- Based on the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse, the GT3 version is a factory-backed race car.
- Along with a race-tuned 5.4-liter V-8 and unique suspension, the Mustang GT3 features carbon fiber body panels and extreme aero bits like its massive rear wing.
- Ford says the GT3-spec Stang will begin competing around the world next year, with entries in the 2024 World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Ford Mustang GT3 is what happened when the new V-8-powered Dark Horse model was transformed from a badass street car to a full-on race car. Making its debut today on the eve of this year’s historic 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ford says it is officially entering the Mustang in the global FIA GT3 category.
Ready to Race
This time next year, the factory-backed Mustang GT3 will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But that’s after it will compete in other racing series starting as early as 2024. Among them are the World Endurance Championship and the IMSA GTD Pro Class. The previous series will see two entries by Ford’s first customer team, Proton Competition out of Germany. The latter will feature a pair of entries from the Ford Performance factory team, which will be managed by Multimatic Motorsports and start at the 2024 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Ford Performance has helped develop the GT3 Mustang from several longtime partners. Multimatic will help build and support the racecar, while M-Sport will build the engine, a race-tuned 5.4-liter V-8 based on the new 5.0-liter Coyote engine that produces 500 horsepower in the Mustang the Dark Horse. Other upgrades to the GT3 variant include a rear-mounted transaxle and a unique suspension that uses a double-wishbone setup of unequal length.
Wearing a striking livery by Troy Lee, who is said to rank among motorsport’s leading designers, the GT3-spec Stang also sports a new Ford Performance logo. The simplified design will be plastered over all FP racing creations, ads, and the name.
Beneath that colorful wrapper are numerous carbon fiber body panels. There’s no mistaking the GT3 variant for anything other than a Mustang, but its appearance changes significantly. All four fenders balloon out, making them wider. There are plenty of cutouts for better airflow and cooling as well.
Its face is positively menacing, with exposed carbon fiber surrounding the bottom of the front air ducts. Above is a set of fog lights to better illuminate the track during night races and in low visibility situations. Aft there are large gooseneck wings that grow from the sloping roofline instead of a decklid. The protruding rear diffuser also looks like it could cut off a limb or two.
Inside, the Mustang GT3 looks nothing like its street counterpart—okay, the door handles are familiar. It’s instead stripped down for maximum weight reduction, equipped with a roll cage for improved rigidity and safety, and there’s a Recaro racing seat facing the steering wheel that seems to have more buttons and switches than Volkswagen’s entire lineup of electric vehicles.
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Eric Stafford’s car addiction started before he could walk, and it has fueled his passion to write news, reviews and more for Car and Driver since 2016. His aspiration growing up is to become a millionaire with a car collection like Jay Leno. Apparently, getting rich is harder than social media influencers say, so he eschews financial success entirely to become an automotive journalist and drive new cars for a living. After earning a journalism degree at Central Michigan University and working at a daily newspaper, years of basically burning money on failed project cars and lemon-flavored jalopies finally paid off when Car and Driver hire him. His garage currently includes a 2010 Acura RDX, a ’97 Chevy Camaro Z/28 manual, and a ’90 Honda CRX Si.