If you want competition-style telemetry without having a dedicated track car, the new Ford Performance app offers a compromise. It debuts first on the Ford GT in 2017.
The Ford Mustang has a long legacy of being one of the most versatile performance platforms on the planet. Whether the owner wants to go drag racing or carve corners at a circuit, the right mods can take the Blue Oval’s pony car to the finish line. For customers who want to hit the track and start competing immediately, the company is introducing the new Mustang GT4 at the 2016 SEMA Show. In addition, drivers who want to know more about what their vehicle is doing might benefit from the upcoming Ford Performance smartphone app.
The Mustang GT4 gives racers a complete package that they can buy and start competing in series like the Grand Sport class of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Pirelli World Challenge GTS, and GT4 European Series. These coupes use a 5.2-litre V8 that's similar to the road-going Shelby GT350, except this racing mill has a cross-plane crankshaft rather than a flat-plane design. Power routes to the rear through a six-speed Holinger paddle-shift transmission. Multimatic Motorsports, which is the crew that builds the Ford GT race cars, also tunes the GT4’s suspension by installing upgraded components for the dampers, lower rear control arms, and stabilizer bars.
The Mustang GT4 certainly looks track ready. The body features a much more aggressive front splitter and a louvered hood, which keeps the sonorous V8 a little cooler. A new rear diffuser and big wing provide extra downforce on the track. A set of 18- by 11-inch wheels with racing slicks also provide a large contact patch for better handling. Inside, there’s an FIA-compliant roll cage, Motec instruments, and antilock-braking controller.
The Mustang GT4 can expect competition from some exotic machinery. For example, McLaren builds a version of the 570S for the class. BMW is also working on a GT4-spec M4 for introduction in 2018.
Many customers don’t want a dedicated track car but still want to be able to keep abreast of their vehicle’s performance. For those drivers, the Blue Oval is previewing the Ford Performance app at SEMA. The software connects to the Sync 3 infotainment system. Users can them mount a smartphone wherever is most convenient in the vehicle for data logging and video recording, including course overlays, timing statistics, and virtual gauges. After lapping the track, people can even share the clips and telemetry online. The tech will debut first on the Ford GT in 2017 but will eventually arrive on other models.