Ford has unveiled its latest, and likely last, Ford GT Heritage Edition, celebrating the efforts of Alan Mann, who set up the brand’s Ferrari-beating Le Mans triumphs.
Mann’s personal race team worked closely with Ford to develop the GT40 Mk1.
In preparation for Ford’s 1965 and 1966 Le Mans efforts, Mann designed a revamped prototype of the original GT40. It included a supposed 100 updates over the Mk1 and centred around a philosophy that lighter cars make for faster lap times.
Mann and his team built a unique, lightweight GT40 with an aluminium body and Ford’s 4.7-litre small block engine.
Ford abandoned the project favouring their gruntier, 7-litre GT40 MkII cars for the 1966 race. A race won by Kiwi pairing Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme in a famous 1-2-3 finish for Ford.
But Mann’s efforts didn’t go unrecognised. His AM GT-1 prototypes inspired several changes to Ford’s eventual-winning GT40.
Today’s GT Heritage Edition is finished in an Alan Mann Racing-red. The white and gold stripes resemble the livery of the AM GT-1. It even bears the number 16 on the doors and bonnet – the same number used on the original Mk1.
While the original was made from aluminium, Ford has retained the GT’s carbon fibre bodyshell.
Inside, the Alcantara seats feature red and gold stitching. There is also plenty of carbon fibre on show.
The actual crux of the GT remains unchanged. The heritage edition keeps its 647bhp turbocharged V6, which can reach triple digits on the speedometer from zero in less than three seconds.
There’s no price tag on this specific edition, nor news on how many will be produced.
Next week, it will be on display alongside the original Alan Mann Racing AM GT-1 at the 2022 Chicago Auto Show.