New Proof That the Next Generation Range Topping Ford Mustang Will Be Called GT350
A member of the forum SVTPerformance.com who has access to a Ford dealership information website found that Ford Motor Company lists the Shelby GT350 as an available model for the 2015 model year. This was discovered as the dealership employee was searching for promotional materials so if the Motor Company is planning to offer promotional materials to dealerships pertaining to a Shelby GT350 – it seems as though this is the best proof that we have seen thus far that there is indeed a new GT350 on the way.
Since the 2007 model year, the Shelby GT500 has been the most powerful horse in the Ford Mustang stable but for months now we have heard rumors that the GT500 would not continue into the new generation of the Mustang. Some speculated that the top of the line Mustang would return to being the SVT Cobra like it was most recently in 2004 but others insisted that the GT500 would be replaced by a new Shelby GT350. The screen shot from SVTPerformnce would suggest that the GT350 rumors are true but if Ford is keeping the Shelby name – why “drop” from GT500 to GT350? It’s all about history.
The first high performance version of the Ford Mustang was introduced in 1965 with the Shelby G.T. 350. The original Mustang G.T. 350 was basically a hopped up Mustang GT with a lightly modified engine and a stronger rear end that would handle the added power and the abuse of extended periods of high performance driving. The 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 could help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the very first Shelby Mustang by offering what would essentially be a souped up version of the 2015 Ford Mustang GT. Should that be the case, the 2015 GT350 would likely be less expensive than the 662 horsepower monster that is the 2014 Shelby GT500 while still offering a significant improvement in performance over the standard Mustang GT. Most importantly, a 2015 Shelby Mustang GT350 that is essentially a factory modified 2015 Mustang GT would leave plenty of room in the Mustang stable for a higher performance model that could either by a 2016 Shelby GT500 or the long rumored return of the SVT Cobra name. That car could follow a similar high performance and high price path as the current models so the Shelby GT350 would bring more performance to the masses while those deep pocketed Shelby fans who prefer the massive power of the S197 GT500 could still have their ideal Mustang in showrooms in the next year or two.
Ford Motor Company is still riding the wave of media excitement over the December 5th debut of the 2015 Ford Mustang in EcoBoost, GT and Convertible form but with General Motors rolling out the new 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 at the 2014 North American International Auto show in Detroit, Ford will need something to steal some of GM’s thunder. The car to claim some attention from the Corvette Z06 could be the next generation premium performance package for the next generation Mustang but if the 2015 (or 2016) Shelby GT350 Mustang doesn’t debut in Detroit – it will almost certainly meet the world no later than the 2014 New York Auto Show.
It should be noted that Shelby American has been offering a post-title package for the modern Ford Mustang that sports the GT350 name (as shown above) but Shelby has announced that their GT350 model will not continue beyond the end of 2013. Coincidence? We will soon find out.