Currently reading: Crazy cars that went from race track to road - in pictures
The stunning Ford GT is a road-going version of a race car. Check out some of the other mighty 'homologation specials' that hit the road
James Attwood, digital editor
2 mins read
22 June 2017

As Matt Prior detailed in his in-depth review, the new Ford GT was conceived by the firm as a vehicle that could win the GTE Pro class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. To meet the rules of the class, that meant building a road car version.

And what a road car – a £420,000, 647bhp technical marvel, as you can see in this video.

Of course, the Ford GT is not the first race car to be turned into a road car in a bid to outfox the rulemakers. Far from it: as long as there have been race or rally categories that are supposedly for race-tuned versions of road cars, manufacturers have tried to gain a competitive edge by producing all sorts of 'homologation specials' - effectively racing cars that are reverse-engineered into road-legal examples.

These include outlandish GT cars based on the likes of the Porsche 911 GT1 and BMW M3 GTR. Track-based touring cars include the Alfa Romeo 155 Silverstone and Ford Sierra RS Cosworth. And there are homologation rally specials such as the Peugeot 206 GT and the mighty Ford Escort Cosworth.

We've picked out some of our favourites - check them out in the gallery above. And let us know your favourite homologation specials in the comments below!

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22 June 2017
Great article and a good start to the day. Good Ford Escort Cosworth with just 7,400 miles on on ebay guess how much...........£60,000. Or one with 34,000 on £50,000


22 June 2017
A friend of mine had probably the lowest mileage Escort Cosworth in the country - 2,500 miles from new having had an annual trip to the Main dealer for service and MOT all its life and stored in a carcoon...actually better than new, the car sold for £65k.
Good investment!

22 June 2017
Some manufacturers talk about their cars, including some current and forthcoming hypercars, giving customers the full on race car experience, claiming they're as close to a Formula One car for the road. Around 20 years ago Porsche, Mercedes, Nissan and Toyota went one better than that with their GT1 class cars for sportscar racing which were sports-prototypes, purpose built race cars that spawned road going versions to satisfy rules. Now those cars gave customers the full on, proper race car feel as they were genuine race cars for the road. Albeit with the odd creature comfort.

22 June 2017
The GT40 was not powered by an engine derived from that of the Lotus Indy car, that was a unique OHC engine, it was powered by small block, and later big block, engines from Ford's road cars. The Porsche 917 has also been missed out, the point at which race cars and road cars arguably really diverged from each other.

23 June 2017

Hi k12479, yup - quite right on the GT40 engine. Not quite sure where my brain went with that, but I've corrected now. As for the 917: not missed out so much as this was a mere selection of a far wider group. Plenty more out there, but felt we should have some to either add into this piece over time, or to do as a sequel feature!



23 June 2017
...was the rear wheel drive Mondeo powered by a version of the 2.5l V6 reduced to 2.0l that competed in the BTCC. A parts bin special that never saw a public highway.

29 August 2017

The mk1 Fabia VRS also had a similar long bumper to the 206 to meet the WRC regulations of the mid 2000s.

The Alfa changed BTCC forever, Volvo had to back out their estate 850 as it couldn't easily mount a rear spoiler. Somehow with the current generation of vertically tailgated hatchbacks, they've actually found a way, and Subaru now race an estate car. Somehow though the early 90s BTCC seemed more relatable to the average motorist, with "stock" models of repmobiles than the current almost-sillouette heavily bodykitted hatchbacks.

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