Ford steals the show in Detroit

At the 2015 edition of the Detroit Auto Show, Ford stole the show with three performance vehicles, including a reborn version of the Ford GT.

The GT was last offered in limited numbers in 2005-2006, and it featured a 550-horsepower supercharged 5.4-liter V8. The new version gets the next generation of Ford’s EcoBoost twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6, featuring both direct and port injection and spinning out more than 600-horsepower. While the last model featured an aluminum architecture, this one has a carbon fiber passenger cell, aluminum front and rear subframes, and carbon fiber body panels. It also comes with carbon ceramic brakes.

Ford built only 4038 of the last model and says this one will be more exclusive. Expect pricing in the $250,000 to $300,000 range when it goes on sale in 2016.

Ford also showed the 2016 Shelby Mustang GT350R, calling it the most track-capable Mustang ever built. The GT350R adds to the GT350 with aero improvements that include a unique front splitter and a more aggressive rear wing, retuned suspension that includes Ford’s first use of magnetic ride control dampers, and the first carbon fiber wheels on a production car. Those wheels save 50 pounds of unsprung weight, and the car sheds 130 pounds overall compared to the GT350 Track Pack model thanks to the lack of a rear seat and air conditioning. The GT350R will use the same flat-plane crank 5.2-liter V8 as the GT350. Unique exhaust tuning should improve power delivery, but it probably won’t be rated any higher than the GT350, which is promised to deliver more than 500 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Watch for the GT350R later this year, likely as a 2016 model.

Ford’s final performance product was the next-generation 2016 SVT Raptor, an off-road version of the F-150 that will be in high demand during the Zombie Apocalypse. The last Raptor, which was offered from 2010 to 2014, and this version takes advantage of the truck’s new aluminum body to cut 500 pounds compared to the last model. To deal with the abuse the Raptor is sure to withstand, it swaps out the standard F-150 frame for a stronger version made with more high-strength steel. The suspension adds even more capability, too, thanks to larger Fox Racing shocks, a new terrain management system, and longer suspension travel. Under the hood, the Raptor trades 6.2-liter V8 for a second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that Ford claims will make more than the 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque of the 6.2. The new Raptor goes on sale in the Fall of 2016, probably as a 2017 model.

The three vehicles shown in Detroit are just the first of 20 performance products Ford has announced it will release by 2020.

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