Shelby GT350 to fully unleash Mustang's potential

Sam Bisby

By: Sam Bisby

The new Ford Mustang hasn’t even reached our shores yet and we’ve got another variant to get excited about in the form of the Shelby GT350.

Boasting “more than 500bhp”, the fully unleashed Mustang has been given a track-focused edge for the road and its bespoke naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V8 will apparently have peak torque north of 400lb ft.

The eight-cylinder motor utilises several techniques in order to eek out every ounce of performance from the powertrain, with Ford producing its first-ever production V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft, which is usually reserved for racing examples or European sports cars.

Shelby GT350 Mustang

Such a design, along with other elements, reduces the overlap of exhaust pressure pulses, and when combined with cylinder-head and valvetrain enhancements, the V8 is permitted better cylinder breathing and extends the capabilities of the engine.

A lightweight six-speed manual transmission is connected up to the powertrain and the GT350 also takes advantage of a Ford-tuned Torsen limited-slip differential to help the car in the corners and stay composed on the straights.

Further advancements have been made to the GT350’s front-end to make it stiffer than the standard Mustang, with Ford using an injection-molded carbonfibre composite grille opening. An optional front brace helps rigidity even more.

Another first for a Ford, the GT350 makes use of high-tech MagneRide dampers which firm up through magnetised iron particles in a synthetic hydrocarbon oil and is something first seen on the Ferrari 599.

Shelby GT350 Mustang

Developments to the front and rear bodywork has aided the car’s aerodynamics, with the new bonnet, for example, being lowered and sloped to act as a heat extractor and reduce underhood lift at high speed.

Inside, the Shelby GT350 receives new gauges and a reduction in chrome finish that might reflect and distract during track time. A flat-bottomed wheel and Recaro sports seats also make their way into the cabin.

The Shelby offers an all-new driver system with five settings that help the driver tailor the ABS, stability control, traction control, steering, throttle mapping, damper tuning and exhaust settings.

We’ll see the Shelby GT350 in public when the LA motor show opens this week.