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Ford GT90

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SPEX

Year: 1995 `````````````` ````````````Type: Prototype Sports Car
 
Country: USA ``````````````````````````````````` Host: GT2
 
 
Price: Prize Car worth $600,000 per trade.

Construction: carbon-fiber & ceramic body panels, aluminum honeycomb monocoque chassis 
Length: 176.0" // Width: 77.3" // Height: 45.0"
Wheelbase: 116.0"
Overhang: 5' 0"
Track: 67.3" [F] 63.5" [R]
Maximum Ground Clearance: 3.3"
Weight: 3,201 pounds
Layout: Mid Engine / Rear Drive
Front Tires: 275/35 ZR-18
Rear Tires: 355/30 ZR-19
Suspension: double wishbone / coils / anti-roll bars
Brakes: vented discs
 
Engine: 362 cubic-inch OHC V12
Aspiration: 4 turbochargers (intercooled)
Fuel System: EFi
Valves/ Cyl: 4
Compression: 8.0:1
Tested Horsepower: 727 @ 6,500 rpm
Tested Torque:       
661 @ 4,500 rpm
Lbs. per HP: 4.40
Hp per Liter: @120
Credits / HP: $825.31
 
Redline: 6,500 // Rev Limit: @6,800
 
Transmission: 5-speed manual
 
0-60 mph: 2.872 seconds
0-100mph: 5.712 seconds
 
400 M: 10.378 @ 143 mph
1 KM: 18.974 @ 184 mph
 
Test Track: 1:20.664
 
Top Speed at Redline
1st: 57 mph
2nd: 82 mph
3rd: 121 mph
4th: 167 mph
5th: 213.51 mph at 5,900 rpm
 


 

---------------EXTERIOR / HISTORY -----------------

We can think of many cars as underdogs. The Honda Civic is a great example because we can do some magical things behind its wheel, putting cars with much larger engines and horsepower ratings at the mercy of your 1.6 liter front-drive 4. But we all know about the Civic. No surprise there. How about the Ford GT90? I like to think of it as an overpowered underdog, if that makes any sense. What I mean, it seems the GT90 has it all: a unique, aerodynamic profile, loads of power from its small block turbocharged V12, the correct tires and suspension for the job. Yup it has it all EXCEPT for one thing: customer approval.
 
Ask most anyone what's their opinion of the GT90 and 90% of the answers will sound like this: “It's lame, no handling.” “What a warthog.” and the quote of all-time: “It SUCKS”. Huh? It sucks? But but but. What about the massive rocket-like thrust? What about 700+ horsepower!! A top speed that dwarfs (or equals) some of the best? What about its one-of-a-kind styling? The novelty of driving..nearly flying in one? What's going on here? Sucks???
 
Entire THREADS have been created online, dedicated to the GT90, and how much ....it sucks! Ironically, many of the doofs that claim it sucks happen to be the same doofs who think it's cool to enter an Excuso in the Laguna Seca Enduro, then lap the drones nine times or more. “I lapped the Unica Secs SKyline dude 9 times!” Yup, that's exactly what they say. Meanwhile, they could do the same thing in a GT90. Why don't they? Maybe it's because THEY suck. Maybe it's because they don't know how to fucking drive, maybe it's because the GT90 won't accept wall-banging as a valid method of racing!
 
More intelligent sorts will provide more intelligent answers (exact wording has been changed to protect the innocent).
“The GT90? I just sell it. I did the Seattle Enduro over and over till I won it, but once I had it, I got rid of it as fast as I could. That monster is undrivable. (sic)” one fellow at GT Planet admitted.
 
Older threads at www.GranTurismoForum.com echoed the same sentiments as the newer one I just described: the Ford GT90 is a waste, but you get good money for selling it, so just sell it. You won't be able to drive it, anyways.
Here's one of my faves:
 
"Does anybody have any good settings for this ill tempered beast? Geez, I was all excited when I won it and then I drove it. What a turd. Yes it is fast but it handles terribly, I had trouble keeping the thing on the test track without spinning out. It jumps around like a Mexican jumping bean, all four corners chattering around like Joan Rivers on the E Fashion awards".
 
All this negative hype had me going for awhile. I almost believed that when I finally won my GT90, all it would do is spin around in circles with the lightest touch of fuel. So the question: is the GT90 really that bad? Let's find out.
 
One of the best websites I've found is here:{ http://www.geocities.com/frdgt90/gt90home.html } It was apparently made by a kid who's fellow Gran Turismo 2 head. Go check it out. There's lots he questions about this car: What happened to it? Why did Ford decide to give the new GT sports car a go-ahead and leave the GT90 as a one-off? Who now owns the GT90?
 
It seems at some point, the world's only example of this car was sold to an oil Sultan (who the hell else could afford one?), and sold again to Hewlett-Packard. It surfaced once or twice at a car show; but many of the real questions remain unanswered by Ford, who perhaps wish they had never created the GT90.
 
In our game, as an actual vehicle, I think the GT90 is a mixed box. Yes, it is extremely fast, but it's also heavy for a full-racing car at 3,200 pounds. We can't make it lighter; it already has full weight reductions since downforce can be changed. But the real question...can it be successful? Should I just sell it? Well, that's two questions. Damn.
 

-----------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN----------------

One of the pieces to the puzzle starts here. If you can control the GT90, trust me, you will never lose a race in GT2. Speed is this car's middle name with a capital S, and with its odd, computer-generated bodywork angles, downforce is mandatory even when minimized.
 
But in real-life, Ford apparently had some major problems with the 720 horsepower intercooled quad-turbo, which perhaps forced them to take a good look at what they were about to unleash, even though some of the zillionaires who saw the GT90 at the '95 Detroit Auto Show were just about ready to hand blanks checks over with their signature in place! Mainly, we can garner that this car had some issues with cooling. You know it's bad when designers have to resort to using NASA-approved ceramics in the production of their body panels and engine / exhaust system just to make sure it doesn't BURN UP!! “Quality is Job 1” Ford used to say years ago in their ads, and they weren't about to release a vehicle in which Safety was Job 17 or 22, get what I'm saying?
 
Perhaps Ford realized the cost of getting a GT90 on the road (which I truely believe someone at the company meant it for) would outweigh all the hazards and development costs they'd have to overcome. I mean, come on....they didn't make this car with 700 HORSEPOWER just to show off their New Edge facelift? Did they?
 
But, let's get back to our game here, folks. After all, we will never have to worry about our supercar blowing up in GT2. We will never have to worry about exhaust manifolds turning into a long trail of molten steel! Apparently, the only thing most of us have to consider is: the GT90 is one hell of a monstercar, and it IS ridiculously easy to ruin its possibilities of winning when not treated with respect.
 
And this is just what I did. Yup, I raced my GT90, ignoring all the babies who warned that I would get as far as the first corner before it's all over, and I'd wind up hopelessly spinning like a drunk at an Ashlee Simpson concert.
 
Uh...not that I'm a fan of....no really...

 

---------------CHASSIS / HANDLING----------------

Well it's true that most racers trying a GT90 will be faced with a myriad of disadvantages. One advantage is here, though: we win this vehicle. Nobody ever has to buy it. Also, all the appropriate tires, suspension parts, and a limited-slip are equipped as standard for us to use...we won't have to buy them, either. Downforce can be modified.
 
Sounds good to me, off to the tracks!
 
First, I took my GT90 to the Tuned Turbo No.1 Test Track race. I also raced it in the famous Gran Turismo All Stars at Special Stage Route 5, and then Red Rock Speedway. Uh, guess you can tell I was after a bit of money as well as a good road / race test! ;D It's been awhile since I touched this car so here's just a few tips I learned after piloting it around.
 
#1: Conserve your damn fuel! You WON'T need to be plastering the GT90 gas pedal in corners or out of them...when doing so, there goes your all your gains. The car might not spin, but the V12's torque will outdo any limited-slip action you've so carefully set up. Take it easy...leadfoots will lose.
 
#2: This is NOT a good car to attempt racing unless the driver's experienced!!! The Gran Turismo series is famous for including plenty of high-paced cars that are more ready for less experienced drivers. So try one of these, and reserve the GT90 for some day when more confidence with racing has been achieved.
 
#3: At the Test Track, downforce is overrated. And at other tracks, generally the suspension shouldn't be dialed super-stiff. Doing so guarantees lots of bouncing, skittish action, which the GT90 can't handle.
 
#4: Learn the art of countersteer. You will be using it A L O T.
 
#5: Fi fi finally...I wouldn't bother buying the $50,000 ASC stability device. It won't make any difference. TCS has a marginal effect on out-of-corner throttle response, but even this can be overcome if gears are set-up correctly (i.e., keep them wide!). Also, dialing in the limited-slip is necessary. Learn to do it now...a well-tuned limited-slip is the key to getting this car to do what's needed.
 
I can conclude with this: there is alot of truth to the rumors. This is not an easy car to race, despite its squat appearance, long wheelbase with minimal overhangs, and giant tires. There are plenty of times the GT90 ....almost wants to disappoint. It does not corner precisely and takes patience to master. It gallops at times over minor bumps a Vector M12 LM would handle with finesse. It IS as bad as they say...especially in the hands of the inexperienced.
 
But on the other hand, the GT90 is not as bad as I thought it would be. Hey, I just won three races in mine, setting lap records at the Test Track and Red Rock Speedway!!! They weren't exactly walkovers, either.
 

 
 


PROS

1). All that power back there. It can be made useful despite what ‘they’ say. Extreme acceleration...180+ mph during a race, especially when drafting. At the Tuned Turbo Test Track (Otherwise known as the TTTT), the GT90 will happily gallop past 240 mph.
 
2). The millions who hate the GT90 get $125,000 to sell it. And who bothers to ever say “thank you Ford”?
 
3). For those who are easily bored with cars that are too easy to conquer with, try a GT90. It will win any high-paced race in GT2, but you should find your skills tested to do so. This is a car of mastery.
 
4). Full-customized suspension, limited-slip, downforce, and all the racing tires are included with our Seattle Enduro win.
 
5). It's just cool-looking. I am swayed.
 

CONS

1). Too much for some to control...mostly since it's so damn heavy. This is not a nifty Toyota TSO20 or Venturi LM, guys.
 
2). Lazy tuners should get another car. The GT90 requires us to learn how to dial-in its suspension and limited-slip, in order to be successful.
 
3). Brakes cannot be set. Controlling this monster would make a HUGE difference if they could be.
 
4). Turbo lag (or perhaps poor lower-end torque) does exist here...in 3rd gear or higher, the quad-turbo V12 will struggle below 4,000 rpms. Not that drivers should be spending much time down there anyways.
 
5). Ford's so-called New-Edge style. Many think it's ugly or gross or something.
 
6). Downforce, stability control, and other aids can be employed for help to little avail. The GT90 remains difficult even as we try to assist it, while the driver has just possibly wasted $100,000 on traction & stability controls.
 
7). With many cars, an appropriate ‘Con’ would be not enough power available. In a GT90 the reverse is true--this car seems to have too much power. And we can't detune it. What would its reputation be like if we could? 
 
8). The GT90 can only be won from the Seattle Enduro, which is fine, problem is drivers will possibly have to spend time doing this race over and over, hoping not to win the Ford Escort rally car instead.
 
 

Published: March 26, 2006

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