Shelby GT350R – the 5.2 V8 track-ready Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R-07

Say hello to the Shelby GT350R Mustang, the most track-ready road-going production Mustang Ford has ever built. Engineered in the spirit of the iconic Shelby GT350 Competition, the new Shelby GT350R delivers never-before-seen track capability from a Mustang thanks to innovations in aerodynamics, chassis engineering and weight reduction. It’s a more hardcore version of the Shelby GT350 we saw in November.

“The Shelby GT350R Mustang is a no-compromise car in the pursuit of maximum track capability. It is a thoroughbred street car making use of technology and ingenuity to deliver performance few enthusiasts have ever experienced,” said Raj Nair, Ford group VP of global product development.

The GT350R is powered by a new 5.2L V8 engine, the first-ever production V8 from Ford with a flat-plane crankshaft, an architecture typically found in racing applications or European exotica.

Unlike traditional V8s, where the connecting rods are attached to the crankshaft at 90-degree intervals, this design evenly spaces all crank pins at 180-degree intervals to optimise high-speed engine breathing. It is the most powerful naturally aspirated production Ford engine ever, with more than 500 hp and over 542 Nm of torque. An air-to-oil engine oil cooler maintains engine temperatures, as does a standard cooler for the six-speed manual gearbox.

A Ford-tuned limited-slip Torsen differential with 3.73 axle ratio is optimised for cornering grip and straight-line traction, while an electronically modulated rear-mounted air-to-oil differential cooler maintains ideal temperatures during track driving.

“The Shelby GT350R Mustang is a car with the nimbleness and power delivery you want on a road course. This isn’t just about horsepower. The Shelby GT350R is an all-around balanced athlete – one that is extraordinarily precise and agile,” Nair adds.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R-09

Ford took weight reduction very seriously. Items removed include the air con, stereo, rear seats, trunk floorboard and carpet, backup camera and emergency tyre sealer and inflator. Exhaust resonators also have been removed for weight savings with the benefit of creating a sharper exhaust tone.

As a result, the Shelby GT350R is more than 59 kg lighter than the Shelby GT350 Track Pack model. If you’re not prepared to go so far, the optional Electronics Package will undo all the good work and throw back in dual-zone air con, an eight-inch touch screen with navigation, seven-speaker audio system, turn signal mirrors and more.

Carbon fibre wheels are standard on GT350R. The 19-inch rims shave unsprung weight and reduce rolling inertia – approximately six kg of unsprung weight reduction per wheel and higher levels of stiffness than equivalent aluminium wheels. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres with bespoke compound and construction wrap the CF rims.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R-13

Details including the hood vent for heat extraction and lift reduction, underbody belly pans at both ends, an aggressive diffuser, vented wheel wells and turbulence-reducing fender vents, wheel air curtains and side skirts all remain on the GT350R, but downforce capability has been increased.

Revisions to the front splitter maximise downforce, while a new carbon fibre rear wing has been added. The latter moves the Ford’s center of pressure rearward while improving downforce and lift balance – ideal for high-speed track work.

Those who take it to track will benefit from the GT350R’s specially tuned suspension. It is fitted with revised spring rates and antiroll bars, lower ride height, unique track-tuned alignment settings, revised bushings and jounce bumpers, cross-axis ball joints in the front suspension, and revised calibration controlling the MagneRide dampers.

The limited-production Shelby GT350R will be available in North America late this year. Salivating? Malaysia will also get a Mustang around the same time, but one without the famous cobra emblem. Can lah.

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.

 

Comments

  • Don Juan De Marco on Jan 13, 2015 at 10:04 am

    The real challenger to this beast will be the Porsche 911 GT3..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Burong on Jan 13, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Fast n furious. Too fast to be true.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • zaizaizai on Jan 14, 2015 at 9:36 am

      No. It’s Need For Speed.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
      • Rinnegan on Jul 24, 2015 at 11:56 am

        Doesn’t matter. It’s Fast, furious and those who drives it will feel the need. The need for speed,…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Where and how to buy tis????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  • Lane Tamer on Jan 13, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Miles away to beat the legendary Nissan GTR…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 13
  • Logo on steering looks like a cobra but at LCD screen shows a horse. Thats a bit weird to see two iconic animals in a single car

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
    • Lane Tamer on Jan 13, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      Shelby is a more powerful (upgraded) version of the Mustang. That’s why there’s a cobra logo on the steering wheel as to differentiate from ordinary Mustangs (iconic running horse logo)…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
    • I AM BLACK & NUTELLA on Jan 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      They just forgot to change the system to the cobra logo. Don’t mind. Your car still a Shelby.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • Semi-Value (Member) on Jan 14, 2015 at 8:02 am

    comes with the manual….sedap

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
 

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