We visit the secret Ford GT design studio

We visit the secret Ford GT design studio


When we went on a Ford-sponsored trip to the 2016 Detroit Auto Show a couple of weeks ago, we took a detour at some point for a guided tour of the formerly-secret design studio for the upcoming Ford GT supercar.

Hidden away in the basement of the company’s Research & Development facility in Michigan, we had to walk through some sort of warehouse-like storage area to get to it. The studio has become a bit of a tourist attraction, but not for the general public of course.

Craig Metros, Exterior Design Director, says that only a handful of Ford employees even knew that the project existed. Clearly the secrecy paid off, as it became the star of the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, a year ago. It debuted as a surprise in near-production form, rather than being teased as a concept for almost a decade and becoming stale, as was the fate that had befallen the Acura NSX at that same show. Inspiration came from a board that had photos of everything from birds to planes, including fighter jets, space shuttles, race cars, the original Ford GT and even the LaFerrari.

Garen Nicoghosian, Exterior Design Manager, showed us around various iterations of the body styling in full-size PVC models as well as highly-detailed clay models. Mind you, only the exterior design was finalised in collaboration with the engineers by the time the car first became public, with final development still ongoing.


Bill Mangan, Interior Design Manager, tells us there was a competition among Ford’s designers to come up with a cabin for the GT, and the best ideas were chosen. Even the cabin had been carved out of clay, so we got a look at how little space the designers had to work with, having to creatively stuff electronics under every panel of the multi-layered dash.

The production Ford GT is still a few months away, but it will look pretty much like the car seen at auto shows, barring a few changes such as more realistic side-mirrors. The technical side of the car’s development was handled by a whole other engineering department, but it’s interesting to hear how much the designers fought to make the GT look like it is, and then engineering the car around that design.

The final product can be seen here.

Photos by Ford.

What do you think?



  1. The level of technology that the automotive design world has achieved far exceeds other industries…..watching the Jetsons fifty years ago I was certain that you would be landing your spaceship in your backyard somewhere…..The Auto Industry delivered….”Meet George Jetson,”

  2. looks and sounds pretty cool!

  3. The rear end of this car looks like the Angry Birds pig 😀

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