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New Shelby GT350 revealed

21.11.2014

FORD has sold over nine million Mustangs since the 1960s and yet, as South Africans, we’ve had to rely on movies, print and various websites to experience the Shelby Mustang GT350s of old. However, with the confirmation that the new Mustang is coming to South Africa, could we see the first new Shelby GT350 here?

An icon realised

The original Shelby GT350, which was introduced in 1965, established Mustang’s performance credentials. The all-new Shelby GT350 Mustang features the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever. The idea for the GT350 stems from the late Carroll Shelby’s original idea of transforming a great everyday car into a road racer.

Development

Early in the development of the GT350, it was decided a high-revving, naturally aspirated V8 engine would best suit a track-focused Mustang.  The 5.2-litre engine is the first-ever production V8 from Ford with a flat-plane crankshaft, typically found only in racing applications or exotic European sports cars.

V8 powerhouse

The result is the most powerful, naturally aspirated production Ford engine ever, at more than 367kW/540Nm. The power is put down via the rear wheels in conjunction with a six-speed manual transmission and Torsen limited-slip differential.

Handling

Front stiffness is further improved on the GT350 with a cutting-edge injection-moulded carbon fibre composite grille opening and optional lightweight tower-to-tower brace. The front track has been increased while spring rates and bushings have been recalibrated all around, with ride height reduced compared to the Mustang GT.

The über-Mustang also makes use of MagneRide dampers. The dampers are filled with a hydraulic fluid impregnated with iron particles, which means, when an electric current is passed through the fluid, a near-instant adjustment of the suspension performance can be made.

It also features extra-stiff 19-inch aluminium-alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres with GT350-specific sidewall construction, tread face and compound. The custom tyres are designed to deliver maximum grip on the road or at the track.

Stopping power

The GT350 features the most track-credible brake system ever offered on a Ford vehicle. The brakes are two-piece cross-drilled iron discs. At the front are massive 394mm rotors clamped by Brembo six-piston fixed calipers with integrated caliper bridges, while 380mm rotors at the rear, utilise four-piston calipers.

Those looks

The whole car looks more aggressive, with new aluminium front fenders to accommodate the wider front track and wider wheel arches. Front fender vents work with vented inner fenders to draw out turbulent air in the wheel wells and smoothly direct it down the side of the car. The forward-angled grille is designed with individual openings to draw air through the radiator, high-pressure engine air intake, cooling ducts for the front brakes and, optional with the Track Pack, an engine oil cooler and a transmission cooler.

There’s a new aluminium bonnet, which is lower and more sloped, while both the front and rear benefit from aero elements. There’s a lower front splitter with maximum pressure and a ducted belly pan delivers significant downforce. At the rear, there’s a functional diffuser doing double duty to increase downforce and provide cooling air to the optional differential cooler, and a subtle lip spoiler across the trailing edge of the boot.

Cockpit

Inside, you’ll find Recaro sport seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, upgraded gauges and the reduction of all chrome and bright finishes have been reduced or eliminated to prevent sun glare. There’s also an all-new integrated driver control system, allowing a selection of five modes that tailor ABS, stability control, traction control, steering effort, throttle mapping, MagneRide tuning and exhaust settings, depending on driver preference, to achieve maximum performance.

Article written by Autodealer
21.11.2014
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