5 Drive Modes Optimize Ford GT Performance for Every Condition from Racing to Rain to Straight-Line Speed
Here’s how they work
Five driving modes eh?
Correct. Stump up the requisite amount of cash for a brand new Ford GT and – after a bit of a wait – not only will you get a 638bhp (647PS) 3.5-litre V6, a healthy dollop of torque (550lb ft) and the cachet of owning a car that won its class at Le Mans, you’ll also get modes. Many modes. Each tailored for a specific set of circumstances. One makes the wing do a very, very cool dance. One will allow you – where allowed – to hit its claimed top speed of 216mph. All will make your brain do funny things.
To be honest, you don’t need a degree in engineering to understand what each mode does because it’s all fairly self-explanatory. But you want to know exactly what each one does, right? RIGHT?
Normal mode keeps the GT, um, normal
If a 638bhp, carbon-fibre 216mph supercar can be classified as ‘normal’. Select this mode on the dial, and the GT’s ground clearance is set to 120mm (helpful when negotiating speed bumps, potholes and such), while the accelerator and gearbox are both configured for ‘standard’ driving (ie, when your undergarments are not on fire). Interestingly, in this mode, the traction and stability controls can’t be altered. Launch control is available, however…
The rear wing automatically adjusts for aero over 90mph and stows again at 81mph, though it still activates whenever you slam the brakes hard (it acts as an air brake).
You can also press the ‘Comfort’ button, which changes the damper compression and rebound (ie, makes it softer).
Wet mode helps when it’s really wet
Select this on the dial and you get all the default settings of ‘Normal’, but the accelerator’s sensitivity is further adjusted to deal with the slipperiness of the road condition. So it’s less hair-trigger, because not everyone has the pedal sensitivity of an F1 driver.
Unsurprisingly, launch control is not available, you hoon, stability controls are active and cannot be deactivated, and you get the same wing setup as before.
Sport mode starts to make things interesting
Now we’re talking. In this mode, the V6 gets anti-lag, which – as in the Le Mans GT – keeps the turbos spinning to make sure you’re never off boost. Meaning more power, more of the time. Goody.
The stability and traction control systems are also unchained, meaning you get three additional settings within this setting to slide around. The Comfort button available on the Normal and Wet modes is deactivated, though ground clearance remains at 120mm. The rear wing is also active at over 70mph here.
The net effect? A generally more aggressive setup to both the acceleration (faster) and gear changes (faster). You can use this at most tracks, if you wish, but if you want a dedicated setup just for the track, you’ll need…
Track mode, which is designed for tracks
The ride height drops by 50mm. Spring rates and dampers are pushed to their hardest, firmest settings. The rear wing engages – like this – and the aero flaps at the front close for maximum downforce. Engage your favoured ‘for sure’ face here.
“This mode is for track use only,” Ford helpfully explains. “Even coming from Sport, control is significantly different. Dramatically so. In this mode, every aspect of the car is optimised for track use.”
V-Max mode is for when you want to hit v-max
You get the same ride height as Track mode – ie, 50mm lower than Normal – but all the stability controls are ON, and aero elements are stowed to minimise drag. Because of course, you only want to go in a straight line. It’s only accessible once you’ve got the car in park, too.
So, find an empty airfield, park it, select V-Max, kiss your lucky egg, floor it and hold on tight. 216mph – or as near to that as your bravery allows – is but a flex of your ankle away…