Home » The $300,000, 800-Horsepower Mustang GTD Is The Wildest Road Car To Ever Come Out Of Detroit – Updated

The $300,000, 800-Horsepower Mustang GTD Is The Wildest Road Car To Ever Come Out Of Detroit – Updated

Ford Mustang Gtd
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I’m going to have to write this number a few times: $300,000. The new street-legal, definitely-front-engined, mostly-a-racecar 2024 Mustang GTD is a $300,000 Mustang. You want another crazy number: sub-7 minutes. This is a $300,000 Mustang designed to go around the famed Nürburgring with a Ferrari-crushing sub-7-minute lap time. I think, post-COVID, everyone at Ford has lost their damn minds. And I’m totally here for it.

UPDATE: You’ll find 20 new photos at the end of the article –Social Media Pete 

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Last night I crowded into a garage near Laguna Seca that usually houses Ford CEO Jim Farley’s small collection of sports/track cars. I was running a little late and all the people who created the car were milling around the just pre-revealed car and one of them politely asked if I had any questions. I stumbled for a second and asked something about the transaxle because, really, the question I wanted to know was: Is there a small gas leak in Dearborn and how do I make sure it never gets fixed?

Mustang Gtd Live

This may or may not be the last gasp of internal combustion performance cars, so it would be doing a disservice to mankind to not create a few truly sublime and ridiculous cars on the way out.

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I call this Vegas Buffet Last Plate Syndrome™ and it’s when you’re at a Las Vegas all-you-can-eat luxury buffet and you’ve already filled your plate a couple of times with the variety of all the stuff you think you’ll want (filet mignon, oysters, razor thin crab legs). It’s your last plate. You’re going big. No filler. It’s time to make a giant pancake and fill it with prime rib and shrimp topped with bacon mac-and-cheese and a drizzle of ranch dressing.

Ford has VBLPS™ in the best possible way. Let’s just run through the list of absurdly-cool enthusiast cars they’ve made recently: Focus RS, Bronco Raptor, Ranger Raptor, F150 Raptor R, GT350, GT500, GT, GT Mk IV. GTD — hell, the Maverick itself and all its variants.

Ford Mustang Gtd 3

As way of a partial disclosure: It’s fairly well known that I enjoy Ford performance vehicles and that my all-time favorite car is the Ford Escort Cosworth RS, which is a barely road legal version of the rally car. The Mustang GTD is clearly the insane, Lee Petty-to-Richard Petty next generation of the same idea, but with the Ford Mustang GT3 car that’s going to campaign at Le Mans next year.

No one asked for this and I’m not sure I understand why it exists. I asked many people at Ford why and never got an answer that got deeper than because we can, though there’s a subtle acknowledgement that it’s going to be fun to read headlines on websites like this for a few years about all the Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette, and other lap times this thing is going to smoke.

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Sure. Great. This thing is bonkers. Let’s all just not ask Ford these “why” questions so it keeps building these cars.

This Is A Street Legal Mustang GT3 Race Car That’s Probably Faster Than The Race Car

Ford Mustang Gtd Fast

Automakers don’t necessarily like to make a big deal out of the fact that they spend all this money on race cars and, with the ironic exception of stock cars, the road car versions are usually more powerful and faster (To make racing exciting the sanctioning bodies have to make rules, and those rules, inevitably, ban things like active aerodynamic and even restrict the amount of power the motor can make).

Sure, racing sports cars get racing slicks and don’t have CarPlay, but at least one of those problems isn’t hard to solve.

“Mustang GTD shatters every preconceived notion of a supercar,” said Farley, “This is a new approach for us. We didn’t engineer a road car for the track, we created a race car for the road. Mustang GTD takes racing technology from our MustangGT3 race car, wraps it in a carbon fiber Mustang body and unleashes it for the street.”

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Ford and Multimatic–the engineering/race car building Canadian company behind the Ford GT and the builder of the Ford Mustang GT3–only had two obvious restrictions when doing this:

  • It has to start with a Mustang body
  • It has to be street legal

This isn’t a completely-from-the-ground-up car, and it does begin its journey at the same Flat Rock production facility that makes every other Mustang variant, but shortly after that it gets sent to Multimatic’s Canadian facility and basically every other bit gets changed.

Out goes the back seat because you’ll need that to store your helmet and racing suite and HANS-device and snacks on the way to the track. Why not just put it in the trunk? There is no trunk. That’s where this thing goes:

Mustang GTD Transaxle

How To Make A Front-Engined Car Beat A Bunch Of Mid-Engined Ones

I’m not sure if this is obvious to people who do not normally follow the various lap time challenges that automakers put down, but there’s a reason why Chevy went mid-engined for the new C8. Making a car whose heaviest part is in the front with driven wheels in the back creates a physics problem that results in the tires inevitably screaming for mercy.

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Ford is extremely clear that it wants to post a sub-7-minute lap time at the famed Nürburgring track and, yet, that’s not something front-engined cars do easily. With the exception of the also stratospherically-priced AMG GT Black Series, every other sub-7-minute car is mid- or rear-engined. Even the mighty Viper ACR GTS-R couldn’t crack 7 minutes. Is Ford really gunning for the Black Series? It’s a crazy thought but the answer appears to be: Yes.

The only way to reasonably accomplish this with a naturally-aspirated V8 is to move as much of the car to the back. This has been accomplished with a dual-clutch, eight-speed transaxle made by Tremec. A transaxle is, if you were curious, a transmission/differential combo. This isn’t wild technology, as cars like the Nissan GT-R employed a front-engine/rear-transaxle combo. This gives the Ford close to a 50/50 weight distribution.

What’s wild is, clearly: No one thought the Mustang would end up with one, so where the hell do you put it? This is where the GTD’s impressive engineering is most evident. This is where the secret sauce of how all this works exists. Look at this photo:

Img 0227

That’s the rear suspension. That’s also, if you were curious, a pushrod rear suspension. In a Mustang. In the year-of-our-Lord 2023. We’ll get to all the suspension shenanigans in a bit, but you’ll notice that there’s a big old space in there. That’s where this goes:

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Mustang Gtd Differential

You might ask: What goes where the transmission once was? The interior of the Mustang GTD I saw seemed mostly complete, but the windows were extremely tinted and all you can really make it is there is some sort of interior in there. It’s something to look forward to in a future press release. Were you to be able to crawl under the carbon fiber aero shield underneath you’ll see they built a high-strength, hollow brace that helps keep the massive V8 from flying through the firewall.

All of this is connected to what Ford calls a “purpose-developed” supercharged 5.2-liter V8 with dual air inlets and a dry-sump engine oil system, which is a first for a production Mustang. The GT3 has a 5.4-liter V8. Specific power numbers for the Mustang GTD haven’t been revealed, but the power is said to be above 800 horsepower with a 7,500 RPM redline.

Perhaps as wild as the transaxle setup is the suspension, which is derived from the Mustang setup in the same way the Gran Turismo movie is derived from real life. Up front is the Multimatic-developed adaptive spool valve damper technology that has a dual spring rate/suspension setup. What does that mean? Up front, there are two springs and, when you’re driving around, your GTD drives around with, hopefully, pretty great performance and decent comfort. Get to the track, hit a button, and the front suspension compresses to make, effectively, one spring. Out back, the pushrod setup does essentially the same thing and you end up with a car that’s 40 mm lower and way stiffer.

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There’s so much here that, honestly, we’ll probably have to do a second swing through the car. I haven’t even touched on the diff cooler, which grabs air off the roof at speed and then dumps warm air out of vents in the back via a fan when the car is going slow.

Why Is It The GTD?

Mustang Gtd Wheels

If there’s one slightly confusing bit about the car to most people it’s the name. What does GTD mean? One joke going around is that Ford finally gave the Mustang the Big D. If that’s the concept that people take way from it, that’s fine.

In reality, the term GTD derives from the GTD class the GT3 car will be racing in for the IMSA series. Why not call it the GT3? Probably because of comparison to Porsche they decided not to use GT3. It’s a little confusing. I asked IMSA mechanic and Autopian super friend Bozi Tatarevic about it and he agreed:

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“The Mustang GTD seems like a fun interpretation of a modern day homologation special but the name is bound to cause some confusion when people are trying to Google the Mustang GT3 race car which races in the IMSA GTD class.”

Can You Buy It?

Yes, probably. This isn’t Ferrari. There are limited allocations of the car, much like the Ford GT, but Ford seems like it wants to build as many of these as it reasonably can so that would-be owners can go chase down confused F8 Tributo owners during open track days like a hungry German Shepherd unleashed on a loose squirrel.

The $300,000 Mustang GTD is a car literally no one outside of Ford asked for, but I can’t think of a way to get an American car that’ll go any faster. It’s a supercar killer with a Mustang badge, a bona fide slice of hot, nasty, badass, all-American X-rated speed. How rock and roll is that? Things seem to be going great in Dearborn, just don’t light a match anywhere.

(Photo credits: Ford)

UPDATE – More Photos!

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Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
9 months ago

Coming soon to a curb and some trees outside a Cars and Coffee near you.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
9 months ago

It’s a sad day when the market for never driven $300k ‘enthusiast’ cars is bigger than the one for $30k enthusiast ones.

BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
9 months ago

Just an aside, one of your advertisers is behaving badly. Amey’s Garage is the advertiser, and flashing graphics is the crime. Get you advertisers under control, or the shields go back up. So far your advertisements have been tolerable, this one is not.

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
9 months ago

Took a while to read through the articles and comments for this and the new 300K Cadillac. I will never be able to afford any car anywhere close to this price range, but since I was a kid back in the stone age, I have always enjoyed reading and seeing images of them.

Are cars like this realistic for the average person? No, not even a little bit, but seeing what is possible, good or bad, is to me the exciting part.

Marc Miller
Marc Miller
9 months ago

Looking forward to seeing the actual race car in IMSA competition. Not looking forward to some a$$hat buying the street version and pranging it at a Cars ‘n’ Coffee event.

Erik
Erik
9 months ago

The D in the name will make everybody outside North America think that this is a diesel powered car.

Chi_spotting
Chi_spotting
9 months ago

We should pipe that same gas leak over to GM so they can make their own street legal race car Camaro.

Acid Tonic
Acid Tonic
9 months ago

Too BatMobile.

Myk El
Myk El
9 months ago

This car is not for me, I would not own one even if I could afford it, but I am glad they are making it. I’ve maintained for years for a given model of vehicle there should be a base trim, a posh trim and a performance trim*. This appears to be the extreme of the performance trim concept. Ford in general seems to do a good job of this.

  • relative to their place in the market
LarsVargas
LarsVargas
9 months ago

I understand where the $300k price comes from, but gosh darn! The sales tax on this is pretty close to the base price of a regular Mustang.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
9 months ago
Reply to  LarsVargas

Yes. And I was just figuring out how much could be saved by using the Cash Back thing on my credit card whilst making monthly payments.

F.Y. Jones
F.Y. Jones
9 months ago

This is all hypothetical if-I-ever-won-the-lottery talk, but I don’t like it. Just looks like a mustang with a crazy tuner body kit. Nothing wrong with that per see… But at $300k? Yeah. If I ever had that kind of dough to spend on a crazy sports car, I think I’d want a true exotic first… Including a Ford GT.

This is more car than I could ever handle, so I’d at least want the looks to match the price.

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
9 months ago
Reply to  F.Y. Jones

I think the target market on this one already owns a Ford GT and maybe a GT40, Ferrari 458, etc.

Gubbin
Gubbin
9 months ago

Ford finally gave the Mustang the Big D.

You mean it went to college and earned a degree?

F.Y. Jones
F.Y. Jones
9 months ago
Reply to  Gubbin

We have a Wet Leg fan in the house!

John Beef
John Beef
9 months ago

It looks like one of the Lego kits my 11yo daughter likes putting together.

DrewVIIIMR
DrewVIIIMR
9 months ago
Reply to  John Beef

Right? I feel everyone that says this abomination is good looking must be taking crazy pills. This thing is fucking hideous.

Farty McSprinkles
Farty McSprinkles
9 months ago

They will sell everyone they make. And if you combine all of the miles traveled by everyone of them that is made, the total miles traveled will probably be less than 1000 miles (press cars get driven). I am not completely serious, but the vast majority will be trailer queens that sit in a collectors garage, which is a shame.

World24
World24
9 months ago

Ford’s idea of their ultimate sports car is just jaw droppingly absurd.
It’s about time someone else went full-Dodge on one of their cars too!
Excessive, not needed, but is a reason to just scream ‘MERICA.
What a time to be alive!

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
9 months ago
Reply to  World24

“full-Dodge” Ha! It’s so true!

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
9 months ago

Your rebuttal, Chevrolet.

Richdelish
Richdelish
9 months ago

The first person to spin one after a Cars & Coffee wins my undying love and affection.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
9 months ago
Reply to  Richdelish

For the low price of $300,000 plus tax, title, and insurance, I will make your dream a reality.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
9 months ago

I’m kind of digging how Ford and the Mustang are bathing in the blood of their departed enemies. The Mustang is the last American muscle car standing.

Spectre6000
Spectre6000
9 months ago

I love great suspension design. The pushrod, dual spring rate rear suspension is pretty great. I LOVE the passive, fully mechanical multi-matic shocks up front (way more impressive than the computer controlled stuff to my mind). That sway bar looks awfully thin, but could just be for display purposes. What really caught my eye though is the surprisingly simple geometry of the actual wheel controlling parts of the suspension. I’d have expected some really cool multi-link setup, but that’s super simple to be paired with the rest of it…

DeWayne
DeWayne
9 months ago
Reply to  Spectre6000

The sway bar probably just operates with a non-packaging-constrained motion ratio. i.e. they didn’t have to put a big heavy bar on it because the geometry is ideal.

Newcarpetsmell
Newcarpetsmell
9 months ago
Reply to  Spectre6000

The sway bar size could be due to where it’s mounted (assuming we’re both talking about the rear one mounted high). The shorter length and design probably puts less load to resist than if it were longer and mounted closer to the wheels.

Last edited 9 months ago by Newcarpetsmell
Cool Dave
Cool Dave
9 months ago

I guess I’m just burned out on all these special, hyper-expensive, pissing contest kinds of cars.. don’t get me wrong, it’s cool, I’m glad it exists, it’s impressive but it’s kind of like going to a car show, I’m going to walk right past all the expensive super cars to talk to the guy with the hacked up truck or weird import.

Accessibility or personality at this point are more interesting than the biggest number or fastest whatever. Get off my lawn, etc..

Spectre6000
Spectre6000
9 months ago
Reply to  Cool Dave

Agreed. Things like this are occasionally interesting from an engineering perspective to see what sorts of experimental tech might eventually trickle down, but it does nothing for me. My next door neighbor has a Ferrari, and I have an open invite to take the keys and blast the canyon we live in, but in five years I’ve never taken him up on the offer. Just not that interested. Meanwhile I bought an RX-8 because it’s so much more fun, interesting, a characterful than any Ferrari could be AND at speeds that won’t get me locked up. If these things hit the market, I guarantee I’ll see (and hear, I hate Ford’s asshole mode exhaust) one sooner than later, but it’ll just be noise (literally and figuratively).

Acrimonious Mofo
Acrimonious Mofo
9 months ago

This is absolutely absurd. An answer to a question that no was ever going to ask, and it’s absolutely fantastic. I, for one, will be giving Ford the standing slow clap they deserve for this delightful nonsense.

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
9 months ago

Every time I see some sort of moonshot project like this come out I think, “this is what you can do when you just decide to? Where has this been all these years?”

It’s like when Dodge discovered that 700hp wasn’t really all that hard.

sentinelTk
sentinelTk
9 months ago

Rapid fire observations after skimming the comments:

  1. “$300k? I’m out.” Ford isn’t targeting you to buy this car. Nor me. It doesn’t matter that we balk at the price.
  2. “Yeah but buy a GT3RS or FxxK or *insert euro track toy here*”- You can’t walk into a dealer and walk out with any of these. Nor will you be able to with this, but there’s going to be a lot more chance to get a shot at one of these new if you have the coin to throw down at your local Ford mega-dealer than sitting on a waitlist for a GT3RS.
  3. “That’s Lambo/Ferrari money.” Yup. And the venn diagram of people who want a Huracan and Ford’s craziest street legal car ever overlaps with like 5 youtubers and a handful of plastic surgeons. Ford isn’t targeting trust fund bro who leases his Lambo.
  4. “Ford something something crossover something something recalls something something supercar.” So?

Don’t bother trying to apply rational thinking here. Cars like this are inherently irrational. Ford wanted hype around the new Mustang. Ford wanted another boundary pushing project (like both GT’s before it, and the Raptors, and the RS200, etc). Ford did both, has our attention, and will sell every example they make of this because there’s tons of suburbanite “rich” people who will gladly drop stupid money on a stupid car so they can roll in the most insane ‘Murica mobile in their greater metro area.

That said, I think it’s crazy and I love Ford for doing it. And I am going to love geeking out over the engineering that went into this and watching Demuro’s face when he floors one. From there, I probably won’t care until one rolls up at the local cars and coffee…..

ScottyB
ScottyB
9 months ago
Reply to  sentinelTk

This pretty much sums up any adverse reaction to this car which is totally it’s own thing, the ultimate Mustang, not an alternate for anything else priced comparably.

Ford isn’t targeting trust fund bro who leases his Lambo.

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