Supercars, News, Motorsports

Ford GT optimises performance with new drive modes

Ford has developed 5 driving modes for its all-new GT, to ensure that owning a supercar doesn’t result in compromise.

Ford Performance engineers set out to ensure being behind the wheel of the 647 horsepower carbon fibre supercar is an 'absolute joy regardless of driving conditions'. As a result, the five modes enable the GT to attain ideal performance – even while contending with rain, snow, ice - on or off track, along with any other elements thrown at it. The drive modes include: Normal, for everyday driving, Wet, for driving in the elements, Sport, for more 'spirited ventures', Track, for racing and V-Max, for maximum straight-line speed.

Ford says its Performance division heard the criticism from drivers about just how difficult it could be to get the most out of their supercar. “We focused on simplifying the experience,” says Derek Bier, Ford GT manager. “Optimising this car for just about any situation was critical, because ensuring owners always enjoy driving it was a top priority.”

Each mode is specially tuned for a unique driving environment. “Switching the setting changes electronic, mechanical and aerodynamic elements,” explains Nick Terzes, Ford GT engineering supervisor. Leveraging learnings from the Ford GT racing program, Ford Performance gave each mode a unique instrument cluster display, with elements prioritised to enhance the overall driving experience.

All of this means that with the turn of a knob on its F1-inspired steering wheel, the new supercar can switch nearly instantaneously to a fully functioning race car tuned for maximum speed and downforce. The dial changes aerodynamic, engine, stability control and shift characteristics, as well as ride height and more.

Activating Sport mode grants the driver a more responsive throttle calibration to further open up the car’s twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 and anti-lag system. Sport mode can be used effectively on many racetracks – especially those that require a higher ride height – the Track mode, however, is described as 'absolutely hardcore' and optimised strictly for race conditions.

In V-Max mode, every setting is tuned to make the Ford GT go as fast as possible, for 'maximum velocity'. Like Track mode, the ride height is the same (down from 120 in Normal to 50 millimetres), but all aero elements are stowed to minimise drag. Stability controls remain active to help ensure the car moves forward in a straight line.

“Ultimately, V-Max mode is designed with a single objective. For the GT to achieve its fastest possible straight-line speed” says Terzes.