BY PETER BARNWELL
IN response to Dodge’s ridiculously powerful Challenger SRT 170 Demon, but on a completely different trajectory, Ford has come out with an intimidating go-fast Mustang called the GTD that sells for a not insignificant $US 300,000 or ($A470,000).
That’s more than three times the price of the Demon but the Ford super-muscle car, available only in the US, is a road-legal version of the Blue Oval’s Mustang GT3 racer as opposed to the Dodge straight line screamer with drag racing slicks and 1000+hp.
The model is latest in a succession of hot-rod ‘Stangs including the Dark Horse model that hasn’t made it here yet. But this one is an, umm, horse of a different colour.
It was inspired by the car that Ford will take to Le Mans next year and is touted as being “unapologetic in its heritage (and) unbelievable in its performance”.
Ford examined and optimised every component of the vehicle to make it fit for purpose with the clear intention of making the model the fastest road going Mustang ever.
Take a look at the body, for example, which is sculpted mostly in carbon-fibre with “astounding downforce” achieved by the combination of active aerodynamics and a hydraulically controlled rear wing.
Then take a peek underneath to find the ride height is adaptable through two settings and 40mm, while huge carbon ceramic Brembo brakes retard the potent beast.
There’s no manual “stick shift” gearbox here as the GTD runs an eight-speed dual-clutch (rear) transaxle turned by a carbon-fibre prop shaft. That’s to give the car a near 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution.
Ford has sneakily not yet released engine specifications for its dry sump-equipped 5.2-litre supercharged petrol V8, saying simply it is targeting “an estimated 800 horsepower” (597kW).
That makes the GTD the highest horsepower street-legal Mustang ever developed by the company, and we don’t even have a clue as to its torque output which is likely mountainous…
“Mustang GTD shatters every preconceived notion of a supercar,” said Ford CEO and president, Jim Farley.
“This is a new approach for us. We didn’t engineer a road car for the track, we reverse engineered 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.
“This is our company, we’re throwing down the gauntlet and saying, ‘come and get it’. We’re comfortable putting everybody else on notice. I’ll take track time in a Mustang GTD against any other auto boss in their best road car.”
The low slung “Stang was designed and engineered as a collaboration between Ford and Multimatic and will join a growing stable of performance-oriented Mustangs including the recently released GT4, GT3 and Dark Horse R spec.
Ford says all will carry on the tradition of the Mustang being its most raced and most successful nameplate in history.
Ford says its racing “legacy”, coupled with purposefully designed aerodynamic features, will elevate corner speeds, and provide more consistent control, enabling owners to set “incredible lap times at some of the world’s most hellish tracks”.
Ford makes the rather bold claim of a sub-seven-minute lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife for the Mustang GTD which would place it in exalted company with the likes of the McLaren P1, Porsches 911 GT3 and well in front of the likes of Honda’s new Civic Type R (by 45 seconds).
That’s if it can actually clock a sub-seven-minute lap…
“The hardware has been carefully selected and developed to enable blistering lap time performance,” said Ford chief program engineer, Greg Goodall.
“The target for this project was clear – go much, much faster than we’ve ever gone before with a targeted sub-seven-minute Nürburgring time. This makes it the fastest road going Mustang ever from Ford.”?
Road grip and cornering stability are further enhanced by wider tyres and wheel track, lightweight forged aluminium 20-inch wheels (or optional magnesium wheels), and a multi-mode traction system that can be altered from the steering wheel.
The Mustang GTD utilises the same advanced electrical architecture as the new seventh-generation Mustang offering what Ford says is seamless connectivity, a myriad of personalised driving modes, and over-the-air software updates.
Elsewhere inside the cabin, the road-going rocketship features a Miko suede and leather upholstery, carbon-fibre garnishing, digital instrument and infotainment arrays, and Recaro sport seats (front only, the rear seats are deleted).
If you want to up the ante with your GTD, Ford offers GTD options such as 3D-printed titanium paddle shifters, rotary dial shifter and serial plate made from retired Lockheed Martin F-22 parts. A variety of interior and exterior colour schemes are available, the car’s paint even able to be matched to a customer-provided sample, if they so choose.
“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,” said Ford Performance Motorsports global director, Mark Rushbrook.
“When you look at the engineering, the aerodynamics, how the powertrain works, the Mustang GTD is a rocketship for the road.
Keep an eye out, because sure as the sun shines, someone in Oz will get their hands on a Mustang GTD that will be available Stateside in late 2024, early 2025.