To keep the momentum going, Ford unveiled a new Mustang race car at the 2016 SEMA show in Las Vegas. It’s called the Mustang GT4, and it’s designed for a relatively new category of entry-level professional racing that’s already popular in Europe, and is making waves in the United States too.
The GT4 is based on the championship-winning Shelby GT350R-C. Like the Shelby, it’s a modified version of a stock Mustang rather than a purpose-built car. GT4 rules don’t allow major changes to bodywork, so it even looks pretty much like a regular Mustang. The GT4 is powered by a version of the 5.2-liter V8 used in the Shelby GT350R road car, which won the Performance category at Digital Trends’ 2016 Car Awards.
Changes for racing include a six-speed Holinger paddle-shift transmission, upgraded suspension, slick tires mounted to special 18-inch wheels, and the addition of a large rear wing spoiler and diffuser, front splitter, and extra hood venting. The interior was gutted to save weight and make room for a roll cage. The GT4 also features a race-spec engine controller and anti-lock braking system.
The GT4 class this Mustang was built to race in is essentially a lower-level complement to the FIA-sanctioned GT3 class that’s attracted manufacturers from Cadillac to Lamborghini. GT4 cars aren’t as extensively modified, and are generally based on lower-performance models, like the KTM X-Bow, Lotus Evora, and Ginetta G55.
The Mustang GT4 will likely replace the Shelby GT350R-C in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge next year. It will also be eligible for the Pirelli World Challenge, where several teams currently race older versions of the Mustang alongside a smattering of GT4-class cars. Ford expects the GT4 classification to the door to some European race series as well.
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