2019 Mustang Rtr Spec 3 Official Review, Dyno, And Walkaround
2019 Mustang Rtr Spec 3 Official Review, Dyno, and Walkaround
2019 mustang rtr, What’s up, guys? In this episode of “Hot Lap”, we’re giving you my review of the 2018 Spec 3 RTR. Check it out, guys. I just got the keys to the brand new 2018 RTR Spec 3. In fact, one of the first in existence, it’s badge number 3. How awesome is that? Right, our friends here at Ciocca Ford picking this monster up for the very first time.
And as much as I wish to say this is my car, unfortunately, this particular machine belongs to Mr. Jordan M from Spring Hill, Kansas. You guys might remember we actually worked with Vaughn Gittin Junior and the team at RTR to give away a Spec 3 to one lucky viewer. And Jordan, congrats, man. You got yourself a beauty here. Oxford White, the best color out there in my humble opinion. But before we hand over the keys, my friend, we’re gonna take this thing back to AM, give it a once over, see what Vaughn and the crew did at RTR to the 2018, see what kind of power that 2650 TVS is making.
And then, I guess I’ll give you the keys. But for now, I’m gonna have some fun. So here we are, guys. We are in the Spec 3 RTR, chassis number 3. This is very awesome, sharp car. Now to get a better idea of what RTR is all about, or ready to rock is all about, you have to take a look at who started the whole thing, right? And that, of course, is Vaughn Gittin Junior. Who is Vaughn Gittin Junior? Well, if you’re a Mustang fan, you already know the answer to that question.
But if not, well, he made a big name for himself as a world champion drifter in the Formula D circuit. He also went ahead and started the RTR brand, I’d say, back in 2009-2010. He rolled out a vision he had for the next generation of Mustang and that is an aggressive appearance and functionality package, dealer package for the Mustang of that time, and basically took what he thought the Mustang should embody and took it up to the next level. That’s basically been going on ever since 2010 when he rolled out the brand with the RTRC, the 100% carbon fiber body on the RTR. And that, kinda, started the 2010 RTR package. That was the Halo car. Now 2011, 2012, those cars had their own package, ’13 and ’14 was a minor variation of those S197 packages.
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And then, of course, the 2015 came along, right? Big changes to that car, of course, with performance suspension, appearance. And so Vaughn and his team at RTR went to work and totally revamped the RTR package for the S550. Which leads us to 2018, and that’s what we’re in right now. We’re in the next generation of the S550 RTR vision. Now, again, RTR is ready to rock, right? That’s what it’s all about. So this car shouldn’t be confused with “drift Mustang,” because, yes, Vaughn got known for drifting, that’s where he, kind of, made his name. However, since winning the Formula D Championship, he’s, kind of, expanded his boundaries to encompass more aggressive and expressive driving.
So, obviously, he’s still very much active in the Formula D stuff, but he’s also been really successful at the Ultra4 off-road racing in addition to getting into truck stuff. So, now, that you know a little bit more backstory on RTR and how it came into existence, let’s take his latest and greatest creation, the Spec 3, the 2018, let’s get it in the shop and see what this thing’s all about. So, as we all know, Ford really changed a lot with the 2018 front end here on the Mustang, so that meant Vaughan and his crew at RTR had to tweak a few of their designs from the ’15 through ’17 cars. So let’s run through them one by one starting with the hood. One thing that hasn’t changed on the RTR is their vinyl design. That’s been present ever since the 2010 RTR came around. I love it.
I thought it worked really well back on the S197, might even work a little bit better here on the S550. Ford also tweaked the hood vent design here on this car. So RTR implemented a couple of new hood vents. I really like them. They’ve carried over the material that they used in their grille to the hood vent. They are functional, and they just give the hood a little bit more character. Let’s talk about that grille a little bit more.
One thing that was really popular on the ’15 through ’17 cars, same kind of mesh design here, but with those telltale LEDs. Vaughn was very, very clear. He wanted to know an RTR coming up in your rearview, wanted to have that aggressive front end look, and these things, again, we can’t keep them in stock. People absolutely love them, and it was a nice carryover from the 15 through ’17 cars. That same mesh design has been brought down to the lower grille here, but there’s a big change with the ’18, and that’s this front splitter. The 15 through ’17 cars had a very, very aggressive chin spoiler, almost too aggressive for some guys out there. Me, personally, I absolutely love what they did here.
They worked with the lines of the front fascia, kept it aggressive but not over the top. However, the old chin spoiler would actually carry up into the bumper portion here. That isn’t the case with this year, so they got a little bit more detail with this particular part here, just basically made the front end a little bit more aggressive. So, up front, altogether, not a huge departure from ’15 through ’17 but some minor changes that certainly make this car very unique. Let’s move to the side of the car here because, again, 15 through ’17 cars versus ’18, not a ton of changes but with the RTR, there is a couple to talk about. The one thing, again, we see that vinyl design going on there that has been carried over, still looks very sharp, but I absolutely love these wheels. Check these things out, guys.
These are called the Tech Mesh. Their wheel designs are absolutely killer. This is one of a few options they give you here for the RTR, the Tech Mesh again. They also have the Tech 7, the Tech 5, and the Aero forged wheel which we saw on the SEMA car back in 2017. But the Tech Mesh, I’m a big fan of that ’13, ’14 Shelby GT500 style wheel. I had it on my car for a bit. I think that kinda takes what they did originally and just gives it a little bit more attitude, really flosses those Brembos hard too behind the wheels, just really killer.
Obviously, the RTR badging in the side splitters here, but that pretty much does it for the side. Outback, however, we got a few more changes. Let’s check that out. So one thing that hasn’t changed from the OG cars is the basic spoiler design. They’ve kept this thing consistent over the years. And again, it works. It’s unique.
It works on the S197, and it works really well here on the S550. Little different here for the deck lid. We got the RTR badging, of course, but what is really different back here is this diffuser. Check this thing out. Now, some guys might think this might be a little too much, but I think it works well with the car. Listen, the car is different, it’s aggressive, and they’ve carried that over back here as well. Obviously, we have the quads from Ford now.
No exhaust on this car yet, but Vaughn assures me they’re working on something that should be out for future RTRs coming soon. So altogether, guys, a very unique package here when it comes to appearance. The RTR design package, as Vaughn likes to call it, and it really does separate this car from other road going Mustangs that you see out on the highway. So the RTR design package basically makes up a Spec 1. Now, that same design package with the Tactical suspension makes up Spec 2. What’s a Spec 3 all about? Well, let me show you. Here it is, guys.
The Ford Performance and ROUSH brand new 2650 TVS Supercharger system, good for 700 horsepower, and 610 pound-feet at the crank. This is the next generation of that 2.3-liter TVS that’s been around for a few years. It’s an awesome blower, but this thing is just a little bit bigger and a little bit better. Those rotors have been tweaked a little bit to make for a more efficient package. And listen, they had to redesign a few things, especially that inlet to get this thing under the hood with that lower hood line and all of that DI or direct injection stuff. This thing looks great under the hood.
Really cool looking induction system here. You got a little window so you can keep an eye on your filter, but 700-HP, 610 pound-feet at the crank. We wanna see what that thing’s good for at the tires. Well, just so happen to have a Dynojet in the building. What do you say we move this thing over to the rollers and see what it’s all about? Well, we just finished up with the second of two dyno pulls here with the Spec 3. Why two pulls? Well, we always like to check for power consistency, back to back power drop off after things get a little hot, and also because we spun those Nitto G2s pretty hard on the first run. But lo and behold, we made 620 horsepower both times, torqued one up a little bit on our second pull there with 545 pound-feet to the tire.
So that basically falls right in line with the advertised power numbers at the crank, factor in the 10% drivetrain loss, and there you go. So 620 very healthy horsepower, 545 pound-feet. That’s more than enough power to have a little bit of fun. So we’re gonna get this thing out on the road, talk more about the tactical suspension stuff, and maybe get into a little bit, I don’t know. Oh my God, yeah. Yeah, it rips. It’s show.
Now, that we got the old blood pumping a little bit after that brief little pull. We didn’t talk much about the inferior. There is some RTR treatment, some floor mats, some shift knob action. Obviously, the numbered plaque in the dash. This is number three. The first two belong to the man himself, so that’s nice. That’s what you’d come to expect from a performance packed GT with some minor touches, of course.
You get the Tactical Performance suspension kit standard on the Spec 2, standard on the Spec 3 here. And it’s something that Vaughn’s been doing for a little while now, basically ever since these things came around. And the one thing that he and RTR wanna make very clear, the RTR is a not a “drift-only car.” Sure, it can do that. Obviously, right? But Vaughn wants to give guys the opportunity to set these things up in a number of different configurations. For instance, you can set this thing up with a slight understeer characteristic which is a little bit more reminiscent of how the factory Mustangs come. You can go neutral balance and basically set the car up to handle very well on the back roads or on a road course.
And then, last but not least, set this thing up to get a little loose, of course, drift it, have a little bit of fun but that’s entirely up to you. How is that achieved? Well, the Tactical Performance suspension is all adjustable. You’ve got adjustable dampers, man, which feels great by the way, you’ve got adjustable sway bars, front and rear, of course, where you can play with those settings a little bit. And you can make this thing do basically anything you want it to do. Maybe we should have a little bit more fun though, I don’t know. What do you guys think? Sorry, I thought that was a cop. Not anymore.
Oh, man. Wow, wow. Wow, baby. Keep in mind, this is a performance packed car still too here, guys. So RTR is able to build off an already pretty stout platform. So you’re taking an already great package and just making it even better with the Tactical Performance Suspension goodies. But closing words on the Spec 3, listen.
They summed it up really nice when they say, “The cars are available to everyone, but they’re not for everyone.” What does that mean? Well, obviously, anybody can go out and buy a Spec 1, a Spec 2, or a Spec 3, but maybe not everyone is about the styling, maybe not everyone thinks they need this crazy awesome suspension to be able to toss it into a corner like this or put your back in the seat like that with 600 plus on tap. They like to think the car becomes a part of you and you become a part of the car. And that is the truth, man. This thing is awesome. I really dig the styling, I always dig the wheels. I dig a lot of what RTR does in regards to appearance.
Now, again, it’s not gonna be for everyone, but I don’t know who can deny this kind of performance. So anyway, guys, we hope you enjoyed this quick little look into the Spec 3. Remember, for all things Mustang, keep it right here.
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