Drive Type: rwd
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
XCAR has put together what it believes is a first - a drag race between Ford's legendary, Le Mans-winning GT40, the more recent GT supercar it inspired and the little-known GT70 rally car. The three mid-engined monsters were all built for very different purposes, and not surprisingly, they come to battle with very different powertrains.
The GT40 is powered by a thumping, naturally aspirated V8. This example, which looks like a Mark IV model, is likely powered by a 7.0-liter engine, although it's not entirely clear how much power it's putting down. The GT70, meanwhile, was Ford's response to the Lancia Stratos. Considering that the Lancia is one of the greatest rally cars in history and many of you are probably just hearing of the GT70 for the first time, you can imagine how much success Ford had with it. Only six were produced before a change in regulations doomed this mid-engined rally car.
The Ford GT, meanwhile, doesn't really need an introduction. 550 horsepower is on offer from a 5.4-liter, supercharged V8, which keeps the GT competitive even against more modern supercars. 60 miles per hour arrives in well under four seconds while the top speed sits at 212 mph. Not bad for a car that went out of production in 2006.
With Ford and General Motors both announcing an end to production in Australia, the country's auto industry is in a bad way. With the exit of two big players, there's increased concern that a third Australian manufacturer, Toyota, will be forced out, as well.
"We are saddened to learn of GM Holden's decision. This will place unprecedented pressure on the local supplier network and our ability to build cars in Australia," Toyota Australia said in a statement. The GM closure of Holden production will be the direct end to 2,900 jobs, but will also force a dramatic reduction in the size of the country's supplier network, as there will simply be fewer cars to build.
In the same statement, Toyota Australia said it would work with suppliers and local government to figure out whether continuing production Down Under was even feasible. According to Automotive News, a representative for the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union told reporters it was "highly likely" that Toyota would also close up shop within the next few years.
Alan Mulally isn't going anywhere... at least not just yet. The CEO who helped turn around Ford Motor Company has been linked to the top job at tech behemoth Microsoft, leading to a flurry of rumors about potential successors. Those rumors, though, may have just been put to rest - at least for a little while.
Speaking to Edsel Ford II (great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford) at the unveiling of the new Mustang, Automotive News Europe confirmed that Mulally would stick around until the end of next year. "Alan is staying through the end of 2014 and that's all I know," said Ford. "Frankly, he has told us that his plan is to stay with Ford through the end of 2014."
Presuming that Edsel Ford is correct and that Microsoft isn't so hot on Mulally that it saves the position for him, it seems increasingly likely that the 68-year-old exec is more interested in continuing to work in Dearborn rather than in Redmond.