Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1 review: a quick fang before it goes

David Linklater
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Just buy a grille if you want, but Spec 1 is the entry Mustang RTR package.


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Base price
Body type
Fuel Consumption (l/100km)
Maximum power kW
Maximum torque Nm
  • Looks sensational (and very low)
  • You can pick whatever RTR bits you want
  • Any modern Mustang is a brilliant drive
  • Six figures for entry Spec 1
  • Not much interior tweaking
  • Fanga Dan's tyre choice is scary

To New Zealanders of a certain age, “RTR” means Ready To Roll. Cue the RTR Dancers. Young people, ask your parents.

Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1.
Light-up nostrils are an RTR Mustang signature.

In terms of Ford Mustangs of course, it’s Ready To Rock. As anybody (a) mildly interested in muscle cars or (b) who saw a particular episode of The Grand Tour in 2018 knows.

RTR is all about customising cool Fords. The company was founded by US drift champion and racer Vaughn Gittin Jr and released its first modified Mustang in 2009. It’s since become an official Ford partner, producing a wide range of individual accessories and packages. The idea is you can do as little or as much as you want, and all with the Ford stamp of approval (and more importantly, warranty).

Which brings us to the Grabber Blue machine you see here. We’ve never driven an RTR Mustang and you could well argue we’re a bit late with this one, given the all-new seventh-generation Mustang is on the way this year; don’t worry, an RTR package for that one is all ready to go and on the website of local distributor CTB.

Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1.
Special Fanga plate, although it seemed to be made of cardboard.

But we got the offer and we couldn’t say no, especially given this vehicle has some providence. It’s the daily drive car of four-time D1NZ Champion Daniel Woodhouse – “Fanga Dan”. So thanks, um, Mister Dan.

This one’s an automatic. Because even drift champions like to relax.

Like we said, you can go as wild as you want. This one is really just a starter package – a bit of a showcase as to what an RTR can look like. It’s the Spec 1, which costs $16,500 on top of the base car, which in this case is a Mustang GT V8 fastback at $84,990.

Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1.
How low can you go? Not much lower than this and still get up the driveway.

It’s a pretty long list of additions as you’d expect/hope, but the key thing is that this is pretty much a mechanically standard Mustang GT, although it does come with RTR Tactical Lowering Springs (you probably spotted that).

Semi-slick tyres and very firm suspension made this Spec 1 a bit of handful for anybody whose name isn’t Fanga.

But you can go all the way to a Spec 3, which increases the standard 339kW/556Nm to a whopping 559kW/908Nm thanks to a bit of supercharging. Yours for just $58k. Or to go completely over the top, the drift-inspired Spec 5, a $113,910 package (not including the car!).

Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1.
Reflections from our car's windscreen decals produced some nice graffiti effects.

Most of Spec 1 is cosmetic and includes the now-rather-iconic RTR grille with the illuminated nostrils, spoilers, splitters, special wheels, badges and a dashboard plaque carrying the company founder’s signature. If you have a manual you also get a special gearknob, but this one’s an automatic. Because even drift champions like to relax.

Spec 1 is quite an experience and the standard V8 powertrain still provides the performance and noise to match the looks.

So we won’t get into the driving experience too much for a couple of reasons. First, we’re very familiar with the GT fastback in many of its incarnations, most recently the standard GT automatic and the very excellent Mach 1 special edition.

Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1.
Badges, badges everywhere. Not a lot of tread on those tyres.

So it’s a Mustang GT, which means riotous V8 noises, a surprisingly slick 10-speed automatic and a chassis that really does take this Pony Car off American freeways and onto some proper global backroads. We love it.

This particular car had further modification that made a big difference to the drive. The RTR Aero 7 wheels were shod with semi-slick tyres (“because Dan is Dan” was one explanation given), which were incredibly noisy on the highway and incredibly grippy everywhere else… in the dry. In the wet they were rather skiddy (technical term), so that combined with the very firm suspension made the Spec 1 a bit of handful for anybody whose name isn’t Fanga.

Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1.
Grabber Blue suits this car. And they've actually been quite subtle with the stripes.

But it looks incredible, and on standard tyres you’re far less likely to swap ends on the driveway in winter. Either way, the Spec 1 is quite an experience and we’d have to say the standard V8 powertrain still provides the performance and noise to match the looks.

So next stop Mustang 7 RTR, although this one was well worth visiting because of course these parts are available to owners any time. Get a grille of a whole new car, it's up to you. It’s a broad church and actually, RTR also does gear for the Mustang Mach-E EV and Ranger ute. Enjoy.

ENGINE: 5.0-litre petrol V8 POWER: 339kW/556Nm GEARBOX: 10-speed automatic, RWD CONSUMPTION: 14.5l/100km (3P-WLTP for standard GT) PRICE: $101,490 (base car $84,990 plus RTR Spec 1 package $16,500)

How much is the Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1?

The key part is the RTR Spec 1 package, which is $16,500. But don't forget you need a donor car to start with!

What are the key statistics for the Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1 powertrain?

This one is standard Mustang V8, with the 339kW/550Nm and the 10-speed automatic transmission. But you can have it in manual too.

Is the Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1 efficient?

Mustang V8s are not as thirsty as you'd think on a trip: 10-11l/100km is very do-able. But if you're driving around town or driving fast, they like a drink. It's not hard to get up beyond 17l/100km.

Is the Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1 good to drive?

The standard Mustang is a brilliant drive. Our RTR was a lot more grippy in the dry thanks to the semi-slick tyres fitted (not part of the standard Spec 1 package), and a lot more skiddy in the wet. The lowered suspension will be a matter of personal taste.

Is the Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1 practical?

In the context of being a two-door fastback the Mustang has a comfortable cabin and a reasonable boot. You can certainly do a weekend away with luggage, no problem.

What do we like about the Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1?

It looks phenomenal with the RTR add-ons and the lowered suspension, and we love the fact you can pick and choose which RTR bits you want - or simply opt for a package like this one.

What don’t we like about the Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1?

The ride is pretty hard on that suspension package and there's very little that makes the cabin stand out. If you want a whole package, even this entry-level Spec 1 takes the Mustang GT over $100k.

What kind of person would the Ford Mustang GT RTR Spec 1 suit?

Somebody who wants to make their Mustang V8 a bit more special, but still have the advantage (and warranty) of Ford-approved parts.


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