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First Look: Factory Five F9 Concept

Factory Five unveils new F9 supercar concept

Photos courtesy of Factory Five Racing

If you’re Factory Five Racing, building the mid-engine GTM supercar was a project you just had to do. But some 15 years after its inception, FFR was ready for a new challenge, and a totally fresh flagship performer. And while designing a new supercar from the ground up is impressive enough, FFR also went back to the drawing board on its design process, updating the prototyping process to a completely digital affair.

Dubbed the F9, as it’s Factory Five’s ninth design, the new front-mid engine two-seater makes a dramatic statement with fresh lines that remind us of the Lexus LFA, Shelby GR-1 and the sixth generation Ford Mustang. I’d even wager a little taste of the current Ford GT found its way into the front fender design. But perhaps most impressive, is that the F9 body will be 100 percent carbon fiber composite, and FFR claims it will be delivered in clear coat with zero paint and bodywork required. Now wouldn’t that be a landslide achievement.

Like most of its models, Factory Five plans to offer the car in street and race configurations, and these renderings show several track-oriented elements, presumably the large wing and front bumper cover to name a few.

Right off the bat, you’ll note that the front-mid engine configuration is a diversion from the mid-engine GTM, and Factory Five had good reason for doing so. They noted that the transaxle presented many difficulties in building the GTM, and made it a guiding principle of the project to match and exceed the exotic nature of the GTM in a front engine platform.

The other goal of the project was to completely rehash the prototyping process with new school methods.

“We wanted to transition our mold process from handmaid molds, to CAD-derived files that go right to molds and tools,” says FFR president Dave Smith. “We haven’t gotten there yet, but we’ve made a huge amount of progress thanks to this project.”

Along the route to the F9 concept, FFR toyed with a design called the GTF, which was built within the same parameters. Factory Five ultimately moved away from the design, but the company made a prototype body using a seven-axis milling machine, making a big step towards digitizing the prototype process. We’d wager the same approach will be used to craft a mold plug for the F9 body as well.

But before a single prototype panel could be fitted, FFR needed a new front-engine chassis, and the F9 roller we saw at the SEMA Show looks up to the task. In addition to ample triangulation on the front and rear sections, the new chassis has serious bracing in the roll structure, seemingly without impeding ingress through the doors. Perhaps most impressive of all, is that the spacious engine bay can accommodate most any powerplant, from small-block Ford to Ford Modulars, and LS engines as well. To underscore the point, FFR’s prototype chassis was fit with a 750 hp, 9.5-liter V12LS engine.

The new F9 looks fantastic on paper, and in renderings as well, and FFR expects the car to come in under 2,400 on a 104-inch wheelbase. Other impressive figures are the 46-inch roof height, and 78-inch body width — a full three inches wider than the current Mustang.

Factory Five has made it explicit in their release that the F9 remains strictly a concept at this point. Whether it goes into full production in this configuration depends on “body delivery and evaluation, prototype testing, and final feasibility and pricing.” But with the time and energy put into the build, we’re willing to bet on an F9 prototype at next year’s SEMA Show.

See Factory Five's website for more information.

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