The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is the most track-focused ‘Stang of them all. For 2019, it receives a number of upgrades for more speed and comfort.
Back in 2015, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 broke cover as the hottest, most track-focused Mustang ever that could be purchased over-the-counter. Stories of speed, grip, handling and loud noises reverberated all over the interwebs. The car was special then but now, Ford Performance vehicle programs and Shelby have given it a once-over.
Thank you Mustang Shelby GT500
While the Ford Performance engineers were working up a storm to tame the GT500, or what is already referred to as the most powerful production Mustang ever, one or many of the team members decided to take some of the newly acquired knowledge from the 500 and apply it to the GT350.
The list of improvements and upgrades is not extensive, but then again, the Shelby GT350 was already a phenomenal car to begin with. The gist is that aerodynamics, new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and chassis and antilock brake tuning are all that the engineers though was needed to make a great car even better.
Not spoiled with more aero
Any car that can boast a Gurney flap on its rear spoiler deserves respect. In all seriousness, the new rear spoiler and grille closeouts not only adds downforce at speed but reduces drag. This is the true definition of win-win.
Custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires
And by custom, we mean that the tread pattern and compound were specifically designed for the GT350 and GT500. In fact, the letters “FP” are stamped on the sidewalls and they don’t stand for “Fresh Prince.” No matter how often it will be said or written, tires are the first and last line or performance and handling on any car, even autonomous ones.
The 295/35 front and 305/35 rear 19-inch tires were conceived for more grip, acceleration and lateral acceleration.
MagneRide active suspension
Fitted as standard, the MagneRide active suspension has been upgraded with recalibrated springs and revised damping to not only perform better with the modified rubber but to increase on-road comfort levels as well.
Delicious and high-revving V8
The flat-plane crank 5.2-litre normally-aspirated V8 is back with the new 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. It continues to produce 526-horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque and happily revs to a raucous 8,250-rpm redline. The V8 is still mated to the excellent and enduring Tremec 6-speed manual transmission exclusively.
More creature comforts
In a world where even the most hardcore driving machines need to please everyone, Ford has rendered a number of nice-to-have features available as options. As standard however, the new 8-inch controls Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system that features SiriusXM and FordPass Connect.
The optional 12-speaker B&O PLAY audio system by HARMAN, as part of the electronics package, will more than likely see little use – one must soak in the V8’s melody at all times.
According to Ford, it’s better than ever
Better yet, according to Billy Johnson, driver for the FIA World Endurance Ford GT and IMSA Mustang GT4 programs, the “Shelby GT350 brings a whole new level of performance driving. It’s a rewarding car to drive on track for amateurs and pros alike, while making the driver feel like a superhero. It’s confidence inspiring in corners and begs to be pushed harder and to take corners faster.”
We got to drive it a few days ago but can neither confirm or infirm Johnson’s statement. We’ll have to wait until next week to share our thoughts on the car.
Pricing in Canada
The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 starts at $75,600. For the first time in a long while, all the options for this car are worthwhile even though the base product isn’t lacking for anything. For street use, the Electronic Package is wise. For more track use, the $10,000 GT350R package is a what’s what of speed.
Here’s how it all breaks down (taken from Ford’s press release):
|Exposed carbon fiber instrument panel||$850.00|
|Painted Black Roof||$850.00|
|Over the top racing stripe||$600.00|
Electronic package :
- B&O premium Sound system (12 speakers)
- Mirrors-heated (memory), turn signal indicator and Cobra puddle lamps
- Voice Activated Touchscreen navigation system
- Adjustable Strut Top Mounts
- Gurney Flap
- 19’’ black painted carbon fiber wheel with red brake caliêrs
- Carbon fiber rear wing
- Large front splitter
- Michelin pilot cup sport 2 tires
- Front 305/30 R19
- Rear 315/30 R19
- Rear seat delete
- Red accent stitching
- Centre console
- Door trim
- Steering wheel with red centre marker
- Unique chassis Tuning
- Wheel locking kit
- Adjustable strut top mount