Fastest-ever street-legal Ford Mustang almost didn’t happen

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The GTD is the tip of Ford’s new pyramid of Mustang performance models – an 800bhp monster with active aerodynamics and inboard suspension designed to take on the best road-legal GT3 cars that Mercedes and Porsche have to offer. But according to Ford CEO Jim Farley, the GTD project was almost cancelled during development.

Mustang GTD evolved in collaboration with Multimatic engineers in a small workshop behind the new Rolling Road Wind Tunnel (RRWT) in Allen Park, Michigan. Its F1-style drag reduction system (DRS) will eventually be tested in the tunnel, as other 2024 Mustang variants have been, but to date has been honed in CFD and on road courses like Road Atlanta in Georgia and Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

“If you’re a real racer, you have a budget, and your budget runs out,” says Farley. “You challenge yourself to race smarter, not to waste money like a lot of companies do and write a big check.

“This car ran into some problems during its development,” he continues. “Any good product happens that way. [With] the best products in our industry, you’ll find a moment or two when someone said, you’re not going to do it. It’s not going to make enough money. It’s not good enough for the company, it’s not going to help our brand. And this car is no different. There were two times when the project basically stopped and we weren’t sure if it was going to go through, so we all worked together [on a resolution]. Some of [the discussion]wasn’t polite, but we got it done.”

Look out for a feature on Ford’s Rolling Road Wind Tunnel in the November issue of ATTI

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About Author

Based in Calgary, Alberta, Graham is a former editor of Automotive Testing Technology International and Tire Technology International. Now working freelance, his other outlets include Autocar, MSN, Professional Motorsport World, and Canada Drives. He’s a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) and is a juror for the ATTI Awards, the TTI Awards and Canadian Car of the Year.

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