The GT4 Version Is Set for IMSA Competition Next Year, the GT3 Coming in 2024
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Blue Oval is set to gallop into IMSA with a new steed. Wednesday night in Detroit, Ford Motor Company introduced the seventh-generation line of its iconic Mustang, including the GT3 and GT4 versions scheduled to race in IMSA.
The Mustang GT4 will be eligible to compete in 2023 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge’s Grand Sport (GS) class and in the new IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge’s GSX class. The Mustang GT3 is set for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition in the GTD PRO and GT Daytona (GTD) classes starting in 2024.
Ford Performance initially announced those racing programs in January on the day prior to the Rolex 24 At Daytona. They were confirmed during Wednesday’s announcement that also included unveiling of the complete line of 2024 Mustang passenger and track-only models. Among the line is the new Mustang Dark Horse, the first entry in the Mustang performance series in 21 years that draws cues from the racing program. A special team of Ford engineers, designers and experts worked more than three years to develop the Mustang Dark Horse.
“For decades, Mustang has competed against the most premium brands on the greatest world stages and won,” said Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor Company. “We surprised everyone, and we’re going to surprise them again with a track-capable Mustang that puts a new level of performance, styling and American engineering in the hands of everyday customers who still want the thrill and excitement of a V-8 sports car.”
The Mustang Dark Horse is part of Ford’s broader launch of six new racing Mustangs that will compete globally in a variety of series, including IMSA.
“We’re taking this all-new Mustang to competition racing and the very definition of a ‘dark horse’ is the perfect fit to introduce this vehicle to the Mustang brand,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director at Ford Performance Motorsports. “With our race program development underway, we’re confident we have the right car for success.”
Ford is collaborating with longtime successful chassis constructor Multimatic for the GT3 version of the Mustang, a car powered by a new 5.4-liter Coyote V-8 engine. Plans call for a factory-supported WeatherTech Championship GTD PRO class effort to debut at the 2024 Rolex 24, with the GT3 also made available to customer teams in the GTD class.
“The Ford Mustang belongs on the racetrack,” Rushbrook said at the January announcement. “We’ve had a lot of success with Mustang in the past in different programs. But as we go forward, we want to elevate that and have even more global presence of Mustang on the racetrack.”
This new generation of the Mustang continues the legacy of the passenger model that debuted nearly six decades ago. The updated design boasts a reimagined driving experience including an “immersive digital cockpit inspired by fighter jets” featuring two large customizable digital displays. The passenger line has two available new engines, a 2.3-liter EcoBoost and the GT’s powerful 5.0-liter Coyote V-8, set to deliver the most naturally aspirated horsepower of any Mustang GT thanks to an innovative dual air intake box and dual-throttle body design that helps minimize induction loss by enabling higher air flow rates.
“This is the most athletic and confidence-inspiring Mustang EcoBoost and GT to drive yet,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Mustang chief nameplate engineer. “Whether driving an automatic or manual transmission, thanks to drive modes combined with fine-tuned digital engine, suspension and steering controls, we’re now able to give drivers peak performance everywhere, from their favorite roads to their local track.”
Each model in the Mustang lineup will have its own unique front end. The GT is differentiated from EcoBoost models by larger, more aggressive grille openings, engineered to allow increased airflow, reflecting the increase in power and performance. The car’s aerodynamics are optimized further with the addition of new hood vents and redesigned front splitter.
“Both the EcoBoost and Mustang GT have unique styling cues that deliver on their promise of Mustang performance,” said Christopher Walter, Ford Mustang design manager. “The new Mustang is more chiseled and edgier, leaning into Mustang’s classic brawniness and timelessness.”