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2025 Ford Mustang GTD: A Road

Jul 16, 2023

You can’t write a definitive definition of “muscle car.” But you’d be hard-pressed to write one that didn’t exclude the 2025 Ford Mustang GTD. It doesn’t care.

A muscle car is a relatively affordable American-made performance car that gets its speed from a powerful engine. Designers traditionally pay less attention to the athleticism of the suspension and give them almost defiantly poor aerodynamics.

The Mustang GTD has the powerful engine. But it uses complex suspension elements common in the supercar world and aerodynamics that look stolen from future jet fighters. And affordable? Ford says, “Pricing is expected to begin at approximately $300,000.” That would get you three 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 cars — arguably the peak at the end of the muscle car’s run.

No, the 2025 Ford Mustang GTD is no muscle car. It might wear the Mustang name. But Ford plans to build the new top of the Mustang line where it made the Ford GT supercar — assembled by hand at Multimatic’s shop in Ontario, Canada.

Underneath, it will use the chassis of the all-new seventh-generation Mustang. But the common parts nearly end there.

Under the hood sits a supercharged 5.2-liter V8, “targeting an estimated 800 horsepower.” A carbon-fiber drive shaft (we’re in the world of race car parts now) sends that power to the rear wheels through an 8-speed dual-clutch rear transaxle. Why set it so far back? Ford says the car has “near 50/50 weight distribution” — another fact that would baffle the shade-tree mechanics who built the original muscle car ethos.

But it’s the suspension we could write volumes about.

Ford says, “Exceptional performance is further enhanced by a state-of-the-art semi-active suspension that can vary both spring rates and ride height.” That almost sounds like something you could find in a luxury car. It isn’t.

It’s race car technology built by Multimatic. Up front, it uses a short-long-arm design for lateral stiffness. In the rear, an integral link pushrod and rocker arm architecture sits beneath adaptive spool valve dampers set up high. The design is so exotic it required Ford to delete the trunk. Yeah, there’s no trunk. In its place — the hydraulic control system and a cooler for the transaxle.

It all sits on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires wrapped around 20-inch forged aluminum wheels. But Ford will sell you magnesium wheels if you want to shave a few pounds.

Ford has provided no interior photos. The company says, “The cockpit features are finished in premium materials, including Miko suede paired with leather and carbon fiber, while digital displays keep drivers engaged and in full command.” It advertises Recaro “seats,” but there are just two. You’re not taking the kids to the track in this one.

You can order paddle shifters, a rotary dial shifter, and a serial plate, “all made from retired Lockheed Martin F-22 titanium parts.”

And we’ve waited until the end to tell you about the body because, well, how do you describe this?

There’s a Mustang under there like there was a Picard under Locutus of Borg. But the active aerodynamic parts take up more real estate than the traditional Mustang body panels.

Oh, and they’re not traditional Mustang body panels. Most of them are made from carbon fiber.

That massive rear wing, mounted to the C-pillars, hydraulically adjusts itself to maximize current airflow. Should the McLaren-style nostrils and the absurdly vented front fenders not seem like enough, Ford will sell you an underbody aerodynamics kit that uses a carbon fiber tray and “hydraulically controlled front flaps to manage airflow for aerodynamic balance.” Ford says that the latter technology “would be illegal in racing” but doesn’t specify which racing.

Interested? You’ll have to pass some sort of background check. Ford says buyers can inquire online, and “Our Mustang GTD team will contact you within the next 30 days to provide you more details about the full application process.” The company projects “late 2024/early 2025” deliveries.

But Ford CEO Jim Farley seems to have his hands on one early. He used the car’s announcement to throw down a gauntlet, inviting other automaker leaders to bring “their best road car” to a track and post lap times against him in a GTD.

It’s likely none will take him up on it. Few have real racing experience. But we can’t help but note that Akio Toyoda, though no longer CEO at Toyota, remains chairman of the company’s board and has recent professional racing experience.

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