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The New 800+ HP Mustang GTD Is a Le Mans Racer for the Road

Aug 15, 2023

Racer, consummate gearhead, and Ford’s President and CEO, Jim Farley sums up his new Mustang GTD supercar in three words—“sophisticated techno badass.” The 61-year-old Farley is at his personal race-car garage in Monterey, Calif., taking us through the details of the new 2025 Mustang GTD on the eve of the car’s public reveal during Monterey Car Week. And like a proud father, he can’t stop gushing.

“This car has been in my head for the past five decades. It’s the Mustang we’ve always dreamed about building; a Mustang that can take on the European elite that’s Porsche, Mercedes-AMG, and Aston Martin, and make them sweat.”

Two years ago, when Farley took the decision to build a Mustang racer to compete in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in the hard-fought GT class, he insisted that there should be a street-legal version. “The idea was to take all the technology being developed for the Mustang GT3 race car, and homologate it for a road car that could be offered globally. Yes, other brands do the same, but they take away technology from their road version. We’ve added more.”

One example is the GTD’s massive, hydraulically controlled active rear wing with its DRS opening inspired by Formula 1. Farley says it can add as much as 20 mph to the car’s straight-line top speed while dramatically increasing downforce through the curves. It’s a setup not allowed in GT-class racing.

The GTD itself will start life at Ford’s Mustang body plant in Flat Rock, Mich., before being shipped across the Canadian border to Markham, Ontario, home to Ford’s longtime performance partner Multimatic. Multimatic previously assembled the limited-edition Ford GT supercar and currently builds the Mustang GT4 and upcoming GT3 race cars.

Not that there’s much left of the original Mustang. It gets an all-new, carbon-fiber-clad body that’s four inches wider than that of a Mustang GT. With a huge focus on aerodynamics, there’s a carbon-fiber-underbody tray, vented hood and fenders, and hydraulically controlled front flaps to manage airflow. Plus, that rear wing is mounted on the car’s rear roof pillars (rather than the decklid), to apply downforce directly over the rear suspension.

Powering this new GTD is a supercharged 5.2-liter engine loosely based on Ford’s 5.0 Coyote V-8, but with a motorsport-inspired dry-sump oil system. Farley says the V-8’s power output has yet to be finalized, but it will be “at least 800 hp.” That compares to around 500 hp for the naturally aspirated Mustang GT3 racer.

Farley’s not talking zero-to-60 mph times—or top speeds—just yet, but promises the car will lap Germany’s famed Nürburgring Nordschleife track in under seven seconds. That’s faster than recent times set by a Porsche 911 GT3 RS and Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro. “Yes, we could probably have done a lot more with the Ecoboost V-6 we used in the Ford GT,” says Farley, “but we are unapologetically American, and V-8 delivers the kind of power we need.”

To deliver a near 50/50 weight balance, the GTD will come with a rear-mounted, eight-speed Tremec transaxle, connected to the fire-breathing mill via a lightweight carbon-fiber driveshaft. The GTD will also break new ground with its track-focused rear suspension that incorporates Multimatic-designed DSSV adaptive-spool valve dampers and coil-over springs arranged in a horizontal cross pattern. The configuration provides weekend racers with two ride-height settings, with Track mode lowering the car by over an inch and a half. At each corner, the GTD rides on 20-inch superlight, forged alloys—forged magnesium versions are an option—paired with massive Brembo carbon-ceramic stoppers.

Farley tells us the interior isn’t yet ready for prime time, though points through the prototype’s heavily tinted glass to the Recaro front seats—there’s no back seat—and premium materials like Miko suede, leather, and carbon fiber. On the “cool options” list are 3-D-printed titanium paddle shifters, a rotary-dial shifter, and a serial number plate made out of titanium from a retired Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter jet. There’s also a titanium exhaust system on the list.

According to the Ford CEO, the first GTDs should appear in late 2024 or early 2025, with production limited to 2,000 examples. Prices should kick off at around the $300,000 mark—the cost of a nicely loaded 911 GT3 RS. Yet with no shortage of options, expect most of the Mustang GTDs to sell for $400,000 or more.

Like the Ford GT program, there’ll be a strict application and allocation process. And no, Farley won’t be getting the first car off the line; that’s reserved for his boss, Bill Ford Jr., though Farley’s hoping to snag the second. But Farley tells us he’s so confident of this new Mustang GTD’s performance and handling credentials that he’s prepared to throw down the gauntlet to the car’s Euro rivals.

“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.” Considering that a couple of days after our meeting, Farley slipped on his race suit and hammered his thundering, big block 1964 Shelby Cobra around the Laguna Seca track—he finished second—those other auto bosses might want to think twice before accepting the challenge.