Some of the most glorious models in the history of automobile manufacturing have been Fords. The mere concept of a car that anyone could own and drive was put into American reality behind the wheel of a Ford Model T, and innovation has been the brand’s hallmark in each subsequent model. As a car “for the people,” many people associate Ford with some of its more practical and user-built vehicles, and there have been many. The Ford Taurus sedan, for example, was one of the most sought-after vehicles in the US for decades. Today, drivers continue to flock to their used Ford dealer to find pre-owned models that have since been discontinued, like the Fusion or Focus. Ford’s lineup of SUVs and trucks––including the best-selling F-series pickup truck––are some of the most widely-known vehicles on the road today.
But not all drivers are looking for the same care as “the people.” There are certain drivers who are looking for a bit more than your average acceleration, who care less about cargo room and more about RPMs. It may seem that the performance driver is being shut out of regular production vehicles, with increasing focus placed on SUVs, crossovers, and even electric vehicles. For these people, Ford would like to issue a kind reminder that they are still very much interested in performance-based vehicles.
While it’s true that most drivers don’t need an intense amount of horsepower and torque to run errands, there are still many drivers who want to feel the Gs and blast through a quarter mile from time to time. Ford is happy to assist with a lineup of performance vehicles that include the world-famous GT and Mustang, as well as a surprisingly spirited pair of SUVs that got something extra in the production line. We’re going to focus on some of the most recent versions of these models so you can get a feel for where their power tops out at, but you won’t be disappointed with models from years past.
Behind the Wheel of the Ford GT
To be fair, the Ford GT isn’t exactly the kind of vehicle you can request from your local used Ford dealer. It is, by all definitions, a race car, as evidenced by its impressive track record, including several Le Mans wins among its credentials. There are, however, some GT models that are street-legal. In fact, there were exactly 1,350 street-legal GTs produced in 2022. With a price tag well over the half-million dollar mark, it’s not exactly a car “for the people,” but rather a car “for the people who are invested in performance.”
On that front, it surely delivers. Equipped with a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine, the 2022 Ford GT model kicks out a lively 660 horsepower as it cruises towards its top speed of 216 miles per hour. In fact, speed is the name of the game for the GT, with a fully engineered system designed to keep things cool while the engine heats up, including gallery-cooled pistons and integrated airflow patterns within its structure that keep the intercoolers chilled out and ready for high speed, high temperature runs at the track.
The exterior is a study in aerodynamics, with curves, slopes, and vents in all the right places to direct airflow for less resistance and more cooling power. Exposed carbon fiber accents don’t just look cool––they’re doing the job.
And now the bad news: 2022 is the final year of production for the GT. Will it be easy to find pre-owned models going forward? No. Will it be worth it? Well…does a supercar go fast?
The Fastest Mustang on the Range
The Ford Mustang might be an obvious choice as a performance car, but many drivers forget that there are several different Mustang models. Base models traditionally come with a fast, but not supercar fast engine. The 2022’s base model––the EcoBoost Fastback––includes a 2.3L EcoBoost engine that’s good for 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. That’s very admirable, but what if you were looking for something truly impressive?
In that case, perhaps the Predator is more your style. “Predator” is the nickname given to the supercharged 5.2L V8 engine that has been bestowed upon the 2022 Mustang Shelby GT500. Good for a whopping 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque, this engine makes the voyage from a standstill to a 60 mile per hour gallop in just 3.6 seconds. As a result, it has stood up to some pretty fierce top-shelf competitors at the track and sped away the victor.
Interestingly enough, the Mustang Shelby GT500 is a four-seater by design, though the addition of the Carbon Fiber Track Pack removes the rear seat and throws leather-trimmed RECARO sport seats in the front to help the driver and front passenger absorb some of the force that comes with rapid acceleration, blazing fast turns, and the use of the giant Brembo brakes that help keep things under control. The Mustang Shelby GT500 isn’t exactly the type of vehicle you drive to the grocery store, but maybe you should, if only to see if you can get home before the ice cream melts.
Who Knew an SUV Could Be a BA?
When we think of SUVs, we generally think about larger vehicles that can tow small loads, with seating that can be reconfigured to transport all sorts of cargo. We don’t typically think of 400 horsepower, and yet, that’s the type of power the 2021 Ford Explorer ST proudly supplies its drivers. Thanks to its twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6, the Explorer ST trim calmly takes drivers and up to 87.8 cubic feet of cargo for a very fast ride with 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. Not bad for a three-row SUV.
The 2021 Explorer ST is not the only power-SUV you might find at a used Ford dealership. An ST version of the Ford Edge topped out the 2022 trims. With a 2.7L twin-turbocharged V6 engine, the Edge ST isn’t quite as nimble as its cousin but still manages a pleasant 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque for those who crave Mustang-level performance with mid-size SUV space.
Ford Knows About Fast
It may be tempting to think of Ford as the manufacturer of nice, reliable vehicles that are great for the daily commute, road tripping, and running errands. To be fair, they do a great job of manufacturing vehicles for the people, but there’s another side of Ford––a side that craves power, that growls under the hood and waits for its driver to hit the track and hammer down.
Perhaps it is the performance side of Ford that really proves that it’s a car “for the people.” Some people have a long daily commute. Some people need an extra-tough work truck. Some people need to know they can take their Ford off the road and through any terrain. And some people need to hit the track and let the horses show off their unbridled power.
For these drivers, Ford has a few solid options. While the GT and Mustang Shelby GT500 might not be the easiest cars to find, they are out there, waiting for a driver like you to take them through their paces. If a supercar simply isn’t in the cards right now, don’t forget about the performance-oriented ST vehicles, which take the daily commute to new levels, gas pedal first.