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Ford GT 2005 Car Review�

When I approach an exotic car that can go 204 MPH with a roof line that is only as high as my belt, I have low ergonomic expectations. I'll probably get some bruising from the suspension and hopefully be distracted by the acceleration to forget how uncomfortable everything else is. I was only right about the acceleration.

The Ford GT is the remake of the 1966 Le Mans champion car called the GT40. The original GT40 was a great looking car, but this new GT has a spectacular exterior design. I'm normally quick to whine about a benign design concept, or a trunk line or the shape under the front bumper, or at least some little picky thing. But the more I looked around this car, the more admiration I have for this work of art. And the designers & engineers had to factor in stable aerodynamics at 200 MPH that would have flipped the original model on its top.

The 5.4-liter engine fills the entire back half of the car, and the supercharged V-8 produces 550 horsepower. For the performance fans: the GT's 0-to-60 time is only 3.3 seconds, and it takes only 11.6 seconds to pass a ¼-mile. The engine note is pretty plain; no NASCAR guttural tones or Formula-1 scream that I could tell; the glass partition between the interior cab and the engine deaden the sound. (From the inside you can turn your head to see a giant belt turning, to what I presume to be the superchargers).

Under the front hood is plenty of storage room for a sports car; about enough for 6 tennis balls or a pair of flip-flops, but not both at the same time! Once inside the car, you realize that the only storage is in the front trunk. There is no glove box, no side-pocket, no cup holder, but I suppose I could slide a few envelopes under my seat. But this is exactly what I want in a true sports car - all business at propelling me forward and nothing flying around the cockpit as I take big g-forces in the turns.

The interior was much more comfortable than I expected, and the black and silver knobs and dash have an edgy look to them. It has the usual big red "Start" button that many expensive cars have made popular (again), and toggle switches like a space shuttle for the rear defroster and hazard lights. The tachometer is the big dial in front of the driver and that irrelevant speedometer is off to the right, nearly next to the passenger. Don't forget to set the temperature controls before you start moving because they are under your right elbow in the center console and awkward to reach while driving.

When driving the car, the biggest surprise I had is how comfortable it takes the potholes and uneven surfaces. I've ridden in sport BMW sedans that don't ride this smoothly. The GT is easy to launch and shift, with power delivered without a noticeable spike from the superchargers. I didn't get a chance to throw the car around many corners, but the low profile and wide stance would indicate an adeptness with lateral-speed.

If you are trying to avoid attention, I can't think of a bigger mistake than being in this car. Everywhere I drove some people were staring and pointing, and at nearly every stop light, someone had a question about the car - a lot more public attraction than any other unique production car I've piloted. But for the GT most of its features are extremes, and I am very pleased that Ford has proven it can compete in the +$150,000 world market.

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