Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As (almost) always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Ford turns the Mustang into a supercar with the Mustang GTD, Acura may have previewed the next-generation NSX, Pininfarina debuts a stunning open-top speedster, plus your news for the week.
Like many of Ford’s most memorable products, this one began in secrecy. A handful of Ford engineers were gathered for an after-hours mission to develop a Mustang that could take on the very best of what Europe could offer. The result is a limited-edition Mustang that’s well and truly unlike anything else they’ve ever made. It’s called the Mustang GTD and was developed alongside the Mustang GT3 which will enter global competition next year. This one though has more power and is fully street legal. It’s the most powerful road-going Mustang in history, the first to feature numerous motorsports-derived technologies such as DRS and pushrod suspension, and the most expensive… by a lot. Like, $300,000 a lot.
“Mustang GTD shatters every preconceived notion of a supercar,” said Jim Farley, Ford President and CEO. “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 fiber Mustang body and unleashes it for the street.”
The car was developed by many of the same people who developed the Mustang GT3 and for Le Mans-winning Ford GT, from within Ford and Multimatic. In their quest for the ultimate Mustang, they turned to pretty much every trick in the book. That begins with the chassis and its wild suspension setup. It rides on state-of-the-art semi-active suspension that can vary in both spring rates and ride height. Adaptive spool valve damper technology pioneered by Multimatic and hydraulically actuated dual sprint rate and height suspension provides two settings for on-road and on-track performance. Track mode provides a 40mm drop in ride height. The Ford GT had a similar trick. Additionally, a short-long arm front suspension provides enhanced lateral stiffness and improved kinematics.
At the back, trunk space is traded for a rear suspension setup that previous Mustangs could only dream of. It has an integral link pushrod and rocker arm setup with inboard adaptive spool valve shocks and coil over springs arranged in a horizontal cross pattern which integrate into a tubular subframe. That raw mechanical grip is aided further by massive 325mm front and 345mm rear Michelin Pilot Sport Cup R tires wrapped around 20″ forged aluminum wheels, or forged magnesium wheels with a design that mimics the GT3 race car wheels (pictured) as an option. Behind those wheels are Brembo carbon ceramic brakes as big as they could fit.
The part that everyone’s gonna see first is the insane bodywork. The fenders, hood, trunk cover, door sills, front splitter, rear diffuser, and roof are all carbon fiber. A carbon front and rear fascia is also optional, as is a more comprehensive underbody aerodynamic tray in carbon fiber as well. Essentially everything but the doors are carbon. The body largely follows the same form as the Mustang GT3, but with a few notable differences.
The C-pillar-mounted swan neck wing is lifted straight from the GT3, but it has an available DRS system that’s hydraulically controlled. There are also hydraulically controlled front flaps available as an optional extra to manage airflow for aerodynamic balance in coordination with the rear wing. It also has a slightly different hood design with shallower vents and a fender vent design that’s just slightly different as well. The side rocker panels feature more aero elements as well since there’s no side exit exhaust to deal with as with the race car. The rear diffuser is a tad less aggressive, but they took advantage of there being no trunk and added a race-inspired trunk cover with two air scoops to funnel air off the back glass into the trunk area and through the heat exchangers. Not even the race car has that same setup. Otherwise, this is as close to a GT3 race car body as you’re ever gonna get with a street car. And it’s well and truly an aerodynamics-driven design.
I mentioned earlier this was the most powerful street legal Mustang ever created. That comes courtesy of a purpose-built supercharged 5.2-liter V8 with “over” 800 horsepower. Dual air inlets, dry sump lubrication (a first for the Mustang), and titanium active valve exhaust are some of the engine’s party tricks. Given the specs, I can’t help but wonder if it’s the same “Predator” engine that was in the last-generation GT500. They don’t state that explicitly, nor do they claim this new engine is Coyote-based. Given that the engines look similar all the way down to the supercharger (GT500 left, GTD right), I’m gonna go with my hunch on this one. All that power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed rear transaxle and a carbon fiber driveshaft. That’s right, a transaxle in a Mustang. They say this was done to achieve a near 50/50 weight distribution.
Update: a sound clip posted by Ford’s Product Communications Director confirmed my suspicions regarding the engine.
While they didn’t post pictures of the interior, they did drop a few details about it. Expect high quality materials like Miko suede, leather, and carbon fiber. Recaro seats that will keep you firmly in place are practically mandatory on a car like this. The rear seats are gone in favor of storage space to help ease the burden of there being no trunk. And just because they didn’t already have the most badass Mustang imaginable, they’ll give you 3D-printed titanium paddle shifters, rotary dial shifter, and a serial plate. Where does that titanium come from, you might ask? Well, only a retired Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, the most badass plane in service and the undisputed king of the skies. It’s just a nice little finishing touch on what is the most ridiculous, insane, and outrageous Mustang ever made.
As for why they went through all this trouble to even make something like this, Ford has been taking the Mustang to new heights for a while now. The S550 generation transformed the Mustang into a proper sports car, depending on how you spec’d it out. The GT350, GT Performance Package Level 2 (shameless plug), Mach 1, and GT500 all raised the bar. With the new generation, the Dark Horse is leading the way with its own racing variants, plus the first-ever Mustang GT3 program. I suppose Ford wanted to prove that the bar could be raised higher than any of us though was possible. Ford also has tangible goals set for the thing, namely a sub-seven-minute Nürburgring lap time.
I remember driving the GT500 a few years ago at a Ford Performance on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval and thinking there’s no way Mustang gets better than this. It only took Ford three years to prove me wrong in a way I didn’t even think was possible.
Acura Electric Vision might preview next-gen NSX
In Acura’s push for electrification, they’ve rolled into Monterey Car Week with a wild new design study for an electric supercar. And it might just preview what’s in store with the next-generation NSX, which Acura has somewhat hinted at previously. Not much has been said about this car and it was only ever shown in a group of shadowy teaser images. But it’s easy to tell this is a wild, low-slung, sleep concept. I liken it to the Lotus Evija which has an almost alien-like shape to it that you can tell was devised entirely from within the wind tunnel. They might show the full thing one day or it’ll remain a mystery until it becomes an NSX. No one knows at this point. But it shows that Acura isn’t done making wild performance cars after the death of the hybrid NSX.
Acura wasn’t the only one in Monterey with a wild new EV. Pininfarina, legendary Italian design studio best known for the original Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, has unveiled a stunning open-top EV speedster based on the Battista supercar they showed a few years ago. Only ten are being built for 4.4-million Euros and are probably all sold out by now. So this means it’s pretty much irrelevant to 99.99% of the world’s population. But every now and then one of these ultra exclusive supercar projects are just so well done and so breathtaking that I just can’t help but give it just a little more news coverage.
The name B95 is derived from barchetta, an Italian word frequently applied to open top sports cars, and Pininfarina’s upcoming 95th anniversary in 2025, the year deliveries for this vehicle commence. The only things sticking above the cockpit are the drivers heads and the two roll hoops/buttresses that give it a classic motorsports-derived look. There are some very small wind deflectors to help control the wind’s movement through the “cabin”, but the paint-matched helmets they offer are still recommended. The interior is properly Italian with gorgeous leather and houndstooth upholstery for the part that sticks out into the airstream. I’d imagine buyers can get it painted however they want, but this vintage motorsport-themed yellow and silver paint scheme is already pretty damn good.
There are some designs that just instantly catch your attention. This to me is one of them. It’s not overly flashy or complicated, but sleek and evocative. You can tell that their years of experience and expertise gained from the Coca-Cola Freestyle project directly contributed to this.
And because it’s built on top of the Dave Bautista, that means it gets all of the same mind-bending performance as well from its four electric motors and 120 kWh battery. 1,874 horsepower, a sub two-second 0-60 time, and a top speed of over 186 mph await those brave enough to floor it.
Anyways, I just think it’s neat.
What’s your news for the week?
So that’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.