Aside from the fact that internal combustion lives on in the seventh-generation Mustang, the most exciting revelation when Ford Motor Company showed the S650 to the world last September involved racing. Not only will the Mustang Dark Horse version be the baddest non-Shelby ’Stang to gallop out of Flat Rock, but it is the basis for several racing variants, including the Mustang GT3.
“I believe the commitment from Ford Motor Company and our senior leadership shows how important Mustang is to us as a company and to our employees, but is also recognition of how important the product remains to our customers. For our fans, we wanted to put that full lineup out there on the road on the racetrack. We are covering the world. It’s a great strategy and great to be part of the team that’s doing it,” Mark Rushbrook, Ford Performance Motorsports – Global Director, told this author earlier this year.
Teased before we ever saw its road-going cousin, the GT3 showed off towering aero under its cover, but that cover recently broke as Ford teased us with images of its carbon-fiber flanks, and more recently with video of it participating in a test session on a storied, 3.7-mile road course.
“The Dark Horse-based Mustang GT3 is turning its first test laps this week at one of the toughest testing grounds around, galloping towards a global racing effort starting in 2024,” the company proclaims along with a video of the car in action at the history Sebring International Raceway during a test session.
Developed in concert with Multimatic Motorsports, the S650 GT3 is powered by a 5.4-liter Coyote-based V8 engine prepped for endurance racing, which you can hear roar around the track in the video above. The new GT3 stallion also features aggressive aero, huge vents, and a generous dose of carbon fiber, so it looks every bit like the stuff of our race cars dreams. It is a positive indication of Ford’s commitment to the Mustang in motorsports.
“I love performance cars. I love racing and I think any of these cars by themselves, whether it’s one of the road-going versions of Mustang or the race cars by themselves, they’re significant vehicles. But if you look at the total lineup of what we have on the road, and the total lineup on the race car, and how that DNA is shared across road and race, it’s a great statement,” Rushbrook adds.
Set to debut next year at the 24 Hours of Daytona early next year, the new Mustang GT3 will compete against entries from the likes of Chevrolet and Toyota in endurance racing.