2018 Ford Mustang RTR
Latest RTR-spec Mustang might be the best one yetby Kirby Garlitos, on
Part of the Ford Mustang’s appeal lies in its ability to be easily customized. We’ve seen so many versions of the ‘Stang over the years, and there are a handful of them that are head and shoulders above the rest, including the Ford Mustang RTR. Created by Ford in partnership with Pro Formula Drift driver Vaughn Gittin Jr., the Mustang RTR stands tall as one of the sickest interpretations of the iconic muscle car. It’s essentially a Mustang on steroids, accomplished in part because Ford is always looking for ways to improve the car’s status as one of the best pony machines in the market today.
Those of you who are familiar with the RTR badge will know that it’s become somewhat of a tradition for Ford and Gittin Jr. to collaborate on this specific kind of creation. In fact, the past decade has given birth to a good number of Mustang RTRs, ranging from the subtle to the over-the-top. Hard to think of the 2014 Mustang RTR as anything but outlandish, but that’s the whole point on why the RTR badge has become synonymous with Ford’s legendary muscle car. This year, a new version of the Mustang RTR is set to make its debut at the 2017 SEMA Show, and really, where else would it do it? Ford and Gittin Jr.’s aftermarket firm are once again heavily involved in its creation, and the result is nothing short of our expectations. Improved looks, more power, and a seal of approval from one of the best race drifters in the world. This is what awaits us when we get a hold of the latest version of the Mustang RTR.
Continue after the jump to read more about the 2018 Ford Mustang RTR
2018 Ford Mustang RTR
Horsepower @ RPM:700
- Front lip spoiler
- Sculpted hood
- RTR signature LED grille lighting
- RTR Appearance Package
- RTR graphics
- RTR 19" Tech 7 wheels w/ Nitto 555G2 tires
The RTR Design Package features a steady stream of design pieces meant to enhance the muscle car’s visual looks
If pictures painted thousands of words, the Mustang RTR is going to turn some serious heads. While it’s somewhat true that almost all of the signature elements from the last RTR remains here, the underlying appeal of the special edition Mustang still holds weight. The name of the game in this section is the RTR Design Package, which features a steady stream of design pieces meant to enhance the muscle car’s visual looks. The triangular-shaped LED accent lights on the grille count as one of the most distinct exterior features, but there’s also a new front splitter and a more sculpted hood in the mix now. Combine these aero parts with black accent striping on the hood and side profile and a new set of 19-inch Tech 7 wheels wrapped in Nitto 555G2 tires and you have the makings of a Mustang RTR that does its predecessors proud.
It’s admittedly not as flashy as some of the past Mustang RTR’s we’ve seen before, but remember, those versions Gittin Jr. created with the help of Monster Energy and Nitto tires were race-spec units of the RTR. This one, like the more subtle RTR-spec versions that have also come out, are road-production models. If you want to see the difference, check out the photos below.
Note: Photos of the 2014 Ford Mustang RTR by Monster Energy, Nitto Tires, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. and the 2015 Ford Mustang RTR.
- Recaro sports seats
- Signed dash plaque by Vaughn Gittin Jr.
- RTR shift knob
- RTR floor mats
Note: Standard 2018 Ford Mustang pictured here.
There are some noteworthy pieces like the Recaro sports seats and the signed dash plaque by Gittin Jr. himself
Judging by what we’ve come to know about past Ford Mustang RTRs, the road-spec versions are lacking in terms of exclusive interior goodies. There are some noteworthy pieces like the Recaro sports seats and the signed dash plaque by Gittin Jr. himself, but for the most part, the most you can expect are throw-in items like the RTR shift knob and if you really want to go all-out, the RTR-branded floor mats.
That’s likely the extent of what we can expect from the RTR unit, though Ford may still have a few more surprises up its sleeve once the special edition Mustang makes its official debut at SEMA.
- Three Spec options
- Around 700 horsepower for the Spec 3 tune
Details about the Spec 1 and Spec 2 tunes are expected to be announced at SEMA
Specific details surrounding the power and performance credentials of the Mustang RTR are still shrouded in secrecy, we can at least expect it to hit the magic number of 700 horsepower. That’s the indication Ford has given us as it pertains to the Spec 3 state of tune that the Mustang RTR will have at its disposal. On the other end, details about the Spec 1 and Spec 2 tunes are expected to be announced at SEMA, so that’s two things we can at least look forward to. Regardless of their specific states, the 2018 Mustang RTR should come with noticeable power and performance improvements over its predecessor. Not by much, but still something worthwhile. My best guess would be that the Spec 1 RTR will simply be a design and aero-focused tune. That means it’s going to carry the same output as the stock model, or about 460 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque at the tilt.
As far as Spec 2 is concerned, the previous road-spec version of the RTR carried over with a 30-horsepower increase from the standard unit so given what the 2018 Mustang has at its disposal, somewhere in the territory of 500 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque is a possibility. The incremental gains will likely be credited to software upgrades.
Adjustable sway bars and a sports exhaust system should also be featured elements.
Last but not least is Spec 3. This is where a supercharger and a few other fun bits, including an intercooler and an upgraded fuel injection system, were thrown into the mix and the result of that on the last Mustang RTR was an output of 670 horsepower. If Ford decided to adopt the same approach using the Mustang’s new engine configuration, 700 ponies is definitely attainable.
On the suspension side, lowering springs are a lock to be included, owing to the fact that they’re included in the RTR Design Package. That said, adjustable sway bars and a sports exhaust system should also be featured elements.
Ahh, yes, The question that trumps all manner of features and oddities for each and every car. How much is it? Well, Ford hasn’t released a price tag yet, but we were hinted on the likelihood that the Mustang RTR will carry a price tag of somewhere in the neighborhood of $65,000.
That figure came to our attention because of a giveaway being sponsored by American Muscle. Yep, one lucky Mustang aficionado will win one of the first Mustang RTRs to come out of production. The drawing isn’t taking place until April 6, 2018, but the giveaway did mention that the special edition Mustang carries an “approximate retail value” of $65,000. It’s far from a slam dunk that the figure is the exact price, but at least it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of that.
Those who miss out on the giveaway will still get a shot at owning the car as it’s scheduled to become available at select Ford dealerships sometime in the spring of next year.
It’s Ford. It’s Vaughn Gittin Jr. It’s the new Ford Mustang RTR. Really, what could go wrong? I certainly don’t expect any hiccups as far as the new ’Stang RTR is concerned. We’ve seen what the protagonists are capable of in the past so there’s no reason to believe that this new version is going to be a letdown. Regardless of what we see at SEMA, I fully expect the new Mustang RTR to be a hot-ticket item when it goes up on sale next year, as it should since Ford and Vaughn Gittin Jr. have been doing this racket for almost a decade now with no let-up in sight. Seems like they’re doing something good so why mess with that?
Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.
Read our full review on the 2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin.
Read our full review on the 2015 Ford Mustang RTR.