The new Ford Mustang GTD is a road-going version of the race-ready GT3, which is a race-ready version of the Dark Horse. Confused yet?

While Chevy and Dodge have deleted their muscle cars from the market, Ford continues to dominate this world with the Mustang. It would be easy for Ford to rest on its collective laurels and water down the Mustang, but that’s not happening. Instead, the Ford team is making more special editions of the venerable pony car, giving it new life in several ways.

Let’s explore how the Ford Mustang GTD came about and what it means for future drivers.

A quiet development

The idea for the Mustang GTD began with Ford CEO Jim Farley considering the idea of building a road-going version of the Mustang GT3 race car. This idea wasn’t spouted to the public. Instead, he formed a team of experts to see if this could be done. This meeting was so secretive that everyone involved had to sign NDAs to be allowed to be in the room. The idea was brought to Multimatic, the company that already builds the GT3 and Dark Horse, giving them the go-ahead to begin building the new GTD.

Farley acts like it’s a new idea

After posting on X about the success of the Ford Mustang GT3 and its testing at Sebring, Farley jokingly posted a question about the GTD. Without giving it a specific name, he asked, “Should we make a road version?” which was likely a simple ploy to gauge public sentiment regarding the possibility of a road version of the GT3 race car. At the time of the post, the GTD was already in development but hadn’t been publicly discussed or released yet.

Why develop so many Mustang versions?

Vehicle development costs a lot of money, and creating many different versions of the same car, while less expensive than an entirely new vehicle, is still expensive. Mustang sales have grown in Europe over the past few years, and the 60th anniversary of the Mustang is coming up. This is the perfect recipe for Ford to connect with fans around the world, especially with the Mustang GT3, which is involved in GT3 racing for the first time since the Ford GT left the market.

For customers looking for a road-going version of their favorite Mustang GT3 on the track, Ford offers the Mustang GTD, which gives them the chance to drive a car that’s extremely similar to the racing machines.

From road to race and then from race to road

Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports, explained the development of the Mustang GTD wasn’t a simple and direct path. The Mustang GT3 came from the Dark Horse road car. After the track-only machine was created, the road-going GTD was developed. This led to Rushbrook’s quote of:

“From road to race, and race to road.”

This quote is a great way to explain the development of these cars. As soon as you see the GTD next to a GT3, you understand how closely these two cars are related. The wide front fenders, twin air vents in the hood, and gooseneck wing mounts in the rear of the cars offer impressive similarities that can’t be easily ignored.

The GTD was made for function

Some road-going sports cars are made for form over function, but that’s not the case for the Ford Mustang GTD. This road-going racing machine offers more well-rounded performance parts and features than the GT3. This is because the GT3 meets racing requirements, which aren’t applied to the GTD. Every surface on the GTD is made to perform some function for the car, enabling owners to enjoy a high-speed ride with impressive aerodynamics and fun.

Amazing power for some fast times on the road

The new GTD also features an incredibly powerful engine. This is a 5.2-liter supercharged V8 from the Mustang Shelby GT500. This supercharged engine pumps out nearly 800 horsepower, which is sent to the wheels through a standard 10-speed automatic transmission.

The engine in the GTD is much more powerful than what’s found in the GT3. Governed by racing regulations, the 5.4-liter naturally aspirated V8 makes nearly 550 horsepower. This is an impressive figure, but not nearly as much as the road version produces.

Ford created three special versions of the Mustang for us to admire. Whether you’re a fan of GT3 racing, where you’ll see the Ford Mustang GT3, or you want a road-going version of the track car, which is the Ford Mustang GTD, you’ve got a car that provides incredible power and performance. Of course, both models with GT in the name came from the road champion Dark Horse Mustang. What do you think of Ford developing so many different versions of the Mustang?

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