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

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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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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WallMeerkat 29 August 2017

The mk1 Fabia VRS also had a

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.

TS7 23 June 2017

Of similar note...

...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.
k12479 22 June 2017

The GT40 was not powered by

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.
James Attwood 23 June 2017

Hi k12479, yup - quite right

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!