Look at it this way: GTE regulations have this thing called the Balance of Performance (BoP). It’s designed to equalise the top speeds of the cars and keep the competition fairer. And while the GT makes 647bhp in road trim, the BoP limits the GT’s power to less than 500bhp as a racing car.
Yet it still wins. If the GT’s boost was allowed to be turned up fully, it’d be closer in speed to an LMP car than the rest of the GTE category. Of course, it would. Because it’s a flipping racing car. If I were racing an Aston GTE car, I might be a bit miffed.
What that also means, though, is that there’s an inordinate amount of technical goodness to get immeasurably excited about. Would a pure road GT car be given a carbonfibre dashboard that is a structural component and also channels ventilation air through it?
Would it get fixed seats with pedals that move instead, via a fabric pull strap? Would it be given a rear wing that not only moves up and down but also has a movable lower edge so that, in some positions, it makes lots of downforce but, in others, reduces drag?
Would they make the suspension’s lower arms so long, and fit pushrods with inboard springs and dampers, to clear as much of the underbody as possible of mounting points so they could work on the aerodynamics?
And don’t get me started on the suspension itself. Actually, do: there are two springs at each corner, a coil spring and a torsion bar. That this two-height suspension system that uses both springs in normal mode. But if you put it into Track mode, the coil spring is compressed and locked out hydraulically, but dropping the car 50mm to a 70mm ride height, whereupon the spring rate doubles.
When I say the suspension ‘drops’, oh man, does it ever drop. You might have seen or felt a supercar’s nose lift gently via an electronic motor, or an air-sprung 4x4 rise as its chambers are pressurised.
None of that nonsense here: you switch to Track mode, or push the nose lift, and in the time it takes to say ‘pssht’, so the GT has dropped or lifted, like a race car being hoiked on its air jacks. It’s mega. Too unrefined for a conventional road car, no doubt, but mega nonetheless.
It’s powered by a pump that also moves various spoilers and feeds the hydraulically assisted steering, which, once you’ve found yourself a decent driving position – the scuttle is low and so is the roof, so you don’t feel dropped on the ground in here – is pleasingly hefty in weight, and calm at 2.5 turns between locks.
Opening up the Ford GT’s sizeable taps
Turn the plastic dial to D – one of many interior plastics that would be too shonky for a Ford city car, let alone a luxury grand tourer – and tickle away. The engine is audible and the stiff passenger cell acts as an echo chamber for road noise – so far, so racing car – but the ride is just astonishingly comfortable.
Now, that’s the sort of thing that gets written about sports cars sometimes. I’ve said it about Lotuses and McLarens, and they are really very pliant indeed, until you step back into a Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
But they have nothing on the GT, which has a level of composure – that balance between ride and handling – that I’m not sure I’ve better experienced in 20 years of road testing. It’s so compliant, yet there’s so little roll, and body movements are so well controlled, that is genuinely astonishing.