Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
November 1, 2016
Photos By: Courtesy Ford Motor Company

Each November, movers and shakers in the automotive industry converge on Las Vegas for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. It’s a time for manufacturers to show off the latest and greatest and Ford Performance kicked things off by debuting an all-new data-logging app and a global turnkey Mustang GT4 race car. In addition, attendees will see more than 50 Ford concept vehicles based winning race cars, including the Le Mans-conquering Ford GT and a vast collection of Ford Performance Parts.

“Ford Performance wants to provide our customers a simple, shareable way to capture their track exploits,” says Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “The ability to take their track sessions with them everywhere they go and easily share their footage and data with friends is a huge benefit of our new app.”

According to Ford, “The all-new Ford Performance App brings track-based data-logging, advanced analysis, sharing capability and video capture to a user’s smartphone. It leverages the latest capability of Ford SYNC 3 and provides intuitive controls allowing users to record and share their track accomplishments. The app will be available for the most popular smartphone platforms in 2017.”

Keeping with the times, Ford Performance designed the App around current smartphones, so users can quickly and easily access the recorded data. The Ford Performance App provides the user with multiple recording modes and it allows the recording of a multitude of performance data. According to Ford, the latest SYNC 3 technology communicates with the app – integrating performance data with course overlays, timing statistics, and on-screen virtual gauges to be shared via a user’s smartphone.

“Using a smartphone’s built-in camera offers mounting flexibility, letting users decide which perspective best captures the action,” says Mark Rushbrook, motorsports engineering manager, Ford Performance.

One great feature is that data and video can be easily shared over social networks or it can be exported to your computer for analysis. Ford stated the app will launch in 2017 on the road-going Ford GT, and then it will become available in other Ford products.

All-new Global Mustang GT4 racecar

Along with the new App, Ford has announced it will build a wicked Mustang GT4 turnkey race car designed with a global reach in mind. The GT4 will build on Mustang’s rich history as a road racing champion, and follow in the footsteps of the SCCA Shelby GT350R of the 1960s, Trans-Am Boss 302 of the 1970s, the more recent FR500, Boss 302R and 2016 championship-winning Shelby GT350R-C. The all-new Mustang GT4 expands the pony’s stable to a global audience.

Ford’s new pony is based around the Shelby GT350R-C, which won its class this year in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Horsepower will come from the Voodoo 5.2-liter V8 that will be backed by a six-speed Holinger paddle-shift transmission. And with super-grippy handling and big-time power, the Mustang GT4 will be capable of winning in any GT4 series in the world. Ford stated the racer will also be a great fit for IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport, Pirelli World Challenge GTS and European GT4.

“The new Mustang is a global vehicle,” says Mark Rushbrook, motorsports engineering manager, Ford Performance. “Now, its growing fan base has a GT4 competition model to race and support around the globe.”

Much like the GT350R-C, the Ford Mustang GT4 gets an enhanced chassis from Multimatic Motorsports, which including racing dampers, lower rear control arms and stabilizer bars. It will roll on Forgeline 18x11-inch wheels with racing slicks for optimum traction. Improved downforce is a key, and so the GT4 utilizes a special rear wing, aggressive splitter, plus additional hood venting and new rear diffuser.

As you would expect, the interior includes a full FIA-compliant roll cage, and features motorsports engine control and an antilock-braking controller, along with a Motec dash logger. Pricing has yet to be announced on this all-out racer, but whatever the price, we’re sure Ford will deliver a turn-key winner that will keep the Blue Oval in front of the competition.