Ford's GT: 'Nobody knew this was coming'

Only a small number of people had seen or even heard about the Ford GT before it was revealed.

While most big auto show unveilings are leaked or telegraphed ahead of time, Ford Motor Co. kept its GT supercar mostly a surprise until this morning’s introduction in Detroit.

That’s because even within Ford, only a small number of people had seen or even heard about the GT before it was revealed.

“Nobody knew this was coming,” Ford sales analyst Erich Merkle said as he joined the mob around the car to take photos of it. “They kept it to very few people.”

News of the GT started to dribble out in recent days, most notably when floor plans for the Ford stand became public, but the details were rather vague and in some cases inaccurate. Most importantly, no photos of the car hit the Internet before Ford put it on stage at Joe Louis Arena, alongside a new F-150 Raptor and Mustang Shelby GT 350R.

The result was a sizable, steady crowd encircling the GT throughout the day. It seemed to steal much of the preshow thunder from the Acura NSX and Chevrolet Bolt. Many of those checking out the GT virtually ignored the Raptor and GT 350R behind them, though Ford officials probably didn’t mind.

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