Check out the secret underground Bat Cave design studio where Ford created its newest supercar

The Ford GT was the talk of the Detroit Auto Show in January. The automotive media had been speculating for a year that Ford would revive its legendary GT with a new design, to stage a 2016 comeback at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, in celebration of the US car maker’s 1-2-3 finish in 1966.

But the motoring press, and for that matter the rest of the world, got a lot more than it bargained for.

The new GT is a 600-horsepower, full-on supercar. Designer Moray Callum and his team pulled out all the stops, crafting a ferociously stylish machine that’s distinguished by its evocation of the Ford GT40s of the 196os and defined by a pair of butressing wings that aid in the kind of aerodynamic downforce that a high-performance racer car requires.

Now, Ford has given us a look inside the secret design studio in Michigan where the GT was conceived.

Just for reference, here's the legendary GT40 of the 1960s.

Now let's enter Ford's skunkworks studio. We gradually enter a somewhat gloomy, very cluttered space. This is where supercars are born?

This guy is perfecting the GT's steering wheel. Car designers are some of last of the great users of modelling clay on Planet Earth. Note the numerous designs attached to the display board.

We get some big, inspiring colour images of the car as we turn a corner.

Why, what's that?

It's the pre-production version of the Ford GT, surrounded by designers. They're scrutinizing every gorgeous inch of the car, getting it ready to actually build next year.

This group is trying to figure something out about the the rear end.

Man, is it ever crowded in here! The full-size clay mock-ups, covered with stickers, are crammed in. There's 3 of them!

Cosy!

More dramatic images. Plus, some empty boxes. The secret underground GT lab is apparently so secret that no one is allowed to clean up. But clutter stokes the imagination!

Car designers LOVE to be surrounded by visual treatments and studies of what parts of a vehicle could look like.

Here's a corridor filled with top-secret junk.

We're not kidding. This is no fancy design atelier -- this is where car designers get down to business.

Turn another corner and we start to see ...

... another full-size clay model. Artists will spend days refining the shape of a car, treating it more like an exquisite piece of sculpture than a mere automobile.

That's clay!

Check out that incredible buttress. It's a signature feature of the GT.

And we're back where we started, with the steering wheel guy.

Headed out. Hmmm .... Wonder what's under that blue tarp? Guess Ford isn't ready to reveal all its secrets.

Here's how the concept car looked at the Detroit Auto Show.

And here's the #66 GT (Get it?) all decked out in the colours it will wear for the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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