The Ford Mustang is a very powerful performance machine in its stock form, add in some Ford Racing goodies and its even better. But what if that’s not exactly what you’re looking for? The next step up might be, the Shelby Mustang. Previous versions of the Shelby in more recent years were known as the GT500. With its 662 horsepower, 6.2L Supercharged V8 engine, 200+ mile per hour top speed, roaring dual exhaust, and specialty tuned suspension, the 2013-2014 GT500 was a benchmark for the Shelby Mustang’s design and capabilities. Shelby American Inc. brought back the classic GT350 nameplate for an upgraded version of a built Mustang for the same two years, but now Ford has something different planned for it. And at the L.A. Auto Show on November 19, 2014, Ford unveiled the new 2015 Shelby GT350.
Now right off the bat everyone is asking, “will it be as fast as the old GT500?” and “how much horsepower does it have?”, which are valid inquiries. This new Shelby is less of a speed demon than the outgoing model, but instead is more true to the classic early days of the Shelby Mustang. This Shelby is all about handling, much like the most recent Boss 302 was. A new feature debuting on the standard Mustang is an independent rear suspension system that has guided the Mustang to great reviews. A new system developed for the Shelby GT350 that was introduced is the MagneRide damping system. This system monitors and adjusts itself thousands of times per second, based on road conditions and driver input, in order to achieve the ultimate driving experience on the new GT350. In fact, the suspension is almost all tweaked for the Shelby, which includes new lower control arms, springs, sway bars, and dampers. Lightweight bits were also added to help save a few pounds in the chassis and even through the 19” aluminum wheels.
This package still comes with a mighty V8, in fact this one is a 5.2L V8 with a flat-plane crank that is said to produce over 500 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. This is the first V8 Ford has ever produced with this system. It goes back to the fundamental designs of a V8 engine, which involves a basic square-wave up-and-down style crankshaft. Most inline four-cylinders and flat-fours use a similar style. Why is this style better? For one thing, it creates a higher revving engine, potentially up to 8,000 RPM, which is INSANE for a V8 engine. It also creates a light, small engine that is perfect for racing, and it also gets exhaust from the cylinders in a very efficient way. (fun fact) Ferrari uses this style in their new V8s. So judging by how Ford has made an incredibly efficient three-cylinder engine, and continues to produce the 5.0L V8 too, I think we can trust them with this new efficient V8.
With great power comes great stopping abilities, and the new Shelby has just that. It’s new stopping superpower comes in the form of two-piece, cross-drilled, rotors developed by Brembo for the front (15.5” rotors) and rear (14.8” rotors). The previously mentioned 19” aluminum wheels fill the wider fenders and are wrapped in a custom set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. And these wider fenders are made of aluminum, as well as the hood. The fascia’s, splitter, rockers, and rear valance with diffusers all work to the GT350’s advantage as an aerodynamic design.
The new GT350 is expected to be priced around $50,000, which seems like a pretty good deal for this new tech and performance. This would undercut its main competitor, the Camaro ZL1, by $20,000 if true. From all of the hype the new GT350 has gathered at the L.A. Autoshow, it sounds like Ford has yet another track ready muscle car that will be a smash hit! We’ll keep you updated with any news on the GT350, but until then, enjoy the pics!