After a long 45-year anticipation, the iconic Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is back. And along with it came a race-ready version that is like no other before it, the GT350R!
The GT350/GT350R models are truly marvels of engineering that redefine the capabilities of American muscle cars. What makes these cars so special is the engineering technology that went into making them.
Both the GT350 and GT350R produce 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque through a 32 valve 8200 rpm naturally aspirated engine! May we say more? Well maybe we can talk about the Flat Plane crankshaft? Yes you heard right, a technology reserved for the high revving supercars (the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini) is used on an American muscle car. This special piece of engineering provides more responsive, higher revving capabilities through a lighter and more compact design, compared to the regular Crossplane crankshaft that all other muscle cars have.
The GT350R is a race-ready car that can be driven on the street. It is not only able to accelerate at a mind-blowing 3.9 seconds from 0-60 mph, it can also handle its way through the corners like a race car should. The fact that this car comes without an air-conditioning unit and without a radio is an indicator that its main purpose in life is to be raced on the track. Those luxuries can of course be added through an electronic package.
Both the GT350 and the GT350R models have the same engine specifications, however the GT350R is about 60 lbs. lighter mostly due to its carbon fiber wheels. Those wheels are produced by Carbon Revolution in Australia and would normally cost $5,000 a piece if bought separately. This makes the GT350R slightly faster by 0.2 seconds for 0-60 and 0.3 seconds for the 1/4 mile (12.1 seconds @ 119.6 mph for the GT350R and 12.4 @ 117.8 mph for the GT350).
How is the GT350R different from the GT350? Oh just a few changes really. The GT350R has (and does not have) the following:
- 19'' Carbon fiber wheels
- No rear seat
- No rear-view camera
- No radio and no air-conditioning (can be added with an additional $3,000 electronic package most of us would get)
How are they similar? Both come with standard:
- 5.2L Ti-VCT V8 with Flat Plane Crank
- MagneRide™ Damping System (Adjustable magnetic shocks)
- 373 Torsen limited-slip differential
- TREMEC® 6-speed manual transmission
- RECARO® cloth sport seats with Miko® suede inserts
- 15.5 inch brembo breaks - 6-piston in the front, 4-piston in the rear
- 305mm. tires in the front, 315mm. in the back
It is unbelievable that the GT350 costs only $47,000 and its race-ready brother just $16,000 more, for a total of $63,000. It is also very interesting that Ford has limited the production of the GT350R. A total of 526 cars were produced in 2016. This definitely adds a collectability aspect to this vehicle that should be seriously considered for car enthusiasts in the market to buy a new car
With the GT350/GT350R Ford produced a car that any car enthusiast would love to have. It is fun to drive both on the street and on the track, it looks great and it sounds even better! An American muscle car that can produce more down-force than a 911 GT3 at 100 mph is not a small achievement. Ford Performance has really made the Mustang they have always wanted to make!