Cars > Peek

The Ford Mustang GTD has legit track manners

And a cockpit with parts from a stealth fighter jet

The Mustang GTD can do more than just go fast in a straight line. PHOTO FROM FORD

There are lots of videos on the Internet showing vehicles of all shapes and sizes taking off with gusto from car meets. And one car that is famous (or infamous) for screwing up these tire-shredding launches is the Ford Mustang. Apparently tired of being the butt of many jokes during Cars & Coffee, the automaker has decided to turn its iconic stallion into something that can lap the Nurburging in under seven minutes.

This car is a sign of things to come for Ford's upcoming Le Mans campaign. PHOTOS FROM FORD

It’s called the Mustang GTD. Ford claims that this thing boasts Le Mans pedigree as it is a loose derivative of the Mustang GT3 that the company plans to use in the famous endurance race next year. A clear sign that the GTD is bred for the racetrack is its unique carbon-fiber bodykit. Aside from the obvious weight savings, the holes and the vents scattered around the bodywork divert air to generate as much downforce as possible.

While customers can opt for an aero package that features movable flaps in the front bumper and the rear wing, a lot of the cornering grunt work falls on the clever suspension system. The GTD is equipped with semi-active coilovers that can instantly alter the car’s ride height depending on the conditions. At the rear, an F1-style pushrod setup ensures this Mustang behaves predictably when negotiating tight turns.

The GTD comes with 325mm-wide front and 345mm-wide rear tires. Maximizing all available grip is a traction control system that is supposedly smart enough to adjust to the driver’s skill level in real time. Peeking through the 20-inch forged aluminum or magnesium wheels are Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes with dedicated ducting to help keep them cool and fade-free even when pushed hard.

The rear wing is equipped with a movable flap. PHOTOS FROM FORD

Motivation for the GTD comes in the form of a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 that delivers approximately 800hp. Apparently, this is the most powerful engine that Ford has ever fitted to a street-legal car. Emphasis on cornering performance is evident with the use of a dry-sump lubrication system, as well as the placement of the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission at the rear for even weight distribution.

It’s all business inside Ford’s most track-focused Mustang. The cockpit has lashings of suede, leather, and carbon fiber, and is equipped with a digital instrument cluster. The GTD can accommodate two people only, and they sit on heavily bolstered Recaro racing seats. Some of the controls like the shift paddles and the rotary gear selector are made from retired titanium parts from the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor supersonic stealth fighter.

The transaxle layout promotes even weight distribution. PHOTOS FROM FORD

Canada-based Multimatic will be the one transforming standard Mustang shells into GTDs. This company is responsible for several of Ford’s motorsport projects, including the GT Le Mans race car and the upcoming Mustang GT3. With prices starting at $300,000 (P16.9 million) and a limited production run, it’s probably safe to say that GTD owners will be thinking twice about stabbing the throttle when leaving car meets.

Miggi Solidum

Professionally speaking, Miggi is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He pens the column ‘G-Force’.