What Is Ford Performance?

Ford's racing efforts and high-performance road cars have fallen under this division since 2014.

A 2024 Ford F-150 Raptor taking a jump in the desertFord


Ford Performance is Ford Motor Company's division responsible for designing the brand's highest-performance vehicles. Some notable models from the high-octane wing include the Mustang GTD, F-150 Raptor, and the GT supercar. It also includes Ford's racing teams in NASCAR, Formula Drift, and soon, Formula 1.

Announced in 2014, Ford Performance brought the company's previous performance divisions — SVT, RS, and Ford Racing — under one umbrella. A year later, Ford Performance debuted its first production vehicle: the 2015 Mustang Shelby GT350.

Side view of a red, white, and blue Ford GT race carFord

Ford Performance Has a Storied Racing History

Ford has a rich history in racing, including its legendary 1966 win with the GT40 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Up until Ford Performance's creation, Ford's racing efforts consisted of Ford Team RS (Europe and rally), the Special Vehicle Team, and Ford Racing.

Shortly after Ford Performance brought all the teams together, the division entered the Ford GT in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans — and took the overall win.

Then, in 2018, Joey Lagano won the NASCAR Cup Series Championship behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang stock car. More recently, Vaughn Gittin Jr. won Formula Drift in 2020 behind the wheel of the Mustang RTR.

Starting in 2026, Ford will partner with Red Bull Racing and return to Formula 1 after a nearly 20-year hiatus.

Front left quarter view of a blue and white 2020 Mustang Shelby GT350 on a skidpadFord

Notable Mustangs and the Ford GT Fall Under the Ford Performance Umbrella

As the first new production vehicle under the Ford Performance division, the Mustang Shelby GT350 wooed enthusiasts with its naturally aspirated Voodoo flat-plane-crank V8 engine and six-speed manual transmission.

With its newest high-performance Mustang, Ford Performance is going after European track weapons such as the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The Mustang GTD uses the same supercharged 5.2-liter V8 engine as the Mustang Shelby GT500, but it's been stoked to produce more than 800 horsepower. Only around 1,000 GTDs will be produced.

The Ford GT was introduced in 2004 to honor Ford's 1966 victory at Le Mans with the GT40. The second-generation GT supercar arrived in 2017, replaced the old model's mid-engine supercharged V8 with an EcoBoost 647-hp twin-turbo V6, and debuted the famous Flying Buttress aerodynamic design.

An orange 2022 Ford Bronco Raptor rock crawling

Some Trucks and SUVs get Ford Performance Versions

The Ford Performance touch hasn't just focused on cars; the division is also responsible for the F-150 Raptor.

With its Fox race-style dampers and high-output engine, it's the original street-legal Baja-style truck. The F-150 Raptor R, introduced in 2022, brought in a 700-hp supercharged 5.2-liter V8 engine — borrowed from the Mustang Shelby GT500 — to the mix. While long available overseas, the midsize Ranger Raptor pickup debuted in the United States for the 2024 model.

In 2022, the Bronco also got the Ford Performance treatment. The Bronco Raptor uses Fox shocks similar to the F-150 Raptor and a 418-hp twin-turbo V6 engine and is inspired by trucks used in the King of the Hammers off-road race. It rides on massive standard 37-inch tires.

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Connor Hoffman
Connor Hoffman is a writer and editor based in Kansas City. Prior to becoming a freelance writer, he was an editor at a national car magazine and worked in communications at a major automaker. He loves off-roading and camping in his 4Runner, golfing (poorly), and shredding on his mountain bike.