Detroit LIVE: 2017 Ford GT [Video]

Ford is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first Le Mans win with a 600-horsepower supercar.

Putting an end to a long-standing rumor, Ford has traveled to the Detroit Motor Show to introduce a new heir to the GT40 race car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four consecutive times in the 1960s.

Called GT, the coupe features a sleek, low-slung design that is visibly inspired by both the original Ferrari-punching GT40 and the 21st GT that was sold in 2005 and 2006. The front fascia is characterized by a carbon fiber splitter, a large air duct with mesh inserts and two large vents flanked by full LED headlights. Additional ducts located behind the doors help cool the engine.

The back end of the GT is just as aggressive as the front thanks to two massive round exhaust tips, an active spoiler and a large air diffuser. Retro-styled round tail lamps create a visual link between the GT and its predecessors. All told, the GT is one of the most muscular-looking Fords ever built.

The aerodynamic body hides a passenger cell crafted out of carbon fiber and a pair of aluminum sub-frames, a setup that keeps both weight and fuel economy in check.

Accessed via doors that open upwards, the cockpit boasts a Formula 1-inspired twin-spoke flat-bottomed steering wheel, a fully digital and configurable instrument cluster, Ford's all-new Sync 3 infotainment system and large shift paddles. The seats are integrated directly into the carbon fiber passenger cell, meaning that their position cannot be adjusted. Instead, the driver can electronically adjust the steering wheel and the pedals, a setup also found on none other than the Ferrari LaFerrari.

The GT is powered by a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that generates over 600 horsepower thanks in part to a port/direct dual fuel-injection system. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle, though performance specifications have not been published yet. Massive carbon ceramic brakes hidden behind 20-inch alloy wheels help bring the GT to a stop.

The next Ford GT will go on sale as a 2017 model late next year to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford's first-ever win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It is one of at least 12 Ford Performance vehicles scheduled to debut by the year 2020.

Le Mans Comeback?While the 2005-2006 GT was exclusively a street car, rumors indicate that the new model will spearhead Ford's return to big-league endurance racing and go head-to-head against Chevrolet, Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari, Ford's original arch enemy.

Live Images by Brian Williams.

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