Every manufacturer of state-of-the-art sports cars hopes people might think it of their latest flyer — but in 1995 Ford actually said it about theirs. Yes, according to the proud producer the Ford GT90 was the world’s mightiest supercar’. No question.
Mind you, nobody was able to test that bold claim, because this was a concept car never intended for Main Street. Admittedly, the geometric two-seater unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show looked the part. It had to, jumping aboard a wagon that all manufacturers suddenly wanted to ride — stardom in burgeoning electronic road-racer games like Gran Turismo and Need for Speed.
This sensational car was all glass and angles, looking like a hexagon in profile — albeit with just a hint of curvature to the cabin top and long engine cover. This was the ultimate expression of Ford’s ‘New Edge’ design style, and the GT90’s rationale was at least in part to publicize a design philosophy that would soon be rolled out in assorted road cars built in Ford’s key markets.
Although very different, the GT90 built on the proud heritage of the 1960s GT40, though that was both a successful racing car and fearsome road car. There’s no doubt that the GT90 could have followed a similar path if Ford had so decided. It had a 6 litre V12 created from two Lincoln V8s by chopping a pair of cylinders off each one before welding the result together.
Four Garrett turbochargers boosted output past the 700 bhp mark. This growling power plant went into a honeycomb-section aluminium monocoque structure clad in carbon-fibre panels. The five-speed manual gearbox and independent double-wishbone suspension came from the Jaguar XJ220, then a Ford stablemate.
Was this special concept car indeed the world’s mightiest supercar’? Perhaps not, but it was an impressive contender.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
5.9 l (362 cid) V12 Quad Turbo
Top speed of 235 mph (378 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.1 secs
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
The GT90’s exhausts ran so hot that the bodywork had to be protected from heat damage by ceramic tiles similar to those used in insulating the Space Shuttle during fiery re-entry.