DETROIT (AFP) - Ford attempted to land a knock-out blow to its rivals at the Detroit auto show in revealing a dazzling new GT supercar on Monday.
The glitzy presentation at the cavernous arena named after the boxer Joe Louis was an attempt to grab the headlines at the United States' premier auto show, where power and luxury have roared back to the fore.
Ford had given very little away in the lead-up to the first major international auto show of the year, but speculation had been rife that it had something special in mind.
And it did not disappoint, unveiling a GT for next year that immediately won glowing approval from car enthusiasts who flooded social media to proclaim what one called on Twitter "delicious".
The new GT, an update to the legendary sports car last produced a decade ago before the US industry plunged into crisis, boasts 600 horsepower and twin-turbocharged V6 eco-boost engines and is expected to be priced at more than US$150,000 (S$200,000) in the American market.
It signals Ford's readiness to put the years of austerity from the 2008-2009 recession behind it, when things like circuit-ready supercars were seen as expensive excesses in Detroit.
Mark Fields, Ford's chief executive, called the GT a showcase for Ford's most advanced efforts in lightweight materials, power-and-fuel conservation in its engines, and aerodynamics.
"We looked at how we were driving innovation through the company," Fields said. "And we said to ourselves, let's have a showcase where we can highlight that innovation and technology in a really dramatic way."
The GT will be available late 2016, Fields said, marking the 50th anniversary of the company's original high-performance racer, the GT40.
But Fields was coy when asked if the new GT would be racing at Le Mans or Sebring.
"We have nothing else to talk about besides just presenting this great looking car."
Ford had already been in the spotlight in Detroit, snapping up the award for best truck, for the new aluminium F-150, while the Volkswagen Golf was named North American car of the year.