Ford calls the new Mustang GTD “a rocket ship for the road.” The limited-edition car, which arrives next year, is essentially a racing car designed to be legally driven on the street.
If you thought internal-combustion cars are on the way out, Ford might beg to differ — even though it sells the Mustang Mach-E crossover and the Lightning electric pickup.
For a nameplate nearing its 60th birthday, the Mustang is as healthy as ever. And with the approaching demise of the Chevrolet Camaro and internal-combustion Dodge Challenger, the Mustang will reign supreme as the only model of its type you can buy.
The GTD — named for the International Motor Sports Association’s Grand Touring Daytona racing class — comes from Ford’s engineering department. Three years ago, it began developing a stylish and sophisticated machine that would turn heads and turn in blisteringly quick laps on the world’s road courses. That’s no small task, but at least Ford’s 2024 Mustang GT3, GT4 and Dark Horse R full-on race cars provided the performance benchmarks for the GTD to meet if not surpass.
Starting with the basic 2024 Mustang chassis, the GTD was given its own body, much of which is made mostly of weight-reducing carbon fibre. The basic outline resembles that of a Mustang coupe, but just barely. Below the lower air intake there’s a downforce-creating splitter plus similar extensions attached to the rocker panels. The hood and bulging front and rear fenders, which allow for a 10-centimetre increase in width between the front wheels as well as well as the rears, contain air vents to help cool the engine and brakes. Below the rear bumper is a pair of oversized titanium exhaust tips.
Aside from the unique bodywork, the most significant point of differentiation is the available hydraulically adjustable rear wing that can provide additional downforce and braking. The curved shape of the support struts, which are attached to roof pillar, means the wing extends past the bumper.
The GTD’s rear-mounted eight-speed paddle-shift transmission is integrated with the differential and axle to form the transaxle. The assembly is positioned between the rear wheels for better weight distribution and improved cornering stability.
Due to the transaxle’s location, the attendant cooling system and semi-active multi-link suspension with horizontally opposed coilover shocks, there’s no trunk. The deletion of the rear seat allows some room for storage.
Delivering the necessary racing-capable performance is a specially built supercharged 5.2-litre V-8 that’s based on the Shelby GT500’s powerplant. Ford estimates the engine will exceed 800 horsepower and will have a 7,500-rpm-plus redline. It has a unique dry-sump oiling system that uses a remote oil reservoir and pump instead of a traditional oil pan below the engine. This greatly increases oil capacity and prevents oil starvation during high-G maneuvers.
A carbon-fibre driveshaft sends torque to the transmission.
Final assembly for the GTD is handled by Multimatic in Canada, which is the same company that builds the limited-edition Ford GT supercar plus other Mustang racers. The company is also responsible for the dual-mode suspension that in track mode lowers the ride height by about four centimetres.
The finishing touches include Brembo-brand carbon-ceramic brakes located behind 20-inch aluminum or optional forged magnesium wheels. Tire section width measure 325 millimetres at the front and 345 at the rear.
The interior gets Recaro-brand racing-style seats covered in suede and leather. A digital gauge cluster and separate infotainment screen are also standard, as is a console-mounted rotary shifter and steering-column-mounted titanium paddle shifters.
By Ford’s estimate, the GTD will start in the US $300,000 range (Canadian pricing hasn’t been announced). Adding the rear wing and magnesium wheels plus an available carbon-fibre aerodynamic underbody tray and carbon-fibre front and rear body pieces will increase the cost, as will customer-specified paint requests.
However it’s equipped, the result promises to be an exceptionally quick pony car unlike anything else on the road or on the road course.
What you should know: 2025 Ford Mustang GTD
Type: Rear-wheel-drive sport coupe
Engine (h.p.): 5.2-litre V-8 (800-plus, est.)
Transmission: Eight-speed paddle-shift automatic
Market position: Turning a sporty vehicle into an expensive full-on race car for the street might sound like a gamble, but it’s based on the ever-popular Ford Mustang. The GTD’s low production numbers will likely make it a desirable (and collectible) model.
Points: Functional design has the appearance of a serious race car. • Interior is far more luxurious and high-tech than you might expect. • Power output should make it a strong contender on the track. • The lack of a trunk likely won’t bother prospective buyers, considering what’s located there. • Offering a manual transmission option might have been appreciated by some buyers.
Active safety: The list is not yet available, but expect blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); active cruise control (std.); front and rear emergency braking (std.); inattentive-driver alert (std.); lane-departure warning (std.); pedestrian warning (std.)
MPG (city/hwy): n.a.
Base price (incl. destination): US $300,000 (est.)
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
- Base price: $301,400
- New 2024 track-ready model’s 4.0-litre six-cylinder puts out 518 h.p.
- Base price: $375,000
- 2024 midengine coupe and roadster models have 740 h.p.
- Base price: $270,000 (est.)
- Updated 2024 coupe’s twin-turbo V-8 makes 577 h.p. Nine-speed automatic.
– written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media