Ford has unveiled a 650bhp V10 retro supercar concept, tipped to replace the Ford GT when production ends in 2006. The Ford Shelby GR-1 – short for Group Racer 1 – is a re-bodied, fastback version of the brutish Shelby Cobra concept roadster that made its debut at last January’s Detroit Motor Show (right).
Like the Cobra, the GR-1 uses an alloy spaceframe, with components from the mid-engined GT adapted to a front-engine, rear-drive layout. Instead of adapting the GT’s supercharged 5.4-litre V8, however, the GR-1 shares the Shelby Cobra’s thundering 6.4-litre modular V10.
The low-slung GR-1 was designed by Greek-born George Saridakis, a former London Royal College of Art student who now works at Ford’s Advanced Design studio in Irvine, California.
Unlike the Cobra concept, which gave a modern interpretation of the classic ’60s Cobra muscle car, the GR-1 takes its cues from ’70s Italian supercars. It features a long, sculpted bonnet, low, teardrop-shaped cabin and cut-off tail. Gullwing doors set well into the roof ease entry to the two-seat cockpit.
The front is dominated by a gaping aperture and air-flow splitter that directs cooling air into the engine bay and wheelarches. The bonnet vents act as an exhaust for hot air from the radiator.