By Jesse Snyder, Crain News Service
DETROIT (March 2, 2015) — He's not yet taking orders from Jay Leno for the Ford GT and GT350R, but Dave Pericak still has a full plate.
The director of Ford Performance related some juicy details to a rapt Automotive Press Association audience Feb. 27 at the Detroit Athletic Club, fleshing out what the December consolidation of Ford Motor Co.'s various racing and performance operations means for go-fast enthusiasts.
Mr. Pericak talked mostly about structure but, yes, he dropped a trail of product crumbs along the way.
• Ford brand will keep racing.
• Lincoln won't start.
• Jay Leno “and others” have called about buying the Ford GT supercar that goes on sale in 2016 and the GT350R. Ford isn't taking orders yet but will soon for the GT350R.
• The low-volume Ford GT supercar will be “a very manual assembly, a labor-intensive process,” Mr. Pericak said.
• Ford's next-gen Raptor with 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and 10-speed transmission will be 500 pounds lighter because of its aluminum body. But the hottest version of the F-150 pickup won't be sold outside North America. “The Mustang was designed with [international] homologation in mind,” said Mr. Pericak, who previously was chief engineer of the 2015 Mustang. “The Raptor wasn't.”
• Mr. Pericak twice dodged questioners who asked which class the GT would compete in at Le Mans. “I didn't say we would race the GT at Le Mans,” he said, smiling.