3.5-liter twin-turbo Ecoboost power unit is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Unfortunately, the radical Ford GT will not have a traditional H-pattern manual gearbox.
Other notable mechanical details include an ultra lightweight chassis with a carbon fiber monocoque as well as front and rear aluminum subframes. The Ford GT will also sport a carbon fiber body. According to Ford, "The GT will exhibit one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car." Finally, the Ford GT also boasts a motorsport designed inboard pushrod suspension and active-aero wings that improve downforce and braking.
Ford GT Competition: Don't let its blue collar Blue Oval origins fool you-- the high performance mid-engine supercar will be up against the greats including the McLaren 650S, Lamborghini Huracan, the upcoming Porsche 911 GT3 RS, as well as a future turbocharged Ferrari M458-T. The Chevy Corvette Z06 should apply domestic pressure as well.
Ford GT Price: The 2005 Ford GT arrived on the market with an MSRP of $149,995, close to ten percent off the price of a Ferrari 430. Expect Ford to apply a similar pricing strategy and offer the new 2016 Ford GT within the low $200,000-range, just under the price tag of a Ferrari 458 Speciale.
Ford GT Release Date: Ford has yet to announce a launch date of the new GT supercar, but according to sources from Forza Motorsport 6, the Ford GT will likely closely coincide its arrival with the video game's late 2015 release date.
Ford GT In Motorsport: The carbon fiber monocoque and pushrod suspension isn't for show: the American automaker aims to field the 2016 Ford GT in its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans for 2016. For the automotive historians, 2016 marks exactly 50 years since Ford took its first Le Mans victory in 1966 when the legendary trio of Ford GT40 racing cars finished first, second, and third across the finish line.
By Danny Choy