Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Ford takes aim at 'the best of European sports cars' with bonkers 597kW Mustang GTD

The Mustang GTD is Ford going wild with what is possible on the new-generation Pony car.

The new Ford Mustang GTD has a singular purpose: to embarrass all others at the racetrack.

And to achieve this goal, Ford has gifted the most hardcore, street-legal Mustang with a 597kW-targetting supercharged 5.2-litre petrol V8, which would shame even the V10-powered Lamborghini Huracan STO (470kW), V12-powered Ferrari 812 Superfast (588kW) and turbocharged V8-powered McLaren 765LT (563kW).

In fact, even the venerated Porsche 911 Turbo S and latest (but now discontinued) GT2 RS struggle to match the Mustang GTD’s brawn, outputting 478kW and 515kW respectively from turbocharged flat-six engines.

Paired to the engine is an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that is rear-mounted for near-perfect weight distribution, driving just the rear wheels.

But every petrolhead knows it’s not just about numbers on a dyno, and Ford knows this too.

From the outside, the Mustang GTD sports carbon-fibre panels for the fenders, bonnet, bootlid, door sills, rear diffuser and front splitter, while Ford allows customers to also option the lightweight material across the front and rear bumpers, and for the underbody tray.

Aside from the downforce-increasing body, Ford has also fitted semi-active suspension that can tweak spring rates and ride height (by 40mm) when in Track mode.

Combined with fatter 325/345mm tyres front and rear, the GTD has a near-102mm wider track compared with the Mustang GT.

Tyres are wrapped in 20-inch forged aluminium wheels, with the option for lighter-weight forged magnesium hoops.

Tucked behind the wheels are Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes for beefed-up stopping power, with the rear units aided by cooling air ducts.

The powertrain combined with heavily tweaked and aerodynamically optimised bodywork means the Mustang GTD should be pretty handy around a corner too, or as Ford President and CEO Jim Farley puts it…

“This is our company, we’re throwing down the gauntlet and saying, ‘come and get it,’” said Farley. “We’re comfortable putting everybody else on notice. I’ll take track time in a Mustang GTD against any other auto boss in their best road car.”

And as a road-legal car, the Mustang GTD is also kitted out with a full interior with suede, leather and carbon-fibre finishes.

The GTD loses the rear seats found in the standard Mustang but the digital instrument cluster carries over, while Recaro seats, titanium paddle shifters and a rotary shifter also feature.

According to Ford, the brief for the Mustang GTD was “design a Mustang to take on the best of European sports cars” with the sole focus of going “faster around a track”.

Ford is targeting a sub-seven-minute lap time at the infamous Nürburgring circuit for its Mustang GTD, which would place is among the Ferrari 296 GTB, Porsche 911 GT2 RS , Porsche 918 Spider and Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series.

“Mustang GTD shatters every preconceived notion of a supercar,” said Farley.

“This is a new approach for us. We didn’t engineer a road car for the track, we created a race car for the road. Mustang GTD takes racing technology from our Mustang GT3 race car, wraps it in a carbon-fibre Mustang body and unleashes it for the street.”

As an aside, Ford explains the GTD nomenclature as a reference to the IMSA GTD racing class, and should not be confused with Volkswagen’s now defunct GTD diesel-powered cars.

Unfortunately for local buyers, the Mustang GTD will be produced exclusively in left-hand drive, and is priced from $US300,000, or $A467,123, with order books opening in late 2024 for a 2025 delivery.