Ford Mustang GTD
Street Legal Screamer
For those still reeling from Ford's decision to name its electric 4-door SUV a Mustang, the car company has introduced a street legal internal combustion engine-powered antidote.
By Brian Kennedy
Sun, Nov 12, 2023 08:03 PM PST
Above, the new Mustang GTD undergoing a wind tunnel test (image courtesy of Ford Motor Company)
This article is a part of
2023 Los Angeles Auto Show
Click to see the collection and all the included articles!
The letters they put after car names—heck, even as car names—never cease to amuse. Remember the Cadillac ETC? Now here comes a Mustang with two expected letters, a G and a T, and one extra. That one’s a D. And it’s worth about $240 thousand bucks over what a GT will set you back.
If you can get one. And if you do, don’t expect it to be mild and tame. Oh no; you’re buying hell in a package of plastic, carbon fiber, and steel amongst other elements. How about 800 horsepower? Tires so wide they would have been a dream in the 1960s (345mm rear—that’s more than 13.5 inches of rubber). Available optional adjustable aerodynamic elements front and rear.
Surely this is not meant for the street? This one’s both a yes and a no. You can drive it there if you so desire. Ford labels it “street-legal, track-ready” and throws in the word “supercar” just in case that wasn’t clear enough already. But if you do use it to run to Target, don’t expect it to be sedate. Those who have some seat time insist that it drones along annoyingly. So it’s not a comfortable and sedate daily driver. Who cares?
You know you want it. So march into your Ford dealer and order one. Actually, it’s not that simple. Ford invites you to “inquire to apply” on their company website. That seems like this thing is shielded behind a couple of layers. Oh, and bring your credit rating of 800—or cash that you’ve accumulated from whatever illegal activity you favor. OK, OK, or your kid’s college fund—because this car starts at $300,000.
The reason the GTD exists is that the Mustang race car model, the GT3, came first. The company CEO apparently took one look at the GT3’s clay model and ordered up a street version of the car. So is it built on the same underpinnings as the GT3, namely a tube frame chassis? No. It’s closer to the EcoBoost four-cylinder in its chassis design. But engine-wise, that’s another story. This car is unlike its naturally aspirated GT3 counterpart, because the GTD uses supercharging to achieve its power potential from the 5.2-litre engine. And please note: the GT3 actually makes less horsepower than the GTD, due to being held back by the regulations it lives with in its racing series.
Both cars are constructed by Multimatic, which was responsible for the second-generation of the Ford GT. They get a body-in-white to start with, and then build it up from there in their Toronto-area factory. Yes, you read that right—the GTD goes to finishing school in Canada. But if you know anything about Multimatic, you’ll know that this means custom work done by the best crafters in the world. (My friend Frank retired from there. You should see the welds that guy can put down!)
Amongst the tech that populates every inch of this car is a rear-mounted transaxle that gives the car its 50/50 front/rear weight balance. Spec sheets say that this gear-switcher is a Tremec eight-speed dual-clutch transaxle. And it’s got a top-mounted cooler that basically makes the trunk null and void for weekend jaunts. Oh well. You’re not going to take a set of golf clubs anywhere you’d wail on this thing anyway, are you?
None of this takes into account the body. Aluminum door skins are all you’ll find for sheet metal in terms of body panels. The rest is carbon fiber. And if you look around, you’ll spot more tech goodies. Whatever the purpose - high-powered street machine, copycat race car, or technological showpiece - this GTD is ready to roll.
So what’s with that “D”? The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Series has a class they describe by saying, “GT Daytona cars are enhanced (not defined by) technology, and use the global FIA GT3 specification.” Then they give some examples of manufacturers who participate, but they don’t name Ford. Soon they will, and you can play along in your GTD.
The Ford Mustang GTD is projected to be available in late 2024 as a 2025 model. In the meantime, rumor has it that Ford will show it at the LA Auto Show starting with press day this week.
About The Author
Brian Kennedy always wanted a ’66 Mustang. 10 years ago, he bought one – and he’s been restoring it ever since. Brian extended his passion for cars by covering events for magazines like Grassroots Motorsports, Sportscar, and Victory Lane – e.g., events in Cart, Pro Rally, Formula Atlantic, the SCCA Runoffs, Trans Am, SVRA, VSCDA, and VARA. He’s also profiled a number of cars and interviewed a number of personalities – among them: Gene Felton (IMSA), Hurley Haywood, Jerry Seinfeld, and Nigel Olsson.