Ford Mustang GT-R
by Matthew de Paula
Ford launched a racing concept of the new Mustang, called the GT-R, as a tribute to the model's 40th Anniversary celebrated in April.
Painted bright Valencia Orange to evoke the famous Grabber Orange 1970 Boss 302 Trans-Am racecars, 85 percent of the GT-R's body components are stock, stiffened by 30 percent during the new Mustang makeover. Power comes from Ford Racing's already available, 5-liter 440 hp 'Cammer' crate engine that can be tuned for more than 500hp. The GT-R's accessibility makes it a candidate for grassroots racing, Ford says.
The unfinished carbon fiber hood with large engine bulge is meant to convey power and hearken back to the famous black-hooded Mustang racers. Ground-hugging splitters skirt the front, sides and rear. The classic Ford pony floats in a seemingly hollow grille. Headlamp housings are bisected and include a pair of projector lamps. Bulging wheel arches swallow 20-inch racing slicks, which Ford anticipates will soon be en vogue in racing. Together with the massive rear wing they dominate the exterior. The composite spoiler meets several road racing sanctioning body rules.
Classic Mustang rear-quarter windows are blocked out to accommodate a special fuel delivery system. Doors are fully functional as required by many racing classes. Tail lamps are wider than normal and flank a differential cooler replete with aluminum grille screen. Tailpipes exit in front of the rear wheels and scoops have been carved into side panels.
The interior preserves the production Mustangs' instrument panel, but adds carbon fiber. In anticipation of another trend, designers applied a Formula One-style steering wheel that incorporates most gauges.
The GT-R was built at Saleen Special Vehicles in Troy, Michigan and developed by the team now working on sub-assemblies and painting body panels for the new Ford GT supercar.
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