Mustang's 40th Anniversary
Ford created the Mustang GT R
The 2005 Ford Mustang GT R
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. The Mustang GT-R signals a potential future race car,
while honoring four decades of performance glory just days before
Mustang's 40th anniversary.
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
"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 service.
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" powerplant.
"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
Doug Gaffka's design director, Ford Performance Group design
inspiration for the Mustang GT-R was simple: Flex the 2005 Mustang shell
to wrap the engine and retain 85 percent of the production car's solid
"We decided that when a car as good as the 2005 Mustang comes along, we
don't need to look much further for a pure race car," he says, noting that
the Mustang's shell would be dressing for the engine and roll cage.
The carbon fiber hood instantly communicates the car's performance its
large engine bulge and unfinished surface harken back to the famous
yellow, black-hooded Mustangs..
The front end is a further evolution of the Mustang GT coupe and
convertible concepts that stole the 2003 North American International Auto
Show and foreshadowed the design of the 2005 Mustang. The Mustang GT-R
features the classic pony in the grille, surrounded by modern materials
like carbon fiber as well as advanced aerodynamic treatments like
ground-hugging front and side splitters.
Accentuated by huge front fender flares that accommodate the racing
suspension, the sides of the Mustang GT-R have 20-inch wheels, racing
slicks and substantial air scoops. The equally large rear fenders house
tires that are an inch wider. Considering how quickly 18- and 19-inch
tires became standard racing ware in recent years, these tires are a
realistic forecast of the next evolution in racing rubber. Dual stainless
steel exhaust tips -- jutting out of the rear body panel just above the
rocker panel on both sides in front of the tires add an intimidating
look to the rear of the car.
The classic Mustang rear quarter windows are blocked out to accommodate
the fuel delivery "dry-brake" system on the driver's side. The doors are
fully functional as required by many of the possible racing classes.
The prominent GT-R logo is placed above the front fender and is flanked by
the honorary "Mustang" and "40th Anniversary" words. This logo is repeated
on the rear.
Probably the most striking design element, the prominent composite rear
spoiler meets several road racing sanctioning body rules.
The rear fascia, like the front, is a further expression of the GT concept
design, with a wider taillamp execution. Endurance racers will instantly
recognize the differential cooler mounted with an aluminum grille screen
between the taillamps.
Inside, the instrument panel preserves the dramatic styling of the 2005
Mustang in a carbon fiber application for racing. In anticipation of
another trend, designers chose a Formula One-style steering wheel with
most vehicle controls and gauges integrated, including the tachometer,
gear selections, telemetry and warning signals. Only the oil pressure and
water temperature gauges are located on the instrument panel.
"Most racers cobble together interiors," says Gaffka. "The Formula
One-style steering wheel significantly reduces dash gauges to help
preserve Mustang's powerful instrument panel, which is the next evolution
of our interior design leadership."
The passenger side houses seat mount tracks for a second seat, if needed,
for would-be thrill seekers seeking first-hand Mustang GT-R's performance
experience. The chrome-moly roll cage is attached to all significant
points in the body structure, adding significant rigidity to an already
The Mustang GT-R's body retains 85 percent of the production car's body
components that were stiffened by 30 percent as part of the Mustang's
first full makeover ever. The only modifications include rear-mounted
battery pods and a fuel cell relocated to the rear trunk.
Built at Saleen Special Vehicles in Troy, Mich., the car was developed by
the same members of the Ford GT "Dream Team" who are building
sub-assemblies and painting body panels for Ford's first supercar.
The "Five Liter" Is Back
The foundation for the Mustang GT-R's race-prepared 440-horsepower engine
is the new 5.0-liter "Cammer" crate engine from Ford Racing Performance
Parts. The engine is rooted in the MOD 4.6-liter four-valve V-8 engine
family. However, the motor's flanged cylinder liners help provide 94mm
(instead of 90.2mm) cylinder bores, creating a full 5.0 liters of piston
And while the motor employs the SVT Mustang Cobra's forged crankshaft with
six-bolt mains and Manley "H-Beam" connecting rods for superior strength,
the high-strength Ford Racing block features design reinforcements and a
revised material for added strength and high-output durability. The block
is specially reinforced in the crankcase web areas for high torque loads.
Other key differences include forged pistons, an 11.0:1 compression ratio,
ported heads, higher-lift cams and beehive-shaped valve springs. The crate
engine also features higher-flow fuel injectors and a magnesium,
variable-geometry intake manifold.
The 5.0-liter "Cammer" engine comes with a custom oil pan and features
custom-fabricated Tri-Y headers and crossover.
Helping put the power to the ground is the Ford Racing-supplied TTC T-56
six-speed transmission linked to the engine through a heavy-duty clutch
and flywheel assembly. Power exits the transmission through a custom metal
matrix composite aluminum driveshaft into a race-specification
differential with a 4.56:1 final drive ratio.
The "Cammer" was introduced at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers
Association show in 2002. The engine in the GT-R is identical to the crate
engine, with the exception of camshaft timing, which was modified to
produce more high-end horsepower for track use.
Proven Race Chassis
The Mustang GT-R benefits from the 2005 Mustang's race-inspired chassis,
developed and tuned by engineers with Ford Racing engineering experience
or a passion for weekend track time. The Mustang's race-bred suspensions,
near 50-50 weight distribution and ultra-stiff body structure, are just
the beginning of Mustang GT-R's credentials.
"The GT-R is the ultimate expression of the Mustang platform," says Hau
Thai-Tang, 2005 Mustang chief nameplate engineer. "Mustang spans more of
the market than almost any other car from an under-$20,000 V-6 to a
race-ready car in the $40,000 range. The Mustang GT-R shows how we can
expand that unmatched reach with the all-new platform."
Track time at drag strips and on road courses was a critical part of
the 2005 Mustang's development, as chassis engineers pushed prototypes to
the limit in search of the perfect power-and-handling blend.
"We spent countless hours refining this car on development drives and at
the track," says Mark Rushbrook, 2005 Mustang vehicle development manager.
"The car has been to the Nelson Ledges road course in Ohio several times
for 24-hour runs and has spent months on Ford's straightaways and handling
courses at our proving grounds in Arizona, Michigan and Florida."
Soon after the 2005 Mustang's world reveal in January, race engineers
quickly began building on its solid foundation. The Mustang GT-R concept's
chassis was fully stripped down to the body shell to receive custom
reinforcement and structural improvements for driver safety on the
racetrack. A roll cage was added, along with a Sparco-brand racing seat
with a five-point safety harness.
The production suspension geometry is retained, but key parts were
replaced to reduce weight or provide additional strength for the rigors of
racing. Suspension pieces, including the K-member, are made of lightweight
chrome-moly tubing. The race-proven dampers are coil-over, fully
adjustable units featuring remote reservoirs. A strut tower brace
increases structural rigidity.
Rounding out the chassis package are huge, race-proven Brembo brakes. The
front features 14.3-inch rotors with six-piston calipers; the rear has
13-inch rotors with four-piston calipers. Linking the whole package to the
racetrack are 20-inch wheels and racing slicks provided by Pirelli. Tire
sizes range from 275/35 in front to 305/30 in the rear. The Mustang GT-R
is engineered with modern aerodynamics principles, including a massive
front airflow opening and carbon-fiber belly pans that reduce underbody
Concept to Reality
Although the Mustang GT-R is a concept, the car was engineered to perform
at racing speeds with parts currently available to weekend racers through
the 2004 Ford Racing catalog. The 5.0-liter EFI "Cammer" crate engine,
including the wiring harness kit, will sell for an MSRP of $14,995. The "Cammer"
engine takes the guesswork out of installation projects by offering a
choice of several length 5.0-liter, 4-valve modular wiring harness kits
created specifically to cover the most popular engine swap configurations.
What's more, harness kits which include the powertrain control module (PCM)
provide all the necessary electrical connectors, including end
terminals, a fuse box, a power distribution box, as well as switch
connectors and fuel pump relays. The roll cage, rear spoiler and some
chassis components are all being considered for further development.
Text and photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company