Ford is counting on its drag reduction system to target a sub-7-minute Nürburgring time.
The Ford Mustang has long been synonymous with American muscle cars, a status symbol of both speed and power. However, the latest iteration, the Mustang GTD, is rewriting the rules of the road and the racetrack alike with groundbreaking aerodynamic features. The car is equipped with active aerodynamic components that are unlike any found on a Ford vehicle before. And if that’s not impressive enough, these features are even considered illegal in GT3-class race cars. The Mustang GTD is not just another high-performance Mustang; it’s an engineering marvel designed to balance the tradeoffs between aerodynamics for speed and downforce for traction, with its sights set on track domination..
Central to the Mustang GTD’s aerodynamic prowess is its state-of-the-art Drag Reduction System (DRS). The DRS utilizes a hydraulic system to alter the angle of the rear wing and to engage flaps under the car’s front. The aim? To find the perfect equilibrium between airflow for speed and downforce for grip, under varying performance conditions. As the chief program engineer for Mustang GTD, Greg Goodall, puts it, “Every surface, body opening, and vent on and under Mustang GTD’s body is functional.” The design team has thought of everything from air directed for cooling to achieving optimal downforce and aerodynamics.
The benefits of the DRS are most evident when the Mustang GTD faces sharp turns. When grip becomes a higher priority than speed, the DRS adjusts to generate additional downforce on the vehicle’s rear, helping the GTD go faster through turns without sacrificing traction. The front underbody is equally impressive; its keel-like shape helps manage airflow, contributing to front-end stability during sharp turns. According to Goodall, this level of active airflow management is not even allowed in racing due to strict regulations, highlighting how revolutionary this technology really is.
But what about daily driving, you ask? Well, the Mustang GTD has got that covered too. Its adaptable body height ensures the vehicle clears everyday obstacles like speed bumps. When it’s time to hit the track, the suspension can lower the body by 40 mm to further enhance aerodynamic efficiency.
Ford’s engineering team isn’t stopping there. They continue to fine-tune the Mustang GTD’s aerodynamics through thousands of hours spent on virtual airflow simulations and real-world tests on demanding road courses from Road Atlanta to Spa in Belgium. In Goodall’s words, “Our Le Mans drivers would love to have the technology Mustang GTD has for the track and street.”
Ford’s Mustang GTD is setting a new standard in automotive aerodynamics. With its unmatched Drag Reduction System and a keen focus on both speed and traction, this car is primed to take on the world’s most prestigious supercars. The Nürburgring is the next target for Ford, and the Mustang GTD is coming for the prestigious sub-7-minute time.
Image Source: Ford