June 19, 2018 Volume 14 Issue 23
 

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Wheels:
First look at new Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Building on a road-course racing and track-focused legacy born in 1965, Ford Performance engineers and designers incorporated the latest advances in tire, aerodynamics, and chassis technology into the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350.

"Somewhere, Carroll [Shelby] is smiling," said Hermann Salenbauch, global director for Ford Performance vehicle programs. "The new Shelby GT350 is our ultimate track Mustang."

Shelby GT350's high-revving 5.2-liter V8 remains the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever and the only one of its type in the segment. It delivers 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque at a scorching 8,250-rpm redline. It's mated to a track-proven and precise-shifting Tremec 6-speed manual transmission.

Billy Johnson, a driver for the FIA World Endurance Ford GT and IMSA Mustang GT4 programs, said the result of the new Mustang Shelby GT350's aerodynamics tuning, revised brake calibration, and much greater downforce is a more balanced, higher-performing car on the straightaways and especially in the corners.

"Along with improved grip, brake, and chassis refinements, Shelby GT350 brings a whole new level of performance driving," Johnson said. "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."

Working exclusively with Michelin, the team engineered new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a Shelby GT350-specific tread pattern and different compound to deliver more grip for significantly improved acceleration and lateral acceleration, as well as braking. The 295/35 front and 305/35 rear tires are fitted to improved stiffness and optimize new 19-in. aluminum wheels.

An all-new rear spoiler with optional Gurney flap and optimized grille closeout was designed and tuned with experience gained from wind tunnel development of the Ford Performance Mustang road-course racing cars and upcoming Shelby GT500 model. Together, they deliver greater rear aerodynamic efficiency when equipped with the new optional Gurney flap on the rear spoiler, which will be available after launch.

Upgrades to Mustang Shelby GT350's standard MagneRide active suspension complement the aero and tire enhancements with recalibrated springs and revised damping to take full advantage of the improvements.

Stopping power is provided by six-piston front and four-piston rear caliper Brembo™brakes. For added control and improved driver feedback, Shelby GT350's electric power-assist steering and three-mode electronic stability control settings feature enhancements taken from Ford Performance's hundreds of hours of competitive track testing.

Inside, driver and passengers of the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 are treated to a comfortable, stylish, and purpose-built cockpit boasting the latest in advanced technology and premium materials expected of a world-class sports car.

Fresh sporting cues include a standard machined aluminum instrument panel appliqué with an available exposed carbon fiber version, plus newly designed door panel inserts in dark slate Miko suede with accent stitching. A wrapped center console offers world-class craftsmanship. Standard Recaro race seats with firm side bolstering and open pass-throughs for safety harnesses offer the highest level of performance, while new power-adjustable seating is available with Miko suede inserts for those looking for added comfort.

A new high-performance, custom-tuned 12-speaker B&O PLAY audio system by HARMAN is available, controlled via the 8-in. SYNC 3 touch screen that features SiriusXM and FordPass Connect. Dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control is now standard, along with a universal garage door opener.

New colors for the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 include Velocity Blue and, for the first time, Ford Performance Blue. Optional factory-painted over-the-top racing stripes are available in high-gloss Shadow Black, Oxford White, or Kona Blue. Mirror-mounted Shelby Cobra Projection Lamps come standard in the available Technology Package.

The 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 will be available starting in early 2019 and will be built at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, MI. Enrollment in an exclusive, complimentary "Track Attack" driving program from Ford Performance is included with each vehicle. Pricing has not been released. The 2018 model started at $57,240 for the base model and $64,740 for the GT350R, which includes 19-in. carbon fiber wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, carbon fiber rear wing, large front splitter details, and much more. None of these prices includes delivery.

Source: Ford Motor Co.

Published June 2018

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First look at new Ford Mustang Shelby GT350]

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