Ford Australia has opened the garage (or should that be stable?) doors, offering the public a first glimpse at its new racing Mustang.
The 2023 Mustang GT Supercar has been publicly unveiled at Bathurst, ahead of its first laps this afternoon. The new GT will be piloted by Dick Johnson on its first laps of The Mountain, before it joins the grid in 2023 alongside the Chevrolet Camaro.
Mr Johnson is a Ford legend, having won the Bathurst 1000 three times. His name adorns the Ford factory racing team in Supercars, although five other teams will also run the car in the 2023 season.
Although computer-generated images of the car were revealed alongside the road-going Pony, this is the first time the next-generation racer has been seen in public, and will be the first time any of the Mustang racing stable has turned a wheel in anger.
The Supercar has been developed by Dick Johnson Racing, and is designed to more closely mimic the road car than the slightly awkward current body, which has been draped over bones originally designed for the Falcon sedan.
Power in the new Mustang GT Supercar comes from a 5.4-litre racing version of the Coyote V8 from the GT road car just revealed in Detroit. In this guise it pumps out upwards of 447kW and 650Nm, sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential transmission.
To make racing in Supercars more cost-effective, new Gen3 cars are required to have the same dimensions as the road cars they’re based on for all key body components, including the doors, roof, windows and bonnet.
These parts must therefore be interchangeable with their respective road car, in a return to the category’s heritage. The cars must also be 100mm lower, 100mm wider and 100kg lighter, with overall downforce reduced by 200kg.
The transaxle and rear suspension can carry over from Gen2 cars, but the cars must have a chassis that’s “hybrid ready”.
The reduction of aerodynamic aids also allows for closer racing, which should be entertaining.
This year is the last time we’ll see a Holden Commodore competing in the Supercars championship; Chevrolet Racing will next year compete with the Camaro despite it not currently being sold locally.
As part of the seventh-generation model’s reveal last month, Ford previewed a number of track-only racing Mustangs that will compete globally in a variety of racing series.
In addition to the Supercars version, Ford showed off renders of the GT3, GT4, NASCAR, and NHRA Factory X racing homologated versions.
The Blue Oval said it’s returning to factory-backed GT3 racing with the new Mustang GT3 IMSA racer that will debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2024. It’ll be available for customers to purchase.
The new Mustang GT4 will debut during the 2023 season and will be available for global GT4 classes in IMSA, SRO and FIA GT. It’ll be available for customers to purchase too.
Ford also said newly-designed models will debut in the NASCAR Cup series and NHRA Factory X racing in the “coming years”.
MORE: Everything Ford Mustang