The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is Ready to Dominate the Road Racing World
I think that we have been talking about the possible arrival of a new Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 for almost a year now. Maybe it has been 11 months, as the GT350 rumors seemed to pop up right after the 2015 Mustang met the world last December 5th, but since day 1 we have been talking about the possibility of a new GT350 that would take a different approach to high performance than the previous Shelby GT500. Some people insisted that the new Mustang would instead get a GT500 with monster power, but over the past few months, more and more evidence of a new GT350 hit the internet.
Even with things like images of a GT350 logo from the Ford dealership system and videos of an obviously naturally aspired super-Mustang being tested at the Nürburgring, naysayers insisted that we would get a new GT500 with a blown engine that would rival the Hellcat Challenger. Others insisted that the new performance vehicle teased in the videos over the past two weeks would be a new supercar similar to the 2005 Ford GT. Today, we found out that everyone who believed that anything other than a GT350 was wrong, as Ford Motor Company rolled out a ton of information on the new Ford Mustang Shelby GT350.
Now, it should be noted that Ford really hasn’t introduced everything that there is to know about the new Mustang Shelby GT350. Ford has only offered “at least” power figures, we don’t know the model year, there are only so many images of the exterior and there are no images of the interior so Ford has left plenty of room for questions, speculations and more Mustang news in the coming weeks.
A New Engine for the New Shelby GT350 Mustang
The new Shelby GT350 Mustang is powered by an all-new 5.2L flat plane V8 that is promised to deliver “at least” 500 horsepower and “at least” 400lb-ft of torque. The official numbers are still a mystery, but Ford promises that the new 5.2L mill will be the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever. More importantly, the application of the flat plane engine technology will allow this engine to have a very broad power curve so regardless of where you are in the RPM range, the GT350 will make big power.
“The final product is essentially an all-new powerplant unique to GT350 – and one that takes true advantage of the new chassis dynamics of the Mustang platform,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Global Performance Vehicles.
This engine is mated to a new lightweight 6-speed manual transmission and a uniquely tuned Torsen limited slip rear differential, which will help you get away from a stop quickly and accelerate hard out of a corner with the best traction possible. The final part of the traction puzzle is a set of lightweight aluminum alloy wheels measuring 19 by 10.5 inches up front and 19 by 11 inches out back – all of which are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires that have been specifically designed for this new Mustang GT350.
High Tech Suspension, Monster Brakes
The Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang has been engineered to be a road racing monster so in addition to the new engine, this next generation Mustang has the most advanced suspension setup and the largest stock braking system of any road-going Mustang ever.
The new Shelby GT350 Mustang has a chassis that has been stiffened up with the use of an injection molded carbon fiber grille opening and a front strut tower brace. The GT350 wears unique spring rates that also lower the car a bit compared to the Mustang GT while unique suspension bushings all around help to keep everything moving smoothly during hard cornering. The centerpiece of the new Shelby Mustang suspension is the high tech MagneRide damper system, featuring Ford’s first production use of a continuously controlled damper system. This variable rate system can adjust each damper independently every 10 milliseconds, allowing the best possible grip in any situation. This system is similar to the magnetic ride control system in the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and with the other new suspension components, this should most certainly be the best handling Mustang ever.
Also, the Shelby GT350 Mustang gets a brake system featuring 15.5 inch rotors up front with Brembo 6-piston calipers up front and 14.9 inch rotors under 4-piston calipers out back – all of which comes from the world class braking experts at Brembo.
It might also be the best handling American muscle car ever…with numbers that sound like this new Shelby GT350 Mustang could most certainly rival the Camaro Z/28.
Supreme Aerodynamics with Shelby Style
Last yet most certainly not least is the exterior design of the new Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang. In addition to the lowered ride height, the widened track and the lightweight wheels, the new Shelby Mustang has received an elaborate collection of design changes that give the car a unique look and incredible aerodynamic properties.
Up front, the Shelby GT350 Mustang has a restyled front fascia that looks wicked and helps to funnel air through the huge central opening and the two outer openings. There is a multi-tier splitter/chin spoiler design with the Shelby logo in the center of the chin spoiler and while I’m sure that this setup makes for incredible aero properties, there is no denying that this is one of the most aggressive stock front ends on a Mustang ever. The front end also benefits from a unique aluminum hood with a heat extractor in the center and very unique lines from what we see on the 2015 Mustang GT and the front fenders are also new; with a flared design and vents at the rear edge that help to pull air turbulence from the wheel wells.
Out back, the new Mustang Shelby GT350 has a restyled lower fascia with a diffuser area and dual exhaust openings for four big, round tips. Surprisingly, there is no huge spoiler, as Ford has instead gone with a low profile spoiler that is molded into the surface of the trunk lid.
There are plenty of questions on the new Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang, but what we know now will certainly keep us wanting for more – and discussing ‘what could be’ until Ford rolls out all of the details on the newest high performance Mustang.