Ford promised a huge racing push with the latest Mustang and delivered on it with several racing variants based on the Mustang Dark Horse. However, if the S650 wasn’t cutting-edge enough for you, the company had a bit of surprise up its sleeve in the form of an 800-horsepower supercar that goes by the moniker, Mustang GTD, which it officially revealed today during Monterey Car Week.
When you look at the engineering, the aerodynamics, how the powertrain works, the Mustang GTD is a rocket ship for the road. -Mark Rushbrook, Ford Performance Motorsports
So moved by the Mustang GT3 race car, Ford President and CEO Jim Farley instructed his team to create a version of the aggressive race car that was both street-legal and pushed beyond the boundaries laid out by racing sanctioning bodies. The result is a super stallion that sits 4 inches wider than its S650 cousins and delivers near 50/50 weight balance thanks to an eight-speed, dual-clutch transaxle out back.
“The hardware has been carefully selected and developed to enable blistering lap-time performance,” says Greg Goodall, Ford’s Chief Program Engineer, “The target for this project was clear — go much, much faster than we’ve ever gone before with a targeted sub-7-minute Nurburgring time. This makes it the fastest road-going Mustang ever from Ford.”
Powered by a hotted-up version of the supercharged, 5.2-liter Predator engine that powered the outgoing Shelby GT500, enhanced by dry-sump oiling, the Mustang GTD is equipped with a carbon fiber driveshaft linking the aforementioned transaxle at the rear. This arrangement allows the car to approach a perfect weight balance working in conjunction with a body that is primarily carbon fiber. These body panels not only shave weight, but they help lower the GTD’s center of gravity while sharpening responsiveness.
“Mustang GTD shatters every preconceived notion of a supercar,” Farley says. “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 fiber Mustang body, and unleashes it for the street.”
More than just light and aggressive, the body lines of the Mustang GTD were shaped in Ford’s advanced wind tunnel to blend a style that puts elite European performers on notice, but cuts through the wind efficiently while redirecting ample air for essential cooling duties. Moreover, it features active aerodynamics in the form of hydraulic front flaps and active rear wing that work to control airflow and downforce in a way that racing sanctions wouldn’t allow.
“Our design team worked in conjunction with the Mustang GT3 design team and the aero team, sharing solutions between race car and road car, and vice versa,” says Anthony Colard, Ford Performance design manager, “This is an aerodynamics-driven design.”
Connecting this level of performance with terra firma dovetails nicely into the specialty of its finishing builder, Multimatic. While Mustang GTD will be born at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, the renowned motorsport outfit, and builder of the second-gen Ford GT, will complete the process at its Markham, Ontario, facility.
There Multimatic will deploy its adaptive spool valve damper technology as part of a semi-active suspension that allows for hydraulically adjustable spring rates and ride heights based on the drive mode selected. In front, that suspension utilizes a short-long arm arrangement offering improved lateral stiffness and control, while the rear features a rocker arm-style integral-link pushrod setup with a precise 1:1 motion ratio. It is tamed by horizontally mounted Multimatic ASV dampers. The whole arrangement adjusts in response to the selected drive mode. For example, Track Mode lowers the car by a whopping 40 mm.
“We are extremely proud of our work on the Mustang GTD,” says Larry Holt, Executive Vice President, Multimatic Special Vehicle Operations. “It showcases our state-of-the-art DSSV spool valve suspension technology, with features not even allowed in racing. The Mustang GTD sets a new benchmark for road-going racers, and we can’t wait for clients to experience the thrill of driving it.”
“We obsessed about the racing technology under its skin. What makes it go is even more compelling than what you can see when it passes you by,” adds Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “When you look at the engineering, the aerodynamics, how the powertrain works, the Mustang GTD is a rocket ship for the road.”
Built to exceed the race cars it is based on, thanks to the technology onboard, the Mustang GTD is performance excess in the best possible way. Ford says it created the quickest and highest-horsepower street-legal Mustang ever.
“This is probably the most excited I’ve ever been about a Mustang. In all my years around Mustang, I never thought that the Mustang would push this envelope with a limited-edition, street-legal performance car that’s going to take on the world’s best performance cars,” says Jim Owens, Ford Mustang Marketing Manager. “Mustang GTD will be available in late ’24 or early ’25. Production will be limited with allocation handled through an application process similar to Ford GT.”
With a starting price of $300,000, the Mustang GTD was created for an elite level of customers, many of whom will likely be collectors. As such, you probably won’t see too many Mustang GTDs at your local cars and coffee, but Ford seems committed to making the Blue Oval’s halo vehicle a Mustang, which is sure to keep it galloping into the future.
“Mustang GTD represents the very best of Ford Motor Company and what our team needs to do every day,” says Farley. “This is what happens when we take what we’re good at and push the boundaries to see where the bubble stops. It represents the essence of the transformation we’re going through at Ford, from software to special-edition cars.”