Two Porsches of Power

Prototypes: Ford looks into the past and sees the supercar of the future.

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The Ford GT40 is back, at least in prototype form.

The original Ford GT40 was born of spite. When Enzo Ferrari rejected Henry Ford II's buyout overture in 1963, Ford vowed to hit the Italian automaker where it hurt the most: at the racetrack. The resulting 500-horsepower GT40 supercar utterly dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1966 to 1969.

Now it's back, at least in prototype form. Ford's stylists didn't stray far from the original design, simply adding some length and height. Like the original, it's propelled by a midmounted V8 engine that delivers two Porsche Boxsters' worth of horsepower. Ford won't release performance numbers, but
a rep promises that the
new GT40 "wouldn't have
any trouble defending its Le Mans honor."

The best part for automotive enthusiasts: Because the working concept is built mostly from off-the-shelf parts, production is a real possibility.

FORD GT40: UNDER THE SKIN

Engine: The supercharged 5.4-liter V8, similar to the one in Ford's face-bending F-150 Lightning sport truck, is good for 500 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque-comparable to the big-block 7.0-liter in the original.

Chassis: An aluminum frame with a central backbone carries the structural load; the body is made from featherweight carbon composites.

Suspension: Horizontal springs and shocks permit a lower body profile.
Interior: Other than a ventilated seat and a CD player, there are no frills here-not even power windows. There's enough cargo room for . . . nothing.