The muscular Ford Mustang GT-R rekindles the legend’s road
racing glory and the magic of 5.0-liter Mustangs in a stunning
racing concept making its world debut today. The Mustang GT-R
signals a potential future race car, while honoring four decades
of performance glory just days before Mustang’s 40th anniversary.
"The Mustang GT-R blends today’s breathtaking design,
Ford Racing’s unmatched history and the most advanced racing
technology into the ultimate Mustang," says J Mays, Ford
group vice president, design. "Mustang’s iconic image
grew with every checkered flag so we think the Mustang GT-R is
an appropriate tribute to the car’s 40th anniversary, and
a hint at what’s to come."
The bright Valencia Orange car – inspired by the famous
Grabber Orange 1970 Mustang Boss 302 Trans-Am race cars (the Yellow
Mustangs) piloted by race legends, including Parnelli Jones –
is a technological showcase that, when peeled back, reveals a
number of existing or production-feasible racing parts.
"The Mustang GT-R shows that Ford is
back in road racing in a serious way," says Jim O’Connor,
Ford group vice president, North America marketing, sales and
The Mustang GT-R features Ford Racing’s 440-horsepower
"Cammer" crate engine that already is affordably available
to grassroots racers, and can be tuned to produce more than 500
horsepower under certain race series rules. Last year, a tuned
505-horsepower version of the "Cammer" notched world-class
performance and endurance credentials by powering a Focus Daytona
Prototype to victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona race.
The racecar is engineered to tackle the world’s toughest
road and street courses with a stiff structure – based on
the all-new 2005 Mustang scheduled for sale this fall –
a collection of the most sophisticated racing parts from many
racing series and a Formula One-inspired steering wheel. However,
the Mustang GT-R could be easily transformed into an affordable,
competitive option for grassroots teams because it uses 85 percent
of the 2005 Mustang’s body components along with the same
suspension setups and the already-attainable "Cammer"
"The GT-R is the Mustang racers would build
if they weren’t bound by various road racing rules,"
says Dan Davis. "We were fortunate to start with a rigid, well-balanced
production Mustang that was proven on the track by some of the same
people who, in previous jobs, helped Ford Racing win on Sundays.
"The Mustang GT-R could be adapted to
conform to different series and budgets but, in this variation,
serves as a dream machine. We took the ‘Cammer’ engine
from the Ford Racing catalog and built a race car around it with
the best parts we’ve researched and tested through our unmatched
global racing program," Davis says.
While conceptual in spirit, the Mustang GT-R
is built by racers and is a capable performer with an eye on stepping
up Mustang’s road-racing presence. Several racing series
– American LeMans, SCCA Trans-Am, GrandAm Cup and the FIA
– could easily accommodate the Mustang GT-R. For example,
the car could meet some series rules with basic modifications
to the brakes, wheels, tires and body parts.
The Mustang GT-R also
hints at a turnkey grassroots-racing package that could be retailed
through Ford Racing’s parts’ catalog and distribution