A Tale of Two GTs: 2005 Ford GT vs. 2017 Ford GT Comparison

Does the new GT capture the spirit of the old GT? Or does it ring in a new era, with an old nameplate?

1y ago

The Ford GT is a vehicle that, for the most part, I had completely forgotten about. The second generation GT from the mid-2000s came out when I was too young to actually notice it, and the new GT has fallen into the back of my mind behind newer and more interesting vehicles.

That isn't to say that I don't like the GT, far from it, it's just that if you don't see a vehicle talked about online that much following its launch, and you can't see one on your daily commute, it's easy to forget that it exists.

That is truly a shame too, because the new GT is truly spectacular, and seeing it carve up Goodwood this past year was incredible, but there are several reasons that the new GT is better, but simultaneously worse than its previous generation. Let's dive in, shall we?

We start with the styling, the new GT shares a side profile with the GTs of old, but when you look at it from the front and the rear, the futuristic styling shows decades of improvements to aerodynamics and more modern innovations. Air can travel under the flying buttresses which helps to provide more downforce, while new air intakes help keep the engine cool and channel more air through the car, instead of around the car.

Performance is truly mind-boggling in the new GT. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 in the new GT is similar to the one in the Raptor, except the GT comes with bigger turbochargers and unique camshafts as well as a bunch of other go-fast bits. While the turbocharged engine doesn't make the same sort of pure American sound as the 5.4-liter Supercharged V8 in the 2005 GT, the 3.5-liter makes 100 more horsepower and 50 more lb-ft of torque. The newer GT also manages to be 100 pounds lighter than the previous generation GT.

While these cars share a name, their purposes were entirely different.

The 2005 GT was designed to pay homage to the iconic GT40s of the 1960s. The 2005 GT captured the spirit of the old GTs while looking nearly identical to the first generation GT. Modern amenities were crammed into the interior thanks to Ford's vast parts bin (Doug DeMuro will be the first to remind you that the Focus ZXW and the GT share keys), but that made the GT easy to live with on a day-to-day basis, despite many of them now sitting in air-conditioned garages slowly appreciating in value, as opposed to being driven.

The new GT was designed to go back to Le Mans and beat Ferrari at their own game...again, and it did. The new GT was purpose focused, and the only reason a road car was made was for homologation purposes. The new GT also had a relatively long list of asterisks that came with ownership, like the fact that prospective buyers had to write to Ford explaining why they should own one, and then Ford prevented customers from selling their GTs during the first year of ownership, which meant that this forbidden fruit would continue to remain forbidden for quite some time to come.

In short, both of these vehicles harness an energy that is equal parts exotic and American at the same time. I imagine that the mid-engine Corvette will have a similar feeling. Then again, there aren't a lot of mid-engined American cars that were produced in any large enough quantity to compare it to. The Ford GT continues to amaze and impress the racing enthusiasts on the track while showing exotic manufacturers that American automakers are capable of so much more than burning rubber and straight line performance.

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Comments (20)

  • One has a glorious sounding V-8 and the other a V-6 that sounds like it came out of a 79 Chevy Citation with a fouled plug...

      1 year ago
    • I don’t think the V6 sounds that bad and no it’s not a supercharged 5.8L V8, but it still is amazing since it doesn’t look out of the ordinary next to hypercars even though from a factory purchase standpoint at $400,000 us. And you can’t deny how...

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        1 year ago
    • I agree, the V8 sounds much better but in the new GT, if you get the sport exhaust, it sounds pretty damn good, not a V8 but better than a lot of other V6 cars

        1 year ago
  • Good stuff, if you ever find yourself in Detroit/Dearborn for some unfortunate reason stop by the Henry Ford museum and check out the new next to the old.

      1 year ago
    • I live only a few minutes away from it, love going there especially to see the automotive exhibits, there's now a c7r there too.

        1 year ago
    • Nice! I was lucky enough to go to a wedding reception there, it was completely empty. Hoping to go back when it’s warm enough to see the village.

        1 year ago
  • Completely agree with the writer of this article, great work my friend👍🏼 open your arms a little wider and you'll fall in love with the new gt for sure😉😂

      1 year ago
  • A car love affair is emotional. Part of that is going to be based on what feelings and memories that the car may evoke or remind one of. While the newer car is beautiful and an awesome performer in its own right, the older model has the looks needed to remind us of the history of the marque. I much prefer the older model it because of my long time emotional attachment to the GT40 and its history. If I was younger, and did not have an emotional attachment to the early models, as a fan of the car and it’s drivers, perhaps I would feel differently.

      1 year ago
  • It makes sense that the Ford has slipped off your radar. The super / hyper car category is packed with so many different players it’s difficult to keep up. The Brabham suffers from the same problem. Awesome car lost in the shuffle.

      1 year ago