700+ horsepower, 250mph top speed, V12 engine and…triangles?
In the 90s, Ford made one of their best concept cars ever and had the audacity to shelf it!
The GT90 was created to plan for the successor to the legendary GT40 race car, which is a rather hard legacy to live up to. That being said, the GT90 appeared to be more than capable of filling the shoes of such an automotive icon thanks to the many impressive aspects of its design.
First of all, the GT90 concept made for a truly stunning car in the 90s and even today, the aesthetic of this supercar still looks modern, innovative and pleasing to look at. Perhaps the rather obtuse triangular rear lights let it down slightly but apart from that, the overall silhouette of this car and its curves and edges made for a truly beautiful car.
To understand the purpose of the GT90 one must understand the motoring industry in the 90s. There was a slight obsession with top speed. The record was set in the 80s by the Porsche 959 and in the 90s, a handful of elite manufacturers were aiming to beat it. The Ferrari F40, Jaguar XJ220, Bugatti EB110 SS and McLaren F1 all had somewhat of a focus on top speed and Ford created the GT90 with top speed in mind as well.
Powered by a 5.9-litre quad-turbo V12, the GT90 was due to produce a whopping 720 horsepower, a figure that the famous test car unfortunately never achieved due to the turbos being bypassed. The V12 was a Frankenstein-like creation, made from a combination of two Ford V8s that had two cylinders removed.
At the time, Ford was working with Jaguar and in doing so was able to base the GT90 upon the XJ220 base, using its suspension, chassis and gearbox. Even though Ford would save money by borrowing parts from the XJ220, the company’s SVT division had a budget of only $3 million to research and develop this would-be hypercar.
If it were successful and the team could get the turbos working without breaking the rest of the car, the GT90 was set to be capable of 0-60mph in just 3.1 seconds and potentially, more importantly, achieve a top speed of 253mph. If this theorised top speed was true, it would have been as fast as the Bugatti Veyron, a car that wasn’t launched until ten years later.
Alas, we all know how this story ends – sadly, the GT90 never made it to production despite its good looks and ambitious performance. Some theorise that they never got the turbos to work with the rest of the car or that if they did, that kind of power would put excessive strain on the other components. In the end, what was meant to be the successor to the GT40 faded out of existence and only lived on in the capacity of games like Need For Speed 2, where players could experience the monstrous power of the Ford 90s supercar that never came to be.
Let us know your thoughts on the GT90, in the comments.
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