“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,” said Jim Farley, president and CEO of Ford.
If Farley’s comment isn’t enough to get you excited, the Blue Oval calls the GTD “the most audacious and advanced Mustang ever,” so let’s dive into the details. Set to go on sale in late 2024 for the 2025 model year, the GTD will be offered in limited quantities and carries an approximate starting price of USD300,000 (about RM1.394 million).
The GTD starts of life at Ford’s Flat Rock assembly plant before being transported to Multimatic in Markham, Canada – the company is the carmaker’s partner that assembled the Ford GT and other competition vehicles. However, that’s not the main reason why the GTD costs around five times more than the Dark Horse version of the latest S650 Mustang.
Starting with the mechanical bits, the GTD is powered by a 5.2 litre supercharged V8 that is estimated to deliver 800 hp, which is 300 hp more than the Dark Horse. Dual air inlets and dry sump lubrication are some of the upgrades made for the GTD’s engine, which is claimed to rev to over 7,500 rpm and should sound pretty intimidating when paired with the optional titanium active vale exhaust system.
Instead of a 10-speed automatic transmission, the engine sends drive the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transaxle unit that has a carbon-fibre driveshaft for a near 50:50 weight distribution.
The car also comes with semi-active suspension that can vary both spring rates and ride height, the latter by nearly 40 mm in Track mode. At the front are double wishbones (short-long arm) for enhanced lateral stiffness and improved kinematics, while the rear features an integral link pushrod and rocker arm architecture.
The rear multi-link setup also comes with Multimatic’s clever Adaptive Spool Valve dampers and coilover springs arranged in a horizontal cross pattern and integrated with a strong, stiff, and lightweight motorsport-style tubular subframe.
The suspension components work with 20-inch forged aluminium wheels, which can be replaced with even lighter forged magnesium units that are similar in design to those on the Mustang GT3 race car competing in Le Mans next year – the ‘GTD’ name refers to the IMSA GTD racing class for cars that are built to FIA GT3 technical regulations.
Meanwhile, stopping power is provided by massive Brembo carbon ceramic brakes that are designed to reject heat for more consistent stopping into the braking zone. Drivers also have access to a new Variable Traction Control system on the track that modulates engine output and traction control intervention.
This being a race car for the road, aerodynamic performance is a major focal point when developing the GTD. New components that stand out include the front splitter as well as a vented bonnet and front fenders. For even more of a presence, Ford also offers a C-pillar mounted hydraulically controlled active rear wing, while an optional aero package adds a comprehensive underbody tray made of carbon-fibre.
Said lightweight material is also used to create many of the GTD’s body panels including the bonnet, fenders, cover that replaces the boot lid, door sills, front splitter, rear diffuser and roof. This extreme pursuit of performance also means the boot is pointless for cargo, as it now serves the semi-active suspension, a hydraulic control system and a transaxle cooling system. Rear seats? Forget about them.
You’ll also notice that what used to be the boot lid has two air scoops to funnel air off the back glass into the area and through the heat exchangers. The reconstructed body is four inches wider than a regular Mustang GT, which complements the larger wheels that have tyres that are 325 mm wide at the front and 345 mm at the rear.
Ford is aiming to set a lap time of under seven minutes at the Nürburgring with the GTD, which would put it in the territory of notable cars like the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series and the latest Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
The American carmaker did not provide a glimpse of the GTD’s interior, but it did say that the cockpit will be trimmed in Miko suede, leather and carbon-fibre. There will also be digital displays, Recaro seats, available 3D-printed titanium paddle shifters, a rotary dial shifter and a special serial plate, with some of these items being made from retired Lockheed Martin F-22 titanium parts to make them that much more special.
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