A great poet once said, “A sports car is a sedan that dreamed of being a racecar and never woke up.” I don’t know how accurate that is, but if there’s anything to it, I have no doubt that the 2024 Ford Mustang GT3 is precisely the sort of racecar that would inspire such dreams. First revealed earlier this year, we haven’t seen what the Mustang GT3 is capable of just yet. We’ll have to wait until its debut in a few months for that. On paper, though, it seems like an absolute monster ready to bring Ford back into the serious endurance race scene. It’s far from street legal, but the Mustang GT3 has the kind of bold design and raw, riotous power that pony car dreams are made of.
Speaking of which, one of the best things about the upcoming GT3 is that it doesn’t exist purely in a design and engineering vacuum. Many of its defining features are based on the all-new 2024 Mustang Dark Horse, which has redefined the kind of performance I expect from the pinnacle of Ford engineering. We may never get to drive the Mustang GT3 ourselves, but if we want something close to it, having the Mustang Dark Horse as an option is some comfort. Let’s have a look at the Mustang GT3 and discover what it’s about to bring to the racetrack.
New Design, New Look, New Power
If it seems like “new” is the buzzword for the Mustang GT3, that’s because it is. Ford has gone back to basics and drawn inspiration from their latest design triumphs to create something bold and revolutionary. Based on the all-new Mustang Dark Horse, the GT3 looks both notably familiar and entirely unprecedented. Just in terms of its shape, silhouette, and overall design, it’s absolutely stunning, and features so many layers to its look and feel that trying to pinpoint any one element becomes impossible.
At the front end, you have a bold and aggressive look, thanks to bare carbon fiber details peeking out from the gorgeously styled body of this animal. Since this is for endurance racing, the GT3 has powerful driving lights to keep the track illuminated at night, and wide fenders that look ready to obliterate anything that comes its way. The massive rear wing completely transforms its familiar shape into an unmistakable racetrack presence that looks ready to soar along the asphalt. Its lightweight carbon fiber body is clearly shaped like a Mustang, but with numerous overlapping panels and cutouts for better airflow and to meet its massive cooling needs, creating an athletic look that surpasses anything else out there.
The beating heart of this barely contained wild animal is a 5.4L V8 engine developed by Ford Performance, based on the incredible Coyote engine found in the Mustang Dark Horse. Along with this, the GT3 features a bespoke short-long arm suspension, as well as a rear-mounted transaxle gearbox for remarkable performance and a ride that will keep its driver in control, even through many long hours on the track. All of this speaks to the legendary engineering and design teams at Ford Performance, but they didn’t do it alone. Creating the Mustang GT3 was such a monumental task that they called in some help.
Tried and True Partners
It should come as no surprise to Ford fans that the revolutionary new Mustang GT3 was developed with help from two of Ford’s biggest partners. Multimatic Motorsports and M-Sport both came in to lend support to the project. Multimatic built the incredible Ford GT and was directly involved in the Ford GT race program, so it’s no surprise that they’re working with Ford on this new race car project. They’re taking a leadership position once again by managing some of the race programs for the upcoming 2024 season, bringing the Mustang GT3 directly to racetracks across the country.
While the engine is inspired by what you’ll find in the new Mustang Dark Horse and designed by the engineers at Ford Performance, it’s being assembled by the team at M-Sport. M-Sport isn’t exactly a stranger to the world of high-performance endurance racing, having championship-winning teams multiple times over the years. These partnerships are the perfect representation of what racing is all about. While the star of the show is Ford and their Mustang GT3, none of it is possible without teams of people supporting them and helping them succeed.
Ready to Hit the Track
The 2024 Ford Mustang GT3 was unveiled this past summer at Le Mans, where Ford revealed that it will be competing on that legendary circuit next year. That won’t be the debut of the GT3, however, because it’s slated to start hitting the track in a number of races prior to that. Proton Competition was the first customer team to announce that they’ll be using the new Mustang GT3. They’ll be driving it in the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship season, as well as at the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year. Multimatic Motorsports will also manage a pair of Mustang GT3s in IMSA’s GTD Pro class starting with the 2024 Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, which should serve as the debut for this pony.
No Dark Horse in the Race
You might not be able to drive the GT3 down the road, but you can get a Mustang Dark Horse, which is not too far from it. The Dark Horse is Ford’s latest addition to what the Mustang has to offer, and it brings incredible performance to the road.
The heart of the Mustang Dark Horse is one of the most incredible engines I’ve seen in a long time, a Gen-4 5.0L Coyote V8 engine that delivers an unbelievable 500 horsepower and 418 lb-ft of torque. We all know there are other engines out there that can deliver 100 horsepower per liter of displacement, but those are usually 2.0L turbocharged numbers that put out 204 hp or something similar. To get that kind of mind-blowing power efficiency from a massive 5.0L engine is remarkable, and creates a visceral driving experience that you really need to feel (and hear) to fully appreciate. Ford knows it, too, because they’ve included an active valve performance exhaust with quad tips to ensure this horse roars to life. It even features a remote rev function, which lets you press a button on the key fob to show off the sound of your car even when you’re not in it.
You’ll find 19-inch wheels on the Dark Horse with a Brembo brake system designed with enough stopping power to handle this immense engine. Featuring black calipers with a white Brembo logo, the function doesn’t have to be devoid of style. Inside, the Dark Horse features a 12.4-inch Digital Cluster that’s easy to read, along with a 13.2-inch infotainment display and a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. Available Recaro microsuede sport seats elevate things even further, while ambient interior lighting lets you create the perfect environment to match the style and power of the Dark Horse.
Mustang GT3: Crafted to Win
Ford hasn’t had a triumph at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2016 with the Ford GT, but everything about the all-new Mustang GT3 tells me that’s about to change. They’ve cut no corners and spared no expense in creating a gorgeous and unabashedly powerful racecar that was born to light the track on fire. With a recently revealed new logo for their Ford Performance department and brand, we’re looking at a new era for serious racetrack showings with teams hungry to put Ford on top again. There’s no denying that next year’s endurance racing season is going to be an amazing one. We’ll just have to see what the Mustang GT3 can really do and how other cars handle the new horse on the track.