The GT350 Shelby Mustang To Be Discontinued
One of the more surprising bits of news that came out late yesterday, that I hoped was an April Fool’s joke (it’s not a joke), was that Ford would stop making the Shelby GT350 Mustang. Though Ford has not made a formal announcement, as first reported by The Ford Authority as well as a source within Ford have confirmed it to be true.
Both the Shelby GT350 and the GT350R will no longer be produced. Although it’s sad, it also makes sense from a business perspective.
Ford has already made it clear that their business plan does not include cars. Rather, the Blue Oval will focus on trucks and SUVs. Let’s just be glad we still have the GT500 and the standard Mustang still with us.
Losing the cherished pony from the Ford stable would be an absolute tragedy to Mustang heritage. For the record, there are no plans to discontinue the Mustang.
Of course much has been written about how Ford has diminished the name and heritage of Mustang by dropping that badge on the Mustang Mach-E. But rather than harp on that (I’ve made my stance very clear and thousands of others agree with me), let’s take a look at the Shelby Mustang GT350 as it compares to the GT500.
Shelby GT350 vs. GT500
The Shelby GT350 has a 5.2-liter V8 engine (Voodoo) while the GT500 has the 5.2-liter V8 (Predator). Obviously the GT500 is significantly more powerful with 760 horsepower (@7,300 RPM) to the 526 horsepower of the GT350. The GT500 has 625 lb.-ft. of torque compared to the 429 of the GT350.
The GT500 has supercharged aspiration to only natured aspirated of the GT350. The tale of the tape shows the GT500 is the clear winner and is likely one key to why Ford will eliminate the GT350.
Price is always key, and this is the area that’s surprising. The GT350 was a more affordable option for true muscle-car enthusiasts with an MSRP of $60,440 compared to the $72,900 starting price of the GT500. That’s a significant difference in price, and it could leave some enthusiasts priced out the market.
What Does The Future Hold For Mustang?
As mentioned, there’s been no talk of discontinuing the full Mustang lineup. In fact, I was the first to report here at Torque News that Ford was bringing back the Mach 1 for the 2021 model year. So there’s clearly some investment still going into America’s pony car.
For 2021 and beyond, Ford will offer the Mustang with Ecoboost, GT and the Shelby GT500, plus the Mach 1. That’s a pretty impressive stable for Ford. Of course, they will launch the Mach-E as well, but in my opinion, that all-electric crossover is not a Mustang (#NotAMustang).
As a Mustang historian and author, I’m quite protective of the Mustang name. I don’t apologize for that. The Mustang is an automotive icon.
As for the GT350 being discontinued, I won’t throw a tantrum over it. The enthusiasts who found the more affordable GT350 appealing may baulk at being asked to shell out another $12,000 extra for the superior GT500. I’ll let the market dictate whether this is a mistake by Ford. I do understand the move.
Speaking of the GT350, I recently wrote a story about the Hennessey Venom 775 F-150 destroyed the GT350 on the track. Be sure to check that story out.
What do you think about the loss of the GT350 from the Ford lineup? Will you miss it? Do you understand and agree with the move? Leave me a comment and let me know your take.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.