The new Ford Mustang was already shaping up pretty nicely, what with its standard manual gearbox and 500hp Dark Horse flagship on offer. Now it looks about a million times more awesome with confirmation of this, the GTD. Or, as Ford CEO Jim Farley calls it, “the very best of Ford Motor Company and what our team needs to do every day.” You can say that again.
We must begin with how this GTD (named after the IMSA class the new GT3 race car will compete in) looks, because it verges on the unbelievable. Here is a Ford Mustang with 325-section front tyres (!) and 345-section rears, on magnesium wheels, that will be built in 2025. (The tracks themselves are four inches wider than a Mustang GT.) Typically, moreover, you take the boss’s claims about a “race car for the road” with a heavy pinch of salt, but this is aggressive enough to make something like an old GT4 car look a bit timid.
Most of the body is carbon fibre, with a heavy focus on aero: see that front splitter and chiselled vents for the bonnet and wings, plus a rear spoiler to rival a GT3 RS for silliness, sprouting from the C-pillar like nothing we’ve even seen on a Mustang before. There’s going to be an optional aero package that introduces both an undertray and ‘technology that would be illegal in racing’ (cool) including hydraulically controlled front flaps that work in conjunction with that epic (and active) rear tea tray for best aero balance. Interestingly, the GTD team and the folk designing the GT3 racer worked together to share solutions between the two, which seems believable looking at this thing. There are very serious track cars, it seems - and then there’s the GTD.
That’s not even the most extreme bit, because the boot is now crammed full of semi-active suspension, the control system for the hydraulic elements, and a transaxle cooling system. The bootlid itself is now just a ‘race-inspired cover’, one with two funnels to scoop air off the back glass and into the heat exchangers.
The suspension sounds predictably next level, too. For starters, it employs Multimatic’s lauded DSSV spool valve dampers (also used in the Assetto Fiorano track package on a Ferrari SF90). Two settings for road and track can adjust both spring rate and ride height, the most serious setting dropping the GTD 40mm closer to the road. Ford describes the semi-active suspension as ‘state of the art’, with a short-long arm set-up upfront to enhance lateral stiffness and a pushrod arrangement out back. In a Mustang! Wasn’t so long ago an independent rear axle was newsworthy, now here we have one with inboard Multimatic dampers and coilover springs horizontally arranged across the back in a motorsport-style subframe. Crikey. Ford says the ‘architecture creates a motion ratio from pushrod to damper of 1:1 so the car responds precisely to track conditions.’
It says an awful lot about this GTD that we’re almost 500 words into a Mustang news story and the engine hasn’t been mentioned once. It’s predictably mighty: Ford is aiming for 800hp from the supercharged Voodoo V8, which seems achievable given the 5.2 was rated at 760hp in the old GT500. It’s going to be dry-sumped, rev beyond 7,500, and a titanium exhaust will be offered. The sound is described as ‘symphonic’ - you bet. Power reaches those giant rear Michelins via a carbon driveshaft - again, in a Mustang! - and an eight-speed dual-clutch mounted in a transaxle, with almost 50:50 weight distribution promised. To help drivers get the most out of the performance, the GTD will be fitted with Ford’s Variable Traction Control, with its threshold adjustable by steering wheel buttons. And if all else fails, the Brembo carbon ceramics are said to be ‘massive’.
The result of all this will be ‘incredible lap times at some of the world’s most hellish tracks’, Ford making no bones about its desire to upset the establishment. The stated aim is to go under seven minutes at the Nordschleife (a GT3 RS did 6:49), which is out of this world for a front-engined Ford. But then this really is like nothing else we’ve ever seen from the Blue Oval. Boss Farley again: “Mustang GTD shatters every preconceived notion of a supercar… “This is a new approach for us. We didn’t engineer a road car for the track, we created a race car for the road. Mustang GTD takes racing technology from our Mustang GT3 race car, wraps it in a carbon fibre Mustang body and unleashes it for the street.”
They really are going to make it, too - this isn’t a mere vision concept to placate the gearheads while Ford cracks on with electrification. Mustangs will leave Flat Rock headed for Canada, where Multimatic will handcraft a monster alongside Ford Performance. Don’t expect there to be very many, do expect to pay around $300k, and get counting down the days to early 2025 - this could be extraordinary.
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