We know the Ford GT is fast. It’s also exclusive, with the Blue Oval holding a very small production run each year for the next three years. In fact, Ford only managed to make 138 of its planned 250-unit run for 2017, though the company pledges to keep going until all 1,000 cars – the total number Ford will build – are done.
Of course, we know the Ford GT makes 647 horsepower (482 kilowatts) from its potent 3.5-liter biturbo V6, but does it really? DragTimes took a new Ford GT with 600 miles on the odometer to the dyno to find out, and well, the numbers were underwhelming. However, there’s a bit more to it than just that.
Ford’s advertised horsepower figure for the GT is measured at the crankshaft, so by the time the power gets to the wheels there will be some driveline loss. In a modern mid-engine rear-wheel drive car like the Ford GT that loss is estimated to be between 10 and 15 percent, which means a healthy GT should make between 582 hp (434 kW) and 550 hp (410 kW) at the rear wheels.
Ordinarily we’d leave the video to present the dramatic conclusion, but we’ll save you some time by saying the best number this car put down was just 525 hp (391.5 kW) to the tire. Given how few GTs are in public hands, dyno figures for comparison are hard to come by but even still, this number suggests roughly 620 hp (462 kW) from the engine – quite a bit less than what Ford advertises. Before the rumor bandwagon starts up about underpowered GTs, however, know that there are several explanations to be considered that could easily account for the difference.
For starters, dyno numbers can vary depending on the kind of equipment used. The video suggests this setup generally reads low, and when corrected to match Dynojet systems – a popular platform for measuring power – the number was considerably higher and within the expected Ford GT range. Also, this dyno had the rear roller linked to the front roller so all four wheels could turn. In other words, the dyno itself could’ve been experiencing “driveline loss.” There’s also atmospheric conditions, engine temperatures, and a whole mess of other variables that can contribute to varying readings. The video explains all this towards the end.
Still, with these cars slowly getting into the hands of owners, it will be interesting to see what other Ford GTs register on the rolling road.