By Luigi Fraschini

The 2011 Ford Mustang is getting rave reviews for its combination of price and performance, and that has been a Mustang staple for decades. Through those decades, Mustangs have also been no stranger to motor sports, but these days a relatively new form of motorsports -- drifting -- has become extremely popular. Drifting, for the uninitiated, is one of the few motorsports that is judged, rather than based on getting around a course the quickest.

Like freestyle skiing, drifting rewards those who exhibit the best control while doing the most outlandish things. The powerful, rear-drive Mustang seems perfect for this unique branch of motordom.

A Racing Pro in the Driver’s Seat

A new package designed by a top drifter will take Ford’s perfection to the next level in the Mustang RTR. The dealer-installed package was developed by Vaughn Gittin Jr. (who happens to be driver of the Monster Energy/Falken Tire 2011 Mustang GT in Formula Drift). The top racing engineers at Ford Racing Performance Parts were also intimately involved in the development of the package, which is aimed squarely at a new generation of Mustang owners.

Gittin knows just what Mustangs can do, and he wanted to share that knowledge with Mustang enthusiasts who appreciate the car’s power and capability. When it comes to drift, he certainly knows what he’s talking about: On the Formula Drift circuit, he’s the winner of the season-opening Long Beach event and was runner-up in Atlanta. And, he has a significant points lead in this year’s Formula Drift championship. The Mustang RTR is Gittin Jr.’s vision for introducing a new generation of owners to Mustang while catering to traditional Mustang enthusiasts as well.

“Vaughn’s goal was to introduce an exciting new package to the Mustang world that resonates with both the younger audience and with traditional muscle car enthusiasts as well,” said Mickey Matus, Ford Performance Group marketing manager. “By partnering with Ford Racing to develop the Mustang RTR, he has achieved that goal with ease and illustrates how universal Mustang’s appeal is.”

Serious Race Car Upgrades

The package was designed and manufactured in partnership with Michigan-based Classic Design Concepts, which has a reputation for creating high-quality stylish appearance and performance upgrades.

Some race-worthy new features include the following:

- Ford Racing tires and unique RTR 19-inch by 9.5-inch wheels

- Ford Racing calibration with a high-flow filter

- Ford Racing mufflers

- Ford Racing handling pack, including performance-tuned dampers and springs

- RTR-exclusive interior details and striping scheme

The model’s unique styling is highlighted by a chin spoiler with splitter and supports, rocker splitters, a rear diffuser and aluminum rear spoiler. The interior showcases RTR-exclusive floor mats, shifter knob and emblems. Overall, it is one “bad”-looking piece.

The Mustang RTR package is available at select dealerships for the 2011 Mustang GT, and a Mustang V-6 package will be available later this year.



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Driving Today Auto Review - Gittin Gets 2011 Mustang Drift