Just days before Formula Drift headed to Orlando Speed World for its third event of the season, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his RTR Vehicles team took over a parking garage along Orlando’s bustling tourist thoroughfare. The ultimate goal was to reveal the 2024 Mustang RTR, which we detailed for you previously. However, in true RTR fashion, Vaughn and his crew wanted to have some fun too.
As such, they invited Mustang enthusiasts to bring out their vehicles for a cruise-in, which featured everything from classics to a horde of tricked-out S550s. The event featured food, drinks, music, and appearances from the full roster of RTR drift drivers. Also on hand were a who’s who from the industry, including media, influencers, retailers, and more.
“It’s amazing. I can’t express my gratitude for the love outpouring to what we’re doing with RTR as a whole, and then the reception to the new Mustang that we just debuted. It’s like I’m flying in the air right now. It’s amazing,” Gittin reflects as the event wound down. “It just feels so good to see the effort, the dreams, and feeling the feelings that I’m going for with our projects come to life and have people just vibing with them. They’re feeling what we’re doing, and for me, that’s the greatest return. I just want to inspire and make people smile around cars and around Mustang, and we’re doing it. It’s just special.”
Of course, the apex of the show was the global debut of RTR’s take on the S650 — the 2024 Mustang RTR, which was one of the first fully realized aftermarket packages for the forthcoming stallion. This is the product of a successful partnership between RTR and Ford, wherein RTR Vehicles reimagined the base car in ready-to-rock style. With the factory dual-inlet grille and a design that gives off wide low vibes, the seventh-generation Mustang is a seemingly tailor-made template for the basis of an RTR Mustang.
“The more that I’m around it — we’ve had this shop now doing our artwork and our new race cars — it’s hands down my favorite Mustang ever. It’s so modern and it’s so mean, sharp, and clean,” Gittin says of the S650. “Plus it has the technology and the accessibility. I just took my mom and Laurie, the chief engineer, and her daughter on a Mother’s Day where they got to launch the car with launch control. They got to hit the track with Track mode, they got to use the Drift Brake. They got to do Line Lock. That accessibility and the ability for anyone to go have these experiences is my dream. That’s going to keep car culture and Mustang alive for the future. Because when people feel that it changes their life.”
True enthusiasts like the rest of us, Vaughn and his team took the foundation that Ford created and infused it with his signature Ready to Rock style. Having an early glimpse of the car and working with Ford engineers on the Electronic Drift Brake gave him and his team invaluable insight that helped with realizing that vision.
“Ford has trust in us, but also Ford’s ear is to the ground on what’s going on in the culture and what people want to be doing with their vehicles and for giving that to them,” Gittin said of the Electronic Drift Brake. “It had to be hard to get that approved to be promoted to happen. The people on the Mustang team are very passionate and they just want to deliver the best product. You can’t say enough good things about them.”
More than a dozen years since Vaughn formed RTR to approach performance vehicles with the vision of being “available to all, and not for everyone,” the 2024 Mustang RTR is the embodiment of a company hitting its stride. The Orlando reveal served as a welcome reminder to the man himself of just how far his vision progressed since 2010.
“I stepped back to the inception of RTR when I had the idea that I wanted to start a vehicle company. I had no idea what any of this would look like, I was just day-by-day chasing my passion and the dreams that I had and that’s now become my dreams and my team’s dreams and our supporters’ dreams and it’s all just kind of collective and culminates where we’re at today,” Gittin said. “And it’s just so exciting because it’s only been 12 years. When you look at the others that are in the space for 20, 30, or 40 years, it’s really exciting to think about where we’re at now and step back, which I don’t do enough, to embrace the moment for a minute. I know what we’re already working on in the future and I’m just so excited.”
Likewise, we are excited to drive the latest Mustang RTR when they hit the streets, but until then, check out some highlights from the car’s big ready-to-reveal party.