Ford released performance figures for the Ford GT today, including a top speed of 216 miles per hour. But more impressive, the Blue Oval’s 647-horsepower supercar bests the benchmarks from McLaren and Ferrari on a track. 3.1 seconds better than a Ferrari 458 Speciale, to be precise, at Calabogie Motorsports Park in Ontario, Canada.
Wait, what? Calabogie? Yes. It’s a 20-turn, 3.1-mile road course one hour west of Ottawa. We spoke with Ford Executive Vice President Raj Nair and Ford Performance Director Dave Pericak for explanation on this and other Ford GT trivia. As for the track, Nair explained that Calabogie is close to the Multimatic facility in Toronto where the GT is assembled. “It gave us a lot of opportunity to do a lot of back and forth [to the factory] without a lot of travel time…and that was the best place to get an apples-to-apples comparison,” he said.
The numbers, for the sake of posterity, we obtained with the same driver using fresh tires and a full tank of gas on all three cars in identical conditions, according to Ford. The resulting laps times were Ford GT, 2:09.8; McLaren 675LT, 2:10.8; Ferrari 458 Speciale, 2:12.9. Sure, but who besides Ford uses Calabogie as a benchmark? Nair continued, “we’ve run the car and the competitive vehicles at other tracks, not necessarily in the final configuration and not necessarily with apples-to-apples numbers with fresh tires and the same driver.”
Asked whether the Ford GT would produce similar results on benchmark tracks such as the Nurburgring Nordschleife, Virginia International Raceway, or Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Nair responded with certainty: “Absolutely.”
Another notable point of the press release is Ford’s claim that the GT has a dry weight of 3,054 pounds. Dry weight is the alternative fact of the automotive world, in that it has no bearing on reality. Technically it refers to a car’s curb weight with no fluids whatsoever, which is almost impossible to prove and can differ greatly from the rolling curb weight. When pressed, Nair said the “race car dry” (filled with all fluids and ready to drive but without fuel) weight of the GT is 3,173 pounds. This figure is used to eliminate different fuel tank capacities when comparing weights.