Ford GT LM Edition: Final Farewell to Dearborn’s Le Mans-Winning Supercar

2022 Ford GT LM
All 20 editions of the Ford GT LM will be painted in Liquid Silver, with red or blue carbon fiber parts inspired by the livery of the 2016 Le Mans GTE class-winning car. Ford

Ford has been building special edition goodbyes to its exotic GT all year, and now Dearborn has unveiled the car’s swansong, the 2022 Ford GT LM Edition. Only 20 of the Liquid Silver-hued supercars will be built, but they’ll mark the end of a very successful career that began with an eye-catching introduction in 2015 and a competition version of the car that won the LM GTE (Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance) class. at the 24 Hours of LeMans in 2016.

The GT’s long association with LeMans dates back to the “total performance” era at Ford, made famous in ford vs ferrariand the original Ford GT40’s 1-2-3 finish in the 1966 race and dominance of the event through 1969.

There was a bit of that old rivalry at work in 2016, too, as the modern GT finished just ahead of Ferrari’s LM GTE entry, the 488 GTE. The driver team of Sébastien Bourdais, Joey Hand and Dirk Müller took the lead for the last time after a 20-hour clash with the Italians. A second GT placed third in its class.

2022 Ford GT LM
2022 Ford GT LM

Production of road GTs began a few months after the race, with the GT LM to conclude the 1,350-car series.

Far removed even from other high-performance Fords of its day, such as the Mustang, Focus RS and F-150 Raptor, the GT is a true supercar like those of McLaren or Ferrari. It costs half a million dollars, you have to be an “approved” customer to get one, and it’s handmade by subcontractor Multimatic, Inc. in Markham, Ontario. Multimatic has also built components and chassis for Porsche-tuner Ruf and for Aston-Martin.

This, however, is entirely consistent with the history of the car, and the GT LM is a fitting farewell.

GT40 to Ford GT

Ford first revived the famed GT40 as a retro concept in 2002, following in the footsteps of its popular Thunderbird and Forty-Nine retro concepts. The idea proved so popular that then-CEO and COO William Clay Ford decided to put the car into production. A team led by Ford veteran Camilo Pardo wrapped the thoroughly modern chassis and mechanical parts into a body that, even from 20 feet away, looked exactly like the original from the late 1960s.

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Since Ford no longer controlled the GT40 name, the new car became the GT, with its low-volume production handled by specialist builder Saleen. 4,038 of the supercars were made between 2004 and 2006, each an instant collector’s car.

2006 Ford GT
The first Ford GT, made between 2004 and 2006, was a retro machine with modern underpinnings. alex kwanton
2015 Ford GT Concept
The second-generation GT (seen here as a concept in 2015) was shaped by aerodynamic needs. alex kwanton

Unlike the high-profile concept-turned-production car of the first generation, the development process for the current GT was kept largely under wraps until it was unveiled at the 2015 Detroit show. It reinterpreted the lines of the classic GT40, but it was designed primarily with aerodynamics and with winning another race at Le Mans in mind.

According to lead designer Chris Svensson, only a dozen people had access to the design studio during the development process. Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance’s chief engineer at the time, oversaw the car’s mechanical development with top performance in mind.

Unlike the V8-powered GT40 and the first-generation GT, the current car is powered by a 660-horsepower version of Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 related to the one in the F-150 Raptor. More compact than possible V8 or V12 engines, the EcoBoost gave designers more freedom when designing both the car’s structure and aerodynamics.

The process produced a vehicle that was capable of three-second zero-to-60 sprints and eleven-second quarter-mile times and 216 mph at full throttle, but also relatively easy to drive around town, like the Acura NSX. The team also created a design that resembled the past and avoided falling into the outdated hypercar tropes of the late 2010s while still being able to win races, which was the goal from the start.

2022 Ford GT Holman Moody with 1968 Ford GT40 Holman Moody
Ford has released several retro-themed special edition GTs this year, including the Holman-Moody Heritage Edition, seen here with its 1960s ancestor in the foreground. alex kwanton

Special Editions and the GT LM

Ford originally planned to build 1,000 GTs, but the series was expanded to an additional 350 cars in 2018. GT owners are an exclusive club, but even within this small production plan, there have been nine special editions since 2017, four of them with this bow. year. Prior to the GT LM, Ford released a trio of Heritage Editions: the ’64 Prototype (27 built), the Alan Mann (30 built), and the Holman-Moody (21 built), each recalling important personalities or moments from the Ford originals. the 1960s. .

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The GT LM is intended to recall the astonishing reality of Ford winning a Le Mans class in the first serious race by a new car on the 50th anniversary of its first victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Looking for ways to commemorate that victory, the Ford production team decided to put a bit of the real racers in each GT LM. They found the dead crankshaft from the 2016 third-place car (its engine was disassembled and stored after the win), ground it to a powder and used it to create special 3D-printed badges for the instrument panel.

2022 Ford GT LM
The GT LM interiors will also have a color scheme to the 2016 racers’ livery theme. Ford
2022 Ford GT LM
This special badge is, according to Ford, 3D printed from racing engine crank pixie dust. Ford

Taking cues from the red, white and blue race car livery, the GT LM will offer buyers a unique blue or red carbon fiber finish, 20-inch exposed gloss carbon fiber wheels with corresponding red accents or blue inside the cylinder, plus Titanium lug nuts and black lacquered Brembo brake calipers. Inside, the material of the seats and the carbon fiber inserts will be the same color in red or blue. There is also a special 3D printed titanium exhaust system.

Only 20 GT LMs will be built before production ends, and the cessation of GT builds will also mean the conclusion of GT Mk II production. That track-only version of the car is aimed at racers, and only 45 units will have been built.

There don’t appear to be any public plans for a successor, but it’s entirely possible that Ford designers are working on a rear quarter in an EV GT for the future, just as several other EV Supercars appear to be in the works, including a follow-up to the NSX. from Acura.

2022 Ford GT LM
Other special touches on the GT LM include its 3D-printed titanium exhaust and 20-inch bright exposed carbon fiber wheels. Ford

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