It was the race that changed everything.

Five decades ago, when Henry Ford II and his team of drivers and mechanics arrived at Le Mans, the world quickly learned that Ford Racing was a force to be reckoned with.

The GT40s Ford entered in 1966 not only endured the grueling twenty-four hours of racing thanks to some of the most innovative technology of the time, but also managed to place first, second and third as a waving chequered flag signaled Ford’s victory over rival Ferrari and the racing world.

From Carroll Shelby to the EcoBoost

In 2016, Ford will once again embrace innovation as it re-enters Le Mans after a 47-year absence. Technology has come a long way since Carroll Shelby and his crew built their legendary MK 2s, and next year Ford will be relying on its powerful and efficient EcoBoost V6 engine to continue its winning tradition of excellence on the Sarthe.

Ford returns to the 2016 Le Mans race, featuring its EcoBoost engine
Ford roars back to Le Mans with its EcoBoost engine

Where fuel efficiency meets performance

There should be no doubt that the 3.5L EcoBoost V6, with its more than 600 horsepower, is up for the intense challenges of 24 hours at Le Mans. Ford’s award-winning technologies have proven themselves repeatedly on the tracks of Daytona, Sebring and more. For the breathtaking speed on the racecourse’s Mulsanne Straight, the EcoBoost 3.5 liter V6 engine doesn’t sacrifice power in the name of better fuel efficiency. Likewise, Ford’s dependable and innovative engine technology is ready for the Sarthe’s hairpin turns, where strong acceleration is key.

An undeniable legacy

When winning matters, just as it did that rainy day five decades ago, the EcoBoost will be ready. Le Mans is where Ford first cemented its reputation, and it’s where a legacy of innovation and performance will continue. Consider the rise of the EcoBoost engine as the latest chapter in an ongoing story. The characters may have changed over time, but at the heart of the tale is the Ford legacy, and the hero this time around is the EcoBoost.

Ford’s engine seems tailor-made for the passion and the glory of Le Mans. Next year, the world will be watching as Ford technology takes centre stage once more, and in the years to follow when new Ford supercars including the Shelby GT350 will roll off the production line—the future of high performance begins here.