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The Henry Ford Museum is a remarkable treasure of American culture. The museum opened in 1929 in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan. The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is divided into the Indoor section and the open-air Greenfield Village. All the exhibits and items displayed in the museum are arranged in different rooms. The Greenfield Village houses several restored old buildings, including Thomas Edison’s research lab and the Wright Brothers’ airplane workshop. Each show has a detailed description given by the museum guides.
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Valuation, Hadoop, Excel, Mobile Apps, Web Development & many more.History of Henry Ford Museum
What began as a personal collection got so vast that he had to build a museum to store it. The Edison Institute, named after his idol, debuted in June 1929. It was first opened to the public in 1933 with Henry Ford Museum. The museum continues to attract Americans and now houses a vast collection of 26 million artifacts.Exhibits in the Henry Ford Museum 1. Greenfield Village
In Greenfield Village, the organizers have divided into seven outdoor zones that consist of reconstructed and restored historic buildings from various locations across the country. They relocated nearly a hundred ancient buildings from their original sites and placed them within the “village” environment of Greenfield Village. The museum’s goal is to depict how Americans have lived and worked since the nation’s birth, and the Village contains structures from the 17th to the present day.
The various exhibits here include:
Noah Webster’s Connecticut residence functioned as a hostel for Yale scholars from 1918 until 1936, when Henry Ford purchased it and relocated it to Greenfield Village, where it was renovated.
Replica of Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park research lab: They took inspiration from Edison’s New Jersey lab and commenced the restoration of the structures in 1928. The design of the buildings was based on precise foundation dimensions from the original site.
The Wright Brothers’ workshop: Henry Ford purchased and relocated the Wright Brothers’ workshop and residence from Dayton, Ohio, in 1937.
The Cape Cod Windmill: Also recognized as the Farris mill, the Cape Cod windmill is one of America’s oldest windmills. Before being given to Henry Ford by the Ford Dealers Association and restored in Greenfield Village in 1936, it underwent multiple relocations across Cape Cod.2. The Indoor Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
The exhibits here include:
Driving America: Some of the oldest American cars, including the 1865 Roper and a hybrid 2002 Prius, are displayed here.
What we wore: Witness the wide range of clothing and accessories owned by Henry Ford and the exciting stories behind every clothing item.
The museum guides at the Henry Ford Museum of Innovation dress in costumes and actively engage visitors with detailed descriptions of all the exhibits. You can also watch an 1867 baseball game, drive a Model T vehicle, or register in a one-room, 1870s-style classroom within the museum.Conclusion
The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation brings visitors face to face with America’s creativity and culture over the years. The Henry Ford Museum, a National Historic Landmark with an extraordinary collection of artifacts spanning 300 years of American history, is a driving force in stimulating curiosity and motivating the youth and tomorrow’s innovators.
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The distinctive Masaba Gupta designs draw on her eccentric and creative sense of fashion, shattering conventions with fresh and uncomplicated forms for contemporary Indian ladies. The House of Masaba is bridging the gap between Haute and Pret Couture with its anytime, anywhere ensembles. Destination wedding collections, holiday wear, party wear, and resort wear have all been added to the label’s extensive inventory, all of which feature the company’s distinctive colors, motifs, and aesthetics. These components have been included in numerous other product categories’ collaborations.
Images Coming soonBiography
Born in 1989, Masaba Gupta is renowned for mastering the fusion trend. She demonstrates the origins of a vibrant cultural identity passed down from her father, West Indian Cricketer Sir Viv Richards, and mother, Indian actress Neena Gupta. It is noteworthy that House of Masaba, her in-house, India-proud label with a Caribbean heart, fuses two diverse cultures and thoughts to transform commonplace goods into unusual themes and prints.
The company has expanded its product line throughout the years to include swimwear, menswear, fashion jewelry, accessories, and many other categories. In a well-liked collaboration with a multi-brand beauty portal, Nykaa, she has launched the Masaba by Nykaa limited edition collection, a line of unique Masaba beauty items showcasing the brand’s distinctive bold designs. Various nail polishes, perfumes, lipsticks, and other makeup necessities are included in the Masaba by Nykaa Kit. She worked with an HBO original series to launch the Masaba X GOT capsule collection, expanding her list of globally influential trendsetters. The Game of Thrones Masaba collection featured clothing for men and women as well as jewelry with designs drawn from the show’s plot and characters.
The House of Masaba brand, which caters to women with experimental style senses and strong cultural origins, has established a considerable presence in the offline and online retail sectors. With Este Couture and Pernia’s Pop-Up Studio, the diffusion label reaches out to the affluent customer in the United Kingdom. With Anokhi Ada in Georgia, Desi Couture in Houston, and Adaa in Bangkok, it dominates the United States. Thanks to the brand’s widespread recognition, designer Masaba Gupta has established her credentials as an effective businesswoman.
She is the first and only Indian fashion designer to have a life-focused series developed. Her own personal path in fashion and her own personal life served as inspiration for the Netflix series Masaba Masaba, which also honors her close relationship with her mother, actress Neena Gupta. For their pleasantly enlivening sequences, the mother-daughter acting team of Neena and Masaba Gupta received praise from the critics. Masaba Gupta, a designer, has raised the bar with her multifarious creativity and talent by entering this new company and broadening her horizons.Early Years
Gupta was raised in Mumbai and was the daughter of West Indies cricketer Viv Richards and Indian actress Neena Gupta. She was born in 1989. Her mother moved the family from New Delhi to Mumbai because her parents never got married, and she was raised by her. When Gupta turned 20, she reconnected with her father, and the two became close. Gupta discovered a father figure in her late maternal grandfather.Career
Gupta, then 19, applied to Mumbai at the age of 19 with Wendell Rodricks’ assistance. Kattran (miniature fragments of fabric) is the name of her debut collection. The doe-eyed gypsy girl character Saskia from Roman Payne’s book The Wanderess served as the inspiration for her “Wanderess” Lakme Fashion Week 2014 collection. The imaginative and beautiful names Gupta provides for each collection have earned her a reputation.
Gupta and Maybelline New York worked together to create a range of clothing in 2023 that was modeled by the company’s newest lipstick line. However, the endeavor failed because of a number of practical issues. She has acknowledged that her Stylista collection was her biggest professional regret.
She was entrusted with representing India in a 2023 exhibit, including updated versions of the iconic trucker jacket from Levi’s. She decided to employ her usual cow motif. In addition, Justin Timberlake and other famous people redecorated the display. According to reports, Gupta was the first Indian fashion designer to do a show on Instagram. According to her, WhatsApp accounts for almost 60% of her sales. Her hijab-saree collection, which is aimed at Muslim women who aspire to wear high-end Indian fashion, was introduced in 2023. Gupta and her mother, Neena Gupta, will star in Masaba Masaba, a semi-fictional TV series that will premiere on Netflix in 2023. The pair will use fashion and the cinema to give viewers a glimpse into their lives.Personal Life
In a civil wedding in 2023, Gupta wed film producer Madhu Mantena. The pair disclosed that they were going through a trial separation towards the end of 2023. In September 2023, the couple obtained a divorce decree.Television
Year Title Role
2023 MTV Supermodel of the Year-Judge
2023–2023 Masaba Masaba- Herself
2023 Modern Love: Mumbai-Saiba
After graduating from SNDT Women’s University in 2009, Indian-Caribbean fashion designer Masaba Gupta launched her own label, House of Masaba. The 31-year-old designer, who has served as an inspiration for upcoming designers in her generation, is credited with changing the face of the fashion business ever since her promising debut at Lakme Fashion Week at the age of 19. Masaba Gupta, who has ten years of expertise, is known as the “Queen of Prints” and was included in the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2023.
Introduction Improving Text Representation
Accurate representation of text is necessary as it allows the machine to understand the meaning and intent of the text and allows us to perform various tasks such as text classification, language translation, and text generation.
As we know to input textual data into the NLP models, we need to convert that textual data to their embeddings. And the results of these models depend on these embeddings only.Data2Vec 2.0
Data2Vec2.0 is an updated release for the model Data2vec. Data2vec is a self-supervised learning algorithm, meaning it can learn from vision, text, and speech without needing explicit labels. Self-supervised learning algorithms learn by using the inherent structure of the data itself.
Data2Vec2.0 has shown tremendous results for tasks like text understanding image segmentation and speech translation task.
Similar to the original data2vec algorithm, data2vec 2.0 predicts contextualized representations of the data, meaning they take the entire training data into account.
Data2Vec2.0 is an improved version then all its predecessors as it is way faster than any other model and does not compromise accuracy.
For speech, the test was done on the LibriSpeech speech recognition benchmark, where it performed more than 11 times faster than wav2vec 2.0 with similar accuracy. For natural language processing (NLP), evaluation was done on the General Language Understanding Evaluation (GLUE) benchmark, which achieved the same accuracy as RoBERTa and BERT.
The architecture of Data2Vec 2.0
To know more about the topic, refer to this linkNew and Improved Embedding Model
Text-embedding-ada-002 was recently launched by openAI. It has outperformed all the previous embedding models launched by openAI.
Text-embedding-ada-002 is trained using a supervised learning approach, which means that it is trained on a labeled dataset that consists of text input and corresponding targets.
The model uses a transformer-based architecture designed to process sequential data such as text. The transformer architecture allows the model to effectively capture the relationships between words and phrases in the text and generate embeddings that accurately reflect the meaning of the input.
The new model, text-embedding-ada-002, replaces five separate models for text search, text similarity, and code search and is priced way lower than all the previous models.
The context length of the new model is increased, which makes it more convenient to work with large documents, while the embedding size of the new model is decreased, making it more cost-effective.Image and Video Generation Imagen
Imagen, developed by Google and launched in 2023, is a text-to-image diffusion model. It takes in a description of an image and produces realistic images.
Diffusion models are generative models that produce high-resolution images. These models work in two steps. In the first step, some random gaussian noises are added to the image and then in the second step, the model learns to reverse the process by removing the noise, thereby generating new data.
Imagen encodes the text into encodings and then uses the diffusion model to generate an image. A series of diffusion models are used to produce high-resolution images.
It is a really interesting technology as you can visualize your creative thinking just by describing an image and generating whatever you want in moments.
Now let me show you guys the output image I got using a certain text
Text: A marble statue of a Koala DJ in front of a marble statue of a turntable. The Koala wears large marble headphones.
Output Image of a Koala DJ by Imagen
I know that was something really fascinating, Right!!. To know more about the model, refer to this linkDreamFusion
DreamFusion, developed by Google in 2023, can generate 3D objects based on text input.
The 3D objects created are of high quality and are exportable. They can be further processed in common 3D tools.
Video of some 3D images produced by DreamFusion
The 3D model created is based on 2D images from the generative image model Imagen so you also don’t need any 3D training data for the model.
Interesting, Right!!, Now go and refer to this link to learn more about the model.DALL-E2
DALL-E2 is an AI system developed by OpenAI and launched in 2023 that can create realistic images and art based on textual descriptions.
We have already seen the same technologies, but this system is too worth exploring and spending some time. I found DALL-E2 as one of the best models present, which works on image generation.
It uses a GPT-3 modified to generate images and is trained on millions of images from over the internet.
DALL-E uses NLP techniques to understand the meaning of the input text and computer vision techniques to generate the image. It is trained on a large dataset of images and their associated textual descriptions, which allows it to learn the relationships between words and visual features. DALL-E can generate coherent images with the input text by learning these relationships.
Let me show you how DALL-E2 works
Input text – Teddy bears
Image of Teddy bears produced by DALL-E2
Here is the link to the research paper if you are interested to read in detail here.Conversational Agents
Here are some top Conversational models launched in 2023LaMDA: Towards Safe, Grounded, and High-Quality Dialog Models for Everything
LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue and Answering), developed by Google, is a language model designed for answering and dialog tasks.
This model can be used in various ways, such as chatbots, customer service, Virtual Assistants, etc.
One of the key features of LaMDA is its ability to generate coherent responses grounded in the input text. This is achieved through the use of a transformer-based language model that is trained on a large dataset of human conversations. The model is able to understand the context of the conversation and generate appropriate responses based on the content of the input text.
LaMDA can generate high-quality responses on a wide variety of topics and open-ended questions.
The developers have also kept in mind the sanity of responses generated by the model, and it avoids generating offensive and biased content.
I’m sure you guys would want to see a demo of this amazing bot. So here it is!
Conversation with LaMDA
For in-depth knowledge, refer to the link hereChatGPT
ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, was recently released in late November and is one most trending and viral AI product launched in 2023. Almost all data professionals are trying and researching this amazing chatbot.
ChatGPT is based on the GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3) language model, a large, transformer-based language model trained on a massive dataset of human-generated text.
ChatGPT can generate coherent responses and can, understand the context of the conversation, and generate appropriate responses based on the content of the input text.
It is designed to carry conversations with people. Some of its features include answering follow-up questions for various topics.
The accuracy and the quality of the responses generated by the model are incomparable to any other chatbot.
Here is the demo of how ChatGPT works
Conversation by chatGPT
Refer to this link to learn more about the model hereAutomatic Speech Recognition Whisper
Whisper, developed by OpenAI, is a technology that helps in the conversion of Speech to text.
It has multiple uses like Virtual assistants, voice recognition software, etc. Moreover, it enables transcription in multiple languages and translation from those languages into English.
Whisper is trained on 680,000 hours of multilingual and multitask data collected from the web. The use of a large and diverse dataset has led to increased accuracy of the model.
Whisper uses encoder-decoder architecture in which the input audio is split into chunks of 30 seconds, converted into a log-Mel spectrogram, and then passed into an encoder. A decoder is trained to predict the corresponding text caption.
Whisper can be trained on large datasets of speech and transcription pairs to improve its accuracy and adapt to different accents, languages, and speaking styles.
The architecture of Whisper
SourceTransfer Learning in NLP
Transfer learning is a go-to approach for building high-performance models. In transfer learning, the model is trained on large and general datasets and is fine-tuned for our related task. It has been widely used in natural language processing (NLP) to improve models’ performance on almost each and every task. There has been significant research in 2023 around improving the transfer learning techniques. We will discuss the top 2 breakthroughs in this area now.Zero-Shot Text Classification with Self-Training
As a result of recent developments in big pre-trained language models, the importance of zero-shot text categorization has increased.
Particularly, zero-shot classifiers developed using natural language inference datasets have gained popularity due to their promising outcomes and ready availability.
You can read more about this approach in this conference paper.Improving In-Context Few-Shot Learning via Self-Supervised Training
In-context few-shot learning refers to learning a new task using only a few examples within the context of a larger, related task. One way to improve the performance of in-context few-shot learning is through the use of self-supervised training.
Self-supervised learning involves training a model on a task using only input data and without explicit human-provided labels. The goal is to learn meaningful representations of the input data that can be used for downstream tasks.
In the context of in-context few-shot learning, self-supervised training can be used to pre-train a model on a related task, such as image classification or language translation, to learn useful data representations. This pre-trained model can then be fine-tuned on the few-shot learning task using only a few labeled examples.
Read in detail about the approach in this paper.Conclusion
UNI’s Redford to Advise Getty Museum Director will step down to study London’s Society of Dilettanti
As the director of the University Professors Program, Bruce Redford has made it his mission to slow the trend of academic “hyperspecialization” that he says defines our culture. “I’ve done my best to unsettle students who start with a fixed idea of what an education is,” Redford says. “This is truly the last time in one’s life when one is free to take huge intellectual risks.”
After two years at the helm of UNI, Redford, a University Professor with appointments in the College of Arts and Sciences English and art history departments, is seeking out new intellectual risks of his own. Redford will step down from the directorship of UNI in June 2007 to complete work on a book, Dilettanti: the antic and the antique in 18th century England, and to collaborate on a special exhibition at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Fittingly, the exhibition’s subject is the Society of Dilettanti, an 18th-century British social club that celebrated the cultivation of an array of knowledge.
“A larger ambition I have is to re-create and celebrate the culture of the amateur,” Redford explains. “In the 18th century, the idea was not to become a specialist in a single discipline, but, from a mix of curiosity and pleasure, to acquaint oneself with a variety of knowledge.”
The Society of Dilettanti, formed in the 1730s, was composed of Britons who had completed the Grand Tour of Europe and wished to continue their studies of the art and architecture of antiquity. While the society was initially a drinking club, over the latter half of the 18th century the Dilettanti became some of Great Britain’s foremost collectors and arts patrons. The exhibition at the Getty, which hopes to feature sculpture, engravings, drawings, and paintings from the Dilettanti collections, is scheduled to open in 2008.
“The Getty Research Institute looks forward to collaborating with Professor Bruce Redford on his forthcoming book on the Society of the Dilettanti and to working with him on a future exhibition on this topic,” says a spokesperson for the Getty Research Institute.
Redford was drawn to the project because it shares many of the traits and principles that he values at UNI — such as an emphasis on interdisciplinary study that encourages curiosity and general skill-building, instead of a focus on a particular field. At UNI, students follow a program of core courses in their first year and then branch out into other courses with the purpose of completing a thesis project in their senior year. The goal, Redford says, is not to “imprint facts, but to imprint questions and methods,” and past students have said that the freedom to shape their own curriculum makes research an exciting opportunity rather than simply a graduation requirement. “Each concentration is a creative expression,” writes Winslow Smith (UNI’06) on the program’s Web site. “In UNI, I have begun a search, not finished one.”
Redford’s support of UNI’s principles and goals remains strong, and he will stay on the faculty throughout his collaboration with the Getty in hopes of encouraging more students to find pleasure in cultivating their own array of knowledge. “The culture of the amateur is dedicated to wide-ranging curiosity and the bridging and synthesizing of different disciplines,” Redford says. “It fits with BU’s and UNI’s ideals of liberal education and the spirit of passionate curiosity that was hallmark of the Society of Dilettanti.”
Jessica Ullian can be reached at [email protected].
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2023 Ford GT First Drive: When brute-force and beauty collide
There are few moments in life so memorable that they burn deep into every single fiber of your body. For me, one such moment came the first time my index finger pushed up against the 2023 Ford GT’s ignition start button. Two years after the GT’s shock unveil at the 2023 North American International Auto Show, the build-up of anticipation until I was behind the wheel and seated inches in front of the mid-mounted 647 horsepower, 550 lb-ft of torque twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine could’ve gone one of two ways. As the hardly-tamed beast roared to life, would the GT live up to its supercar promise?
To understand the new GT properly, you first have to go back. Far further into the history books than this car’s unexpected Detroit reveal, and all the way to the 1960s and the original Ford GT40. A Le Mans winning middle-finger from the American automaker to its European rivals, it earned a place in the history books, and how. Ford resurrected the name in 2004 with the first-generation GT, making just over 4,000 of a car that clung so closely to the original’s appearance that it bordered on the pastiche.
Nobody could accuse this, the second-generation GT of being retro. Sharing nothing with the first-gen car but its name and a few aesthetic cues, its inspiration isn’t so much in design or engineering as it is ethos. Just as the original GT40 was intended to coax the best of American ingenuity into a racetrack-storming Ferrari-squasher, the 2023 GT pits the pinnacle of 21st technology up against a classic nameplate for a thoroughly modern, no-compromise supercar.
Jab that milled metal starter button, and all your senses are assaulted at once. This moment for me was existential. I took a deep breath to allow everything to soak in, knowing that I’ve spent my entire career – and especially the past week – preparing for it.
Existentiality doesn’t get you far on the track, though, so the practical rushes in to replace it. Normally, I’d start with adjusting the seats but in the GT they’re fixed to the carbon fiber tub. Instead, the pedal box extends forward or back, the equivalent of wearing a suit that’s been tailored just for you. With curb weight at the forefront of their collective mind, the engineers bypassed the electric motors you’d expect to find making the adjustment in a “luxury” supercar, opting instead for a simple pull-cord mechanism.
That efficiency carries over to adjusting the steering wheel. It’s a two-step process: a lever under the steering column allows for forward and back movement, and then once it’s where you want it, a lever on the right allows for finer tilt adjustments. The bottom of the wheel itself is flat and, short of the paddle shifters, every single control – including the left and right blinkers – lives on its compact body. According to Christopher Svennson, design director for Ford Motor Company America, the whole thing was “modeled after a racing wheel,” where the primary focus is keeping the driver’s hands in place.
It’s one small detail, but it’s an example of the degree of obsessive consideration Ford paid to every aspect of the new GT’s design. Weight cuts are another instance, the engineers having considered the possibility of paring back everything they could in the chase for minimal mass, yet discovering in the end that sometimes it pays to add weight in order to maximize performance in the end. Indeed, just opting for minimal weight ironically slowed the GT down.
“The adjustable ride height adds weight to the car. It also makes the car faster,” Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance Chief Engineer explained to me. “We studied deleting the system saving significant weight and the car was slower, so a lot of these features, while they add weight to the car, they also make it faster. This is one feature where on a system level, moving the seat is lighter than having to move the steering column that much, as well as moving the pedal box. But again, that was critical enabler to get that frontal area down.”
The most important control on the wheel is up on the left, an aluminum cog that switches through the drive modes. Each mode changes both the car’s driving dynamics, and the appearance and information shown on the fully digital instrumentation. It’s actually the 10.1-inch panel from the Lincoln Continental, but that’s where the similarities end.
“We toiled hours and hours and hours on this display,” Hameedi told me, “to the point where I got so tired showing up to these meetings, I never want to see another digital display just because we spent so much time on it.” While the engineers could have added every bell and whistle and turned it into what Hameedi refered to as a “video game”, that’s absolutely not what Ford wanted to do. Instead, they took the minimalist approach, with only the most pertinent information making it to the surface for each of the five drive modes: Normal, Wet, Sport, Track, and V-Max.
“V-Max is interesting because we came up with the mode, we never intended to have a V-Max mode,” Hameedi revealed. “I think this is kind of a nod to the engineers over a beer or two… wouldn’t it be cool to put the car in low ride height but not deploy the wing, to have the lowest drag setting. Just like the nose lift, it didn’t cost anything more, it didn’t add any weight to the car, but we’re using the tools and the features on the car to create a new configuration.”
In V-Max mode, speed is prominently placed in the center with critical temperatures and engine data on the right of the display. In track mode, there’s an oversized gear indicator for the seven-speed PowerShift dual-clutch transmission. While out on the track, though I mainly stayed in 3rd and 4th gear, I did notice that even when unwinding out of a tight turn, with my eyes focused down the straight or searching for the corner, it was nonetheless easy to see the display out of my peripheral vision. Making it even easier, Ford put gear shift notification lights into the top of the steering wheel, a row of colored LEDs that come on when you switch to manual shifting.
In Sport mode – which is more intended for road driving – the current gear remains prominent in the center, with the speedometer flanking it on the right. Finally, for Wet and Normal drive modes, current gear is pushed to the side, yielding its spotlight to the mph indicator. The overarching hockey-stick-style tach remains consistent through all the drive modes.
The rest of the cabin is near-brutalist in its simplicity. The dashboard itself is a narrow band that runs the width of the cabin, punctuated in the center with a 6.5-inch touchscreen running SYNC 3. It’s easily reached by both driver and passenger, and offers the same navigation, audio, and app suite you’d be familiar with from an Edge or Focus. Two USB ports are underneath, along with a tray roughly the width of an iPhone or Galaxy S8.
Plug in an Android device and mount it on the windshield, and Ford’s track app for the car will overlay driving and engine metrics on top of a first-person view for the camera. You’ll be able to share those results on social media, too, as if having access to a GT in the first place wasn’t bragging-rights enough.
Physical knobs control the HVAC system, again milled out of metal. However, keeping the cabin cool presented a problem, since there was virtually no room in the car to snake the ducting. Cleverly, the engineers integrated the necessary pipework directly inside the molding of the carbon fiber tub, eliminating additional parts and weight in the process.
Aerodynamics defined the shape of just about everything. The cockpit has an extreme front-to-rear taper, Svensson explained. To keep airflow adhering to the fuselage without becoming turbulent. The subsequent teardrop shape meant keeping the seats fixed – not to mention low down in the body – was the only option for maximum interior space. You’re sitting shoulder to shoulder with the person next to you.
You won’t care, just like I didn’t, because the vista ahead of you is panoramically awesome. The A-pillar is almost non-existent, unlike in the first-gen GT, and taking one tight turn is all you’ll need to immediately appreciate the meticulous care that Ford put into this design. Back then, the A-pillar was an extruded aluminum section; now, it’s part of the integrated roll cage – composed of tubular high-strength steel – which is built into the upper cockpit. It meets both FIA and global road car safety requirements.
Why, you might be asking, would Ford want an integrated roll cage? It’s another example of that perverse “adding something to remove something” strategy in the same vein as the adjustable suspension. As Hameedi explains it, the roll cage helps to cut down on redundant structure for the GT racer. Without the integrated cage, the GT racing car would have to double-up: it would get both the structure of the road car, in addition to racing safety hardware. Early on in the development process, Ford made the conscious decision to only use the FIA certified roll cage as the basis of the roof, for all GT production vehicles. “It adds a little bit of weight to the road car,” Hameedi says, “but it makes the racing car much lighter.”
The result is around 3,000 pounds, and all of it worshiping at the twin-altar of aerodynamics and suspension. They’re “the two magical things about this car,” Hameedi says, and I can’t argue with him.
“We wanted to make the air flow,” Hameedi explains, “and everything else followed after that.” It starts with a front end inspired by the “keel-suspension” design found in Formula 1 and Le Mans cars. Like those racers, the GT uses unusually-long lower control arms to move the attachment points inboard, while the springs and dampers are packaged inside the car’s body and actuated by pushrods. This leaves gaping voids on either side of the radiator to move air through the body and generate downforce.
The GT’s pushrod-actuated inboard suspension, with its primary torsion bars and secondary coil springs, is fiendishly complex in turn. What it really boils down to is that, in Track mode, the car is nearly as low as the Le Mans-winning GT racer. Normal ride height offers 120mm ground clearance, while the low ride height is 70mm; the race car dips down to as low as 57mm. Since Le Mans drivers don’t have to worry about speed bumps, the road-going GT has a very useful nose-lift feature: hit a button and, in a fraction of a second, the front of the car pops up to 170mm.
It was Track mode I selected as I took my place in the pits at Utah Motorsports Campus. The 2.2 mile course at the former Miller Motorsports Park is punctuated with a wide variety of challenging turns, an excellent foil to test the GT’s promise of extreme stickiness on the asphalt. Then you plant your right foot, and any awareness of technology, engineering prowess, or wind tunnel shaping is blown from your brain.
The Ford GT is quick, of course. Purists may have decried the decision to go with a smaller-displacement twin-turbo V6 rather than a big, naturally-aspirated V8, but frankly the latter woudn’t have fit in the car. If it comes down to choice of compromising on “tradition” or not having the GT exist at all, I know what I’m choosing. Really, though, the V6 versus V8 argument is gloriously irrelevant.
0-60 mph comes… fast. Ridiculously fast. Ford is only saying “under 3.0 seconds” and wasn’t allowing any sort of time trial equipment to be used, but acceleration like a runaway cruise missile is more than sufficient to put numbers-on-paper out of your mind. At the same time, there’s a jump-jet howl from the turbochargers behind you. The GT doesn’t roar like a V8 might, it screams like an enraged banshee. As the LEDs on the wheel tick rapidly up to the redline the Valkyrie war-cry doesn’t stint; it’s almost a relief to snap the upshift paddle and feel the gearbox snick lag-free to the next ratio.
Then you’re back on the throttle, and the whoosh of the twin-turbos as they gulp that carefully-channeled air begins all over again. Before you know it, you’re stamping hard on the brake pedal and marveling as the carbon-ceramic brakes work in tandem with the active aero – the rear wing, which can crank up on two pleasingly-beefy looking pistons, flipping upright to act as an airbrake – to shed speed. No twitching, no jitter; no bucking side to side across the lane. Ford’s achingly-refined downforce system sees the underside of the GT act as a massive vacuum, sucking the front axle to the track and sending you hurtling around corners like a particle round CERN.
Yet this is no computer-tamed version of speed and performance. Everything about the GT is communicative, and it glories in its mechanics. The steering – electromechanical, naturally – is heavily-weighted, piping details of every twist and ripple of the road back to your hands. Every spray of gravel as you risk more and more aggressive turn-in sends a staccato hiss through the cabin, the GT’s minimal acoustic insulation holding little back.
Not that you’d want to tame the GT. After my all-too-brief time with the car on the track, a ride-along with one of Ford’s racing drivers underscored just how relentless the car can be. Yet even at its gory, howling best, the GT flatters: it wants to go fast, and it wants to help you go fast, and as long as you don’t do anything stupid the two of you can drive like little else on the market.
I hope, from the deepest depths of my envious soul, that those who buy the new Ford GT don’t just leave it in their museum-garage. It may be striking to the eye, not to mention – with a final production run capped at just 1,000 cars – rarer than the Lamborghini Aventador S, McLaren 720S, and Ferrari 458 it’s been compared to, but it would be a travesty not to see the fruits of Ford’s labors prove their worth on the track. With three-quarters already accounted for, and competition likely to be fierce among those who can afford the sticker and convince Ford that they’re suitable candidates for the remaining 250, I doubt I’ll ever see one in the wild. No matter. It’s a modern-day icon, a Le Mans-winning champion, and the halo car that puts Ford Performance on the map.
Photography by Chris Davies
To play True American, the drinking and obstacle course game from the tv show New Girl, you’ll need 4 or more players, furniture to stand on, a bottle of liquor, and a lot of cans of beer. Start by placing a small stand or table in the center of a wide-open room. This will be the castle. Put a bottle of liquor in the center of the castle and arrange 4 lines containing at least 5 beers each branching off of the liquor bottle. The bottle is the king of the castle, the beers are the pawns, and the spaces between the lines of pawns are the 4 zones. Imagine the 4 zones extend all the way out into the room, and fill each zone with 5 pieces of furniture that players can stand on. If you don’t have furniture, you can use pillows, blankets, or even sheets of paper. The important thing is that players have something to stand on since the floor in this game is lava. Arrange the furniture in each zone in a circle, and make sure the spaces are close enough for players to jump from one space to the next. Make sure one space is within reaching distance of the castle. If you want to play the game in teams to make it more competitive, have every player hold up a number between 1 and 5 on their forehead at the same time. Whoever has the same number is on the same team. Keep doing this until the teams are even. To start the game, every player shotguns a beer at the same time. Whoever finishes first goes first, whoever finishes second goes second, and so on. The first player yells “One, two, three, JFK,” then everyone else yells “FDR.” All of the players grab a pawn from the castle and run to a random space in one of the 4 zones. Players can move one space on their turn, and they move clockwise around the circle in the zone they’re in. Once a player reaches the space closest to the castle, they get another pawn and move on to the next zone to the left. Players must always have at least 1 pawn in their hand and no more than 3 pawns. If a player finishes their last pawn, they’re out of the game. A player is also out of the game if they accidentally touch the lava. A player can open and finish a non-pawn beer to re-enter the game at any time. On a player’s turn, they can give the other players a chance to move in one of three ways. First, they can call out “One, two, three,” at which point the rest of the players put a number between 1 and 5 on their forehead. Whoever is holding up a number that no one else has moves forward 1 space. Second, the player can say a quote and ask the other players to finish it. Whoever finishes the quote first moves forward 2 spaces. Third, the player can say two people, places, or things and let the other players guess what the two nouns have in common. Whoever guesses first moves forward 3 spaces. Players continue to take turns until all of the pawns have been removed from the castle. At that point, the first player to finish the pawns in their hands, land on a space next to the castle, and take a swig from the king wins the game! For tips on making up rules, strategizing, and winning the game, scroll down!
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