What Does the GT in Mustang GT Stand For?

What Does the GT in Mustang GT Stand For?

Last Updated August 8, 2023 | Andrew Boyle

The term GT is much more than a Ford identifier for “I have a V8 under the hood.” In this particular case on the Mustang, it stands for “the iconic pony car”, blending the sometimes completely foreign worlds of high performance and day-to-day convenience and luxury into one. The well-known Mustang GT combines the high performance that we know and expect of a muscle car with the interior design & creature comforts of a touring car; hence the title GT, or Gran Touring.

Gran Touring or Gran Turismo

"speed...comfort and style"

In its most basic definition, GT stands for Gran Touring or Gran Turismo. The term Tourismo is derived from Italian roots, meaning an automobile that is able to travel at a high rate of speed for a long distance in both comfort and style.

With “GT” in mind, Ford Motor Company looked to create a powerful, but comfortable pony car. This came at a time where many cars were huge hunks of steel powered by huge V8s and float down the road. Lee Iacocca’s vision for the Mustang and specifically this GT package was to create a powerful, head-turning muscle car that was comfortable enough for the long haul. And boy, did they succeed.

1965 Mustang GT Fastback

History Behind The Mustang GT Nameplate

The term GT dates back to the original signature performance package that was available for the Mustang in 1965. Beginning with the 1965 model year, the GT Options Package included 10 standard options packaged together in a beautiful fusion of muscle and comfort. Granted substitutions and additions were often added, the basic package is as follows.

1965 Mustang GT Options Package includes:

  • 225hp Challenger 289 4V V8
  • 3-Speed Manual Floor Shift
  • Dual Straight-Through Exhaust with Flared Chrome Tailpipe Extensions
  • Special Handling Package (heavy-duty suspension, 22:1 overall steering ratio)
  • Fade-Resistant Front Disc Brakes
  • Grille Mounted Fog Lamps
  • Five Dial Instrument Cluster (fuel, temperature, speedometer, oil pressure, amperes) with a Black Leather-Grained Vinyl Dash Panel
  • GT Fender Badges
  • Bright-Metal Hood Accent Molding
  • Ford Racing Lower Body Triple Stripe

Present-Day Mustang GT

2015 Mustang GT

Today, the Mustang GT has dialed in on the heart of the beast; the engine. Which is currently a 460 horsepower 5.0L “Coyote” V8, a moniker which speaks directly to the ferocious capabilities of this 302 cubic inch, dual overhead cam 8-cylinder monster. Today’s GT features a Base and Premium trim level where you can choose between bare bones or a plush, truly Gran Touring, type interior. If you want to see how the GT compares to the base EcoBoost model for the modern S650 generation, check out our 2024 Mustang GT vs EcoBoost comparison guide.

For example, in our Gotta Have It Green project cars, we spec’d out two different cars with two different goals in mind. Gotta Have It Street was a 2013 GT Premium with a leather interior, heated seats, automatic transmission, heavy glass roof and navigation. This GT was truly meant to be a cruiser. A car that had the power when you wanted it, but you could take for long trips. On the other hand, Gotta Have It Race was a bare-bones 2013 GT Base with Recaro Seats. Yup, that’s it! This car was meant to do one thing - make it to the finish line the quickest. And it did just that!

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.