The big #FordNAIAS reveal: GT, F-150 Raptor, Mustang Shelby GT350R


(UPDATED WITH PHOTOS) Some of us have yet to change our calendars to reflect the new year, but many next-generation vehicles have already emerged at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan. Among them are three performance offerings from Ford, which are likely to make it into every car nut's wishlist: the new GT, the F-150 Raptor, and the Mustang Shelby GT350R.

The Ford GT is definitely a looker; it's one of the flashiest pieces of metal we've laid eyes on. And to think we just came from the now-concluded 2015 International CES [Consumer Electronics Show] in Las Vegas, Nevada.

We're convinced the rear-wheel supercar is as fast as it stunning, featuring a faster, 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine that delivers more than 600 horsepower (compared to its predecessor's 550-horsepower engine) and a body made of aluminum alloy, carbon fiber, and other lightweight materials. It's got vertical doors, too, to go with its aggressive, supposedly aerodynamic looks.

Inside, the GT, similar to other Ford vehicles in the premium segment, is equipped with the improved Sync 3 infortainment system, which is backed by BlackBerry's QNX platform and offers a simpler, more intuitive way of handling turn-by-turn navigation and other in-car features.

The Ford F-150 Raptor off-road pickup retains the grille of the existing 2015 F-150, which, by the way, won North American Truck of the Year. However, it improves on the latter under the hood with a 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V8 engine that produces 436 horsepower and a steel-frame body that sheds more than 500 pounds in curb weight.

It comes with manual paddle shifters for the 10-speed transmission that allows you to select six driving modes, including mud, snow, and street. The phrase "pickup on steroids" comes to mind when we think of the F-150 Raptor. 

Last but certainly not the least is the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R, a stripped-down (to the very basics), track-ready Mustang with a license to hit the road.

With a 5.2-liter V8 engine that delivers massive amounts of horsepower (more than 500, we're told) and torque (400 pound-feet), it's decidedly one of the most impressive street-legal race cars ever built. Unfortunately, the GT350R's capabilities come at the expense of comfort, as almost everything that didn't make the car perform better has been dropped from the feature set, the air conditioning and audio system included.

The GT and F-150 Raptor are scheduled to begin production in 2016 and will hit showrooms in the same year. The Shelby GT350R, on the other hand, will go on sale later this year in limited quantities. Neither of the new Ford models will come cheap given their fancy build materials and high-end specifications.

Disclosure: Ford Motor Company paid for our travel and accommodations at the three-day NAIAS Digital Summit. We were not compensated in any other manner for our time. The opinions posted here are our own.

Got questions? Tweet us at @aloraguerrero.


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