Skip to main content
HOME   |   ABOUT   |   NEWS   |   TECH ARTICLES   |   AT THE TRACK   |   REVIEWS   |   VIDEOS   |   CONTACT ME

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R - Because a GT350 isn't fast enough!




As if revealing the Ford GT wasn't exciting enough for car enthusiasts, Ford gave the world another treat in the form of the Mustang Shelby GT350R. It seems like more people have been talking about the Ford GT and the new F-150 Raptor and this may have been a little overshadowed. In my opinion, it's not due to it being less significant than either (okay, maybe it isn't quite as significant as a new GT), but because the biggest surprise came when the GT350 was revealed a few weeks ago and a lot of people were expecting a more hard core version to come at some point.

Still, the fact that this is announced now is great. The new Mustang has been on sale for just a few months and typically it takes one model year or two to reveal a higher performance version of a model. Look at the history of Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes and even exotics from across the pond. The run-of-the-mill Mustang has been on sale for relatively little and then Ford announced the King Cobra Roush supercharger packages (Mustang GT Ford Racing Roush Supercharger kit), then they announced the Shelby GT350 and now there's a GT350R. Plus there are talks about the return of a GT500 with gobs of horsepower. Ford is doing something right!




The most obvious changes outside are a more aggressive front splitter to increase down force and a larger carbon fibre rear spoiler that Ford says is a "high-efficiency" wing so I am assuming it has little effect on drag. Ford says the wing not only increases downforce but moves the vehicle's centre of pressure rearward so the downforce should be biased towards the rear compared to the the standard GT350. While the spoiler and wing together should increase grip and stability at high speed, this bias should improve stability in high speed corners compared to the GT350. Other changes that are unique to the GT350 found their way here including the sculpted, lowered hood with the vent for heat extraction and lift reduction, underbody belly pans front and rear, an aggressive diffuser, vented wheel wells and turbulence-reducing fender vents, wheel air curtains and side skirts. The exhaust tips appear to have been blackened out compared to the polished ones found on the standard GT350.




The first question people seem to ask about a higher performance model, though, is whether it has more power but Ford didn't reveal that. Obviously, the same flat-plane crankshaft 5.2 litre V8 that surprised (and delighted) us all in the GT350 is used here and Ford says the engine makes more than 500 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, the same thing it said about the GT350 so I suspect it will have the same hp rating. It shouldn't need more power, though, because of the improvements that will no doubt make this a much quicker car. It will also be more than 130 lbs. lighter than the GT350 Track Model so it should be faster with the same horsepower.




To save weight, Ford removed the air conditioning, stereo, rear seats, trunk floorboard and carpet, backup camera and emergency tire sealer and inflator. Exhaust resonators also have been removed for weight savings which should, not only reduce weight, but let the 5.2 litre V8 sing more freely. If you don't want a stripped down car, Ford is offering an optional Electronics Package which will bring dual-zone air conditioning, 8-inch touch screen with navigation, seven-speaker audio system, turn signal mirrors and more. I suspect that the Electronics Package will probably cut the 130 lbs weight savings by about half but that should only marginally slow down the car so I think it's worth it. I typically don't like added electronics and, therefore, weight and complexity but for the sake of air conditioning and audio I think I would go for it.




Ford is also using lightweight carbon fibre wheels, which Ford will proudly say it is the first major automaker to introduce this innovative wheel technology as standard equipment. The wheels save 13 lbs per each single wheel, for a total of 52 lbs, yet they are stiffer than equivalent aluminum wheels. The wheels measure 19 x 11 inches up front and 19 x 11.5 inches in the back so they are substantial in size and measure 0.5 inches wider in the front and the back compared to the standard GT350. The wheels will be wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a rubber compound and a construction that is unique to Shelby GT350R. Rounding off the suspension are revised spring rates, bushings, jounce bumpers, cross-axis ball joints and anti-roll bars, unique alignment settings and a lowered ride height. The shocks have also been recalibrated but, unlike the Z/28, Ford stuck to the MagneRide dampers instead of going to fixed dampers. This should mean it will ride better compared to the Z/28 but it's hard to say what, if any, detriment this will have on damping performance on the track.

Ford said this will go on sale later this year in Canada and the U.S. so we shouldn't have to wait too long to see how this thing performs. Where did I put that winning lottery ticket?


Comments







Does An Aftermarket Grille Really Increase Airflow?
I put a Saleen S281 grille to the test to answer that question.

Stock Suspension S197 Mustang With Square 305/30/19's
What you need to fit a proper size square tire setup.

How Limited Slip Diffs Make You Faster on Track
What you need to know about how they put power down and pros and cons.

Can Telemetry Explain Schumacher's Talent?
A comparison between Schumacher's and then team mate Herbert's data.






Cayman GT4 Track Review
The first Cayman with proper (911-challenging) power.

Is an EcoBoost Mustang any good on Track?
Two days at the track in a Mustang short 4 cylinders.

2016 BMW M4 DCT Track Review
It's quick (properly quick). But is it fun?

Can a stock Golf Diesel handle a Track Day?
Not your every day track beater.




🔥 Most Visited This Week

Falken Azenis RT615k+ Street and Track Review

Last year, I picked up a 2009 Lancer Ralliart to do a long term test with it as a dual duty track/daily. One of the first things I knew I was going to do was put a decent set of tires on it. The car came without OEM wheels which was actually good because I didn't have to hesitate about getting a good set of aftermarket wheels to support going wider. Thankfully, my friends at YST Auto Halifax  set me up with a great set of Superspeed RF03RR wheels. The Wheels I had never even heard of Superspeed but I trusted the good folk at YST Auto who mentioned some customer cars running on track with them. These wheels are rotary forged which is basically a prerequisite to be taken seriously in this market populated by companies like TSW and Fast Wheels. The wheels looked like a high quality, well finished wheel and each had a "QC" check sticker on. Just for appearances? Maybe, but I found no defects. The wheels seemed easy to balance (didn't need many weights) and at 18.1 lb. f

Michelin Pilot Super Sports vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 - Street Review

I've been a huge fan of Michelin PSS tires and exclusively bought them for the Mustang over the last four years. So how did I end up here? This year, I was hugely interested in trying an "R-comp" tire. I had my eyes set on Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's for two simple reasons: price and reputation. Although not a true "R-comp" tire on paper, it performs like one by the account of every single test and review I've read (down to wear rates...). They seem like they're easily the most affordable (from a big brand) R-comp tire and combine that with a reputation for having tons of grip, it was an easy top contender. I had my concerns, though. For one, I'm told and have read that they are an autox tire, not really designed for high speed, pressure, and temps associated with open track. For another, the Mustang is a heavy car (as far as track cars are concerned) being roughly 3,800 lb. (including driver), which will amplify the unwanted open track load

GTR vs Evo X vs STI: which has the best AWD system?

A few weeks ago, I made a post explaining  mainstream AWD system types and how they compare , pros and cons, etc. including some simple diagrams to show where the power goes and how much. As promised, this post will focus on specific cars and what AWD systems they use, especially ones that that have more or less been defined by their AWD systems, and the best place to start may be with a bombshell; the Nissan GT-R. Nissan GT-R (R35) The GT-R has built a reputation around having monster traction and very approachable performance, thanks to its AWD system - Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain (ATTESA) - and what it can do for you. But the GT-R doesn't actually use the most mechanically sophisticated type of AWD systems discussed in the previous article, namely a "true" AWD with a centre differential. Instead, it uses a clutch pack to transfer power. RWD-based clutch-type AWD schematic - Rams Eye The Track Guy © The R32, R33, and R34 Sky

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2's vs Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's

I never thought I'd ever run Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2's on my 2012 Boss 302. The cost is astronomical and they are supposed to last the least of anything comparable. So how did I end up with (nearly) fresh Sport Cup 2's? A complete fluke. I came across a lightly used set with only a few hundred miles and no track time; 305/30/19 takeoffs from a GT Performance Pack Level 2 (GT PPL2). I knew my 71R's were getting very worn before the season started and likely wouldn't last the whole season, even this short one. The price was far better than a new set of RE-71R's, a little more than half, and local Time Attack rules (Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs) recently made 180 and 200 TW tires equivalent, meaning no PAX or PIP point penalty for going with 180 TW tire like the Pilot Sport Cup 2's. I have been very curious about how PSC2's compare to RE 71R's but I stayed away due to their being painfully expensive and, up to last year, their 180 TW rating would