Ford looked to the track to improve the performance in the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350, upgrading aerodynamics, chassis and tires, among others.
“The new Shelby GT350 is our ultimate track Mustang,” said Hermann Salenbauch, global director for Ford Performance vehicle programs. “We’ve stuck to Carroll Shelby’s original formula for winning championships and made our Shelby GT350 even better with the latest in race-proven aerodynamics, tire and chassis technology.”
Ford Performance worked with Michelin to engineer new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a new compound and model-specific tread pattern, resulting in more grip to improve straight line and lateral acceleration and braking. The 295/35 front and 305/35 tires are mounted on new 19-inch aluminum wheels.
New body work was adapted from the Mustang road-course racing cars and from the upcoming Shelby GT500. Changes include an all-new rear spoiler (further available with a Gurney flap — the small tab added to the underside of the wing to improve downforce — after launch). The race cars also provided improvements to brakes (6-piston front and 4-piston rear Brembo calipers), electric steering assist and 3-mode electronic stability control.
Upgraded MagneRide active suspension features recalibrated springs and revised damping on the shocks so that ride and handling takes full advantage of the aerodynamics and the performance tires.
And when it came time to shake down the car on the track, Ford turned to FIA World Endurance Ford GT and IMSA Mustang GT4 driver Billy Johnson, proclaiming it a more-balanced, higher performing car on straightaways and in corners.
“Along with improved grip, brake and chassis refinements, Shelby GT350 brings a whole new level of performance driving,” said Johnson. “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.”
Power comes from the exclusive 5.2-litre V-8 that delivers 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque, leading up to an 8,250 rpm redline. It’s controlled by a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission.
The interior is more comfortable and stylish, with a purpose-built cockpit filled with premium materials (such as the machined aluminum or exposed carbon fibre applique on the instrument panel, Recaro race seats, 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen Play audio system, and Miko suede inserts or doors and seats) and the latest technology (8-inch touchscreen with Sync 3 and FordPass Connect).
New colours include Velocity Blue and Ford Performance Blue, with Shadow Black, Oxford White or Kona Blue stripes. The car will be available in early 2019, with prices including a Ford Performance Track Attack driving course.