The ultimate track-ready 800bhp+ Ford Mustang is here to kick the GT3 RS’s butt | Top Gear
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The ultimate track-ready 800bhp+ Ford Mustang is here to kick the GT3 RS’s butt

Ford wants to take on Europe’s best supercars with the $300k, DRS-equipped Mustang GTD

Published: 18 Aug 2023

“Our idea behind this car was to take a race car and not change anything for the street,” says Ford boss Jim Farley as the wraps are pulled off the new Mustang GTD in his very own garage. “In fact, let’s add some stuff that’s outlawed in racing.”

This already sounds very promising indeed. And would you just look at the thing? Yes, that is a DRS-equipped rear wing on a muscle car. 

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But then again, this is no longer a muscle car as we know it. “We love our Mustang Shelbys and stuff,” says Farley. “But that’s not what this car is. It’s for the AMG GT Black Series. It’s for the 911 GT3 RS. We want to beat them not only at Le Mans, but with a street car too.”

Yikes. That is a serious statement from Ford. So, how will the GTD back it up?

Well, for starters there’s a giant dry-sumped 5.2-litre supercharged V8 up front that revs to somewhere above 7,500rpm and puts out over 800bhp, making this the most powerful road-legal Mustang that Ford has ever built. Thanks to Balance of Performance regs, it’s much more powerful than the Mustang GT3 racer that inspired it too. That engine is then connected to a carbon fibre driveshaft and powers the rear wheels through a rear-mounted eight-speed dual-clutch Tremec gearbox. Weight distribution should be close to 50:50, and the whole thing is over 10cm wider than a standard Mustang. Pretty much every panel you can see except for the doors is made from carbon fibre.  

Here’s where things get really exciting though, and you’ll have to allow us to nerd out for just a moment. The GTD uses Multimatic’s adaptive spool valve damper technology with hydraulically actuated dual spring rates and height. What that essentially means is – in a similar way to the old Ford GT – the Mustang GTD’s ride height will drop by nearly 40mm when you put it in Track mode. Oh, and there’s no boot because that’s taken up by the inboard rear suspension setup, the hydraulic control system and the transaxle’s cooling system. Yeah, this is a properly serious Mustang. 

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What else do we know so far? Well, there are humungous Brembo carbon ceramic brakes hiding under 20-inch forged magnesium wheels, and the active rear wing combines with hydraulically controlled flaps behind the front grille to manage downforce. There’s a giant rear diffuser too, plus a titanium exhaust system supplied by Akrapovic and sticky Michelin Cup 2 R tyres.

To save weight (and because of the lack of a boot in the usual spot), the rear seats have been removed to make way for a wee bit of luggage space. There are Recaro seats inside too, as well as 3D-printed titanium paddleshifters that are apparently made from old bits of Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jets. Very cool. 

Sounds like the GTD really was a proper after-hours, skunkworks project too with just a handful of people working on it in a secret garage hidden behind the windtunnel at Ford’s base in Allen Park. Given the noise that the firm is now making about its supercar-shredding performance though, even your nan will be aware of the GTD’s existence soon enough. Or at least she will be if she’s in to Nürburgring lap times. Chief engineer Greg Goodall tells TG that the aim is for a sub-seven-minute lap at the Green Hell. For context – the new 911 GT3 RS has set a ridiculously rapid benchmark of 6m 49.3s.

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Quite the departure from the usual muscle car fare, then. And there’ll be a departure from usual muscle car pricing too. With limited numbers available and the majority of the build being taken on by Multimatic, prices will start at $300,000.

Ford hasn’t confirmed exactly how many will be available just yet, and while it won’t land in the UK or Australia, it will be coming to Europe. Shouldn’t have to wait too long to have a go in a country where they drive on the wrong side of the road - production is set to start towards the end of 2024. 

Could the Mustang GTD topple the GT3 RS in yet-another giant-killing for Ford? 

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