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The Ford Mustang GTD; Extreme 911 GT3 RS Rival Throws Down the Gauntlet to Porsche


The Ford Mustang GTD; Extreme 911 GT3 RS Rival Throws Down the Gauntlet to Porsche

Ford Mustang GTD

So, the 2024 Shelby Super Snake may just be the ultimate Mustang that money can buy…or is it? Ford themselves have shown their own take on how to take the Mustang up a notch and their creation is called the GTD.

No, it’s not to be confused with the diesel-powered sibling of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, the name comes from the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship’s production car-based categories: GTD and GTD Pro. The D stands for Daytona as a nod to the 24 Hours of Daytona where this year for the first time since 2019, Ford arrived in Florida ready to take the green flag for the toughest season-opening race for any new car. The racing Mustang complies with GT3 regulations which means that a road car must exist for the racer to be homologated. 300 of these must be built and the racing car can use a different engine to the road car as long as it is from the same manufacturer.

The GTD is not outwardly described as a homologation special, but rather a street legal, track-ready supercar. At this point, dear reader, I’d recommend taking a look at the standard Mustang, the GT3 racer and then the GTD road car. Now tell me which one the GTD road car looks more similar to…

It’s the racing car, isn’t it? I think so too. That’s only a good thing to my eyes as I absolutely adore roadgoing racers - things like the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, Porsche 911 GT1 and Panoz Esperante which were clearly designed to have racing numbers on them first and number plates second have fascinated me for years now. The GTD is clearly part of the new Mustang family with its three-segment lights front and rear, ducktail spoiler/bootlid and fastback roofline that meets the rising rear wheel arches, but it’s safe to say that every single element has been turned up to 11 in the styling department.

The upper grille is wide and tall enough to house the Mustang logo but not much else. The main air intakes are below, within an enormous inverted trapezium-shaped grille that connects straight to the enormous front splitter. This stretches around to the hugely flared front wheel arches and large air outlets that dispel and smooth out turbulent air created by the spinning 20” wheels.

Ford Mustang GTD
Ford Mustang GTD
Ford Mustang GTD

If you think the front wheel arches are well flared, the rears are ridiculously flared and are part of the reason for the four inch wider track than the regular Mustang GT. They swell out from the familiar rising character line that accentuates the Mustang’s haunches and feature a 911 GT3-style inlet ahead of the wheel to send cool air towards rear-mounted components - more on them shortly.

The large rear wing is attached to the roof and features a drag reduction system that allows the wing to move to sacrifice downforce for greater straight line speed. This - along with the supercharger attached to the 5.2 litre V8 that delivers the circa 800 horsepower output - comes only on the roadgoing GTD, whereas the racing Mustang has to make do with a fixed rear wing and a naturally aspirated engine. 

The road car also benefits from something that is banned in the GT3 ranks - semi-active suspension, which can be viewed at work from a window inside the cabin. Located in the boot is a hydraulic system which controls the active rear wing and alters the spring rates and ride height. Distinct settings can be activated for road use or track use and when in the dedicated Track Mode, the ride height drops by almost 40 mm. As a result of the hydraulics and cooling circuit for the rear-mounted 8-speed transaxle gearbox sitting in the boot, storage space for luggage, shopping or more likely racing helmets is in the rear of the cabin which does not feature any seats.

Ford Mustang GTD
Ford Mustang GTD

The rest of the cabin is rather similar to the regular model, which is a bit of a shame considering the race-ready exterior styling. Ford promise the same level of functionality from the infotainment as one would get in a regular Mustang, as it shares the same twin-screen infotainment as the regular model.

One new feature that the driver can control is the new Variable Traction Control which allows for adjustment of the engine’s output and the stability control systems, all with two hands staying on the wheel. The cabin features suede, leather, carbon fibre, RECARO bucket seats, along with titanium shift paddles, dials and sill plates - with the titanium coming from retired Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jets. That’s my kind of recycling.

What should be obvious now is that the GTD is hell bent on elevating the Mustang from muscle car performance to supercar performance levels with a combination of raw power from its supercharged 5.2 litre V8, active aerodynamics and adjustable suspension. This appears to be - on face value at least - a car that could be pitched against a 911 GT3 RS (or maybe a GT2 RS) in a twin test and not look or perform out of place…maybe we’ll have to do that for ourselves one day!

There are now two ultra-Mustangs on the scene with the 2024 Shelby Super Snake and the 2025 Mustang GTD. Order books are open for the Shelby and applications are beginning for the GTD. Prices are yet to be confirmed for the GTD but it should start around $325,000 before options and customisations. While no production ceiling has been mentioned, it’s hard to imagine it being a mass-market model.

Written by

Ken Pearson


19 January 2024

Last Updated


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