- Ford has revealed a very special version of the Mustang called the GTD.
- It has a supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 engine, active aerodynamics, and numerous other track-oriented modifications.
- It will cost around $300,000 and will be built in limited quantities starting next year.
After seeing the clay model of the Ford Mustang GT3 race car in the design studio, Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley decided the Blue Oval needed to turn it into a road car. Built from a desire to win Le Mans with a Mustang, the 2025 Ford Mustang GTD is essentially the street-legal version of Ford’s upcoming racer that is due to debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona before heading to Le Mans.
Unhindered by racing rules, the GTD street car will have more power (approximately 800 horsepower) and active aerodynamic features that are illegal in the series Ford will race the Mustang GT3 in. Ford plans to build the street-legal GTD in limited numbers and it intends for this super ’Stang to take on the best track cars in the world.
As Farley puts it, “It’s for AMG Black, Aston Martin, Porsche GT3 RS. We want to beat it [the GT3 RS] at Le Mans, but we [also] want to beat it as a street car.”
Ford Performance + Multimatic = Mustang GTD
Designed and engineered by Ford Performance and Multimatic, the GTD starts life as a body-in-white run-of-the-mill Mustang that leaves the model’s Flat Rock, Michigan plant and heads north toward Multimatic’s factory in the Canadian province of Ontario. From there, the rear of the Mustang shell undergoes surgery to fit the GTD’s transaxle, which contains a Tremec eight-speed dual-clutch transaxle. A transaxle cooler mounted onto the trunk lid chills the gearbox. Ford tells us there’s still some trunk space under the transaxle-cooler’s ducting and radiator, but we didn’t get to see it.
Fitting a transaxle that connects to the front-mounted engine via a carbon-fiber prop shaft shifts the balance of weight rearward. Ford claims the GTD has a nearly 50/50 front-rear balance, which compares quite favorably to the Mustang Shelby GT500’s 56.6/43.4 percent distribution.
The automaker is keeping the GTD’s final weight under wraps for the time being. With the exception of aluminum door skins, carbon-fiber forms the rest of the bodywork.
Before you ask, exposed carbon-fiber panels (as on the GT supercar) are under consideration. However, such an option may ultimately prove too complicated and expensive.
The Secretariat of Ford Mustangs
No doubt, the GTD will be quick. Motivation comes courtesy of a slightly modified version of the Shelby GT500’s supercharged 5.2-liter V-8. In GTD guise, the blown bent eight ought to make around 800 horsepower—up from the GT500’s 760 horsepower—and redline at 7500 rpm.
A dry-sump oil system should allow the engine to keep all eight cylinders sufficiently lubricated on the track. Even with this addition, the engine maintains the same mounting position as the GT500. An available titanium exhaust made by Akrapovic blows hot air out of two large pipes that protrude from the rear fascia.
We assume the GTD includes a launch-control system so it can make the most of the traction provided by the mammoth 345/30ZR-20 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R rear tires. Up front, Ford fits the GTD with 325/30ZR-20 rubber, among the widest tires we can recall seeing fit to the front end of a production car.
A bespoke suspension makes the most of the rubber’s grip. Multimatic’s adaptive spool-valve (ASV) dampers pair with a new unequal-length control-arm front suspension, while the rear end incorporates a pushrod-style multilink setup that works with inboard-mounted ASV dampers and coil springs.
Forged aluminum wheels come standard, but even lighter forged magnesium wheels are optionally available to further reduce unsprung weight. Massive carbon-ceramic brake rotors hide behind the GTD’s wheels. Dedicated cooling ducts help keep the front rotors from overheating.
GTD Brings the Wing
With the push of a button, the GTD’s body drops approximately 1.6 inches in order to make the most of its aerodynamic package. The massive wing hanging off the C-pillar is an optional extra and it’s due to come with a hydraulically controlled active drag-reduction system (DRS) to increase downforce when necessary.
Pressure-reducing vents in the front fenders and hood look like pieces pulled from a dedicated Le Mans racer. For those wanting the most extreme aero package, Ford will offer a carbon-fiber underbody that comes with hydraulically actuated, active front flaps.
In person, the GTD is shockingly wide, with aggressive fender sculpting. The four-inch wider track, aggressive stance, and improved proportions of the approximately $300,000 Mustang variant made the Shelby GT500 that Ford parked nearby look like Danny DeVito to the GTD’s Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The tinted glass of the prototype vehicle limited our view of the interior. Nevertheless, we caught sight of the latest Mustang’s large gauge cluster and infotainment screens, as well as the racing-style Recaro front seats. There are no rear seats. Befitting its big wing, the GTD’s options menu includes a 3-D–printed rotary shifter and shift paddles made from the titanium parts of a Lockheed Martin F-22.
Production of the 2025 Ford Mustang GTD is still more than a year off, with the Blue Oval planning to build between 1000 and 2000 examples of this mighty Mustang. We’re sure Ford will sell every last one.
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Tony Quiroga is an 18-year-veteran Car and Driver editor, writer, and car reviewer and the 19th editor-in-chief for the magazine since its founding in 1955. He has subscribed to Car and Driver since age six. “Growing up, I read every issue of Car and Driver cover to cover, sometimes three or more times. It’s the place I wanted to work since I could read,” Quiroga says. He moved from Automobile Magazine to an associate editor position at Car and Driver in 2004. Over the years, he has held nearly every editorial position in print and digital, edited several special issues, and also helped produce C/D’s early YouTube efforts. He is also the longest-tenured test driver for Lightning Lap, having lapped Virginia International Raceway’s Grand Course more than 2000 times over 12 years.
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