The Ford Mustang GTD is a road-legal race car that can lap the Nürburgring in 7 mins

Ford has gone mad, and we’re loving it. The American carmaker wanted to win Le Mans with a Mustang, but after seeing the race car in clay model form, CEO Jim Farley thought – hey, why not make it into an actual road car too? And thus born the Ford Mustang GTD, a barely road-legal race car with over 800 hp.

As a road car derived from its racing counterpart, Ford has given it the ‘GTD’ suffix as a nod to IMSA’s GTD class, which the Ford Mustang GT3 race car will compete in. But you know what’s even crazier? Despite being based off of the race car, the road-going Ford Mustang GTD will actually be faster than the race car that it’s based on.

That’s because racing series have regulations and rules to keep racing interesting, while there’s no such thing for the roads – as long as you have the right number of headlights, wing mirrors, and windshield wipers (we’re oversimplifying of course, but you get the point). Remember the Aston Martin Valkyrie? It’s the same story here.

As such, the Ford Mustang GTD will have a different engine but with more power – a purpose built 5.2 litre supercharged V8 with approximately 800 hp, says Ford – and also active aerodynamic features as well as adjustable (spring rates and ride height) suspensions that you’ll never see on a GT3-spec race car.

It might look just like a riced-up Ford Mustang, but aside from the name and its overall shape, the GTD actually shares very little with the EcoBoosts and GTs that you see on the roads.

Like all Mustangs, the GTD also starts its life at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan, USA. But aside from just some of its bones, the majority of the car will all be hand-built at race car builder Multimatic’s factory in Canada – the same plant that makes the Ford GT.

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Nearly every panel on the widebodied Ford Mustang GTD is made of carbon fibre, and all sculpted for better aerodynamic performance and weight reduction; the transmission – a Tremec eight-speed dual-clutch – is moved to the rear and connected to the engine via a carbon fibre driveshaft for near 50:50 weight balance, and even the suspensions are completely bespoke too.

It adopts a new unequal-length control-arm system in front, as well as a pushrod multi-link set-up at the rear, all paired to Multimatic’s adaptive spool-valve (ASV) dampers. What that means is at a push of a button, the Ford Mustang GTD can drop 40 mm in ride height, while also feeling stiff as hell for the best performance on track.

The lowered ride height works best in conjunction with the optional massive wing hanging off the C-pillar, that comes with a hydraulically controlled active drag-reduction system (or DRS as you’ll often hear in Formula 1) to control the amount of downforce at different parts of the track.

These, of course, are just the flashiest bullet points that will catch the laymen’s attention. In actuality, we’ve only barely scratched the surface on what makes the GTD an actual race car for the roads – there’s still the special cooling considerations for the engine, brakes, and differentials, the hydraulically actuated active front flaps to channel air between the radiators and under the carbon fibre floor, and many, many other things.

All you need to know that it’s properly bonkers – and it looks the part too, with massive vents and air inlets all around, massive 20-inch forged aluminium or magnesium wheels wrapped in behemoth tyres (325 section front, 345 rear), and even an optional twin titanium exhaust at the back made by Akrapovic.

So, how fast, exactly? The company is still keeping many of its performance numbers under wraps, but did mention that their goal for the Mustang GTD is to be the “fastest road going Mustang ever from Ford”, targetting a sub-seven-minute lap time around the Nürburgring Nordschleife – that’s Porsche 911 GT3 (or GT3 RS) territory.

Ford says that production for the Mustang GTD is still more than a year away, and it’s planning to build between 1,000 to 2,000 examples of it, at approximately USD300,000 per pop. There’s no doubt Ford will sell every last one of these.

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