By on January 21, 2016

Shelby GT350R Mustang back seat

Ford will sell a backseat kit for its Ford Mustang GT350R because it’s the family car you’ve been asking for, the automaker announced Thursday.

Ford will sell the backseat it removed back to you for $999 (before installation), and it’s even made from the same herd of Alcantaras as the front seats. The rear seats will sport seatbelts and all original GT350 restraint systems.

The demand was clear, according to Ford Performance folks: people want a four-seater, track-ready car that could pull double duty owning all the apexes and hauling kids — which is not already called a Focus RS.

Shelby GT350R Mustang Interior

Having said that: Who wouldn’t want to ride in the back of a paint shaker with a flat-plane crank V-8, no air conditioning, radio or much sound deadening? I’d give it a whirl. Once.

The Ford Mustang GT350R is the perfect kind of family car and really the only one you need now.

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78 Comments on “Alright, Who Asked For a Backseat In The Ford Mustang GT350R?...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    But can the trunk accommodate a BOB Revolution SE Duallie Stroller?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      As long as it can fit the portable potty and various clothes, wipes, etc, I’m fine.

      (neither the GT350 or GT350 is worth the bump in price over the GT for me so it probably doesn’t matter)

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Coyote is correct motor for 75% of Mustang buyers, even if they fail to realize it (and remorse sets in later).

        Flat-plane crank motor is correct choice for > less than 1%, even if they fail to realize it.

        V6 is correct choice for remainder.

        Ecoboost 4 banger is wrong choice for all, even if they fail to realize it (and remorse sets in later).

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I’d love a GT350 but it would be wasted on me. A GT Premium would be my choice.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            The GT350R would be wasted on me, but I’d be happy to have that flat-plane goodness in a “regular” GT350. Really not THAT much more expensive than a premium + Track pack GT, $8k or so, dealer markups aside.

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            That’s the good kind of waste. The kind most people can get behind.

            Quite unlike the waste that got into the water in Flint and the two legged waste that allowed it to happen.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            For me it’s more like $15K+ because the Mustang GT qualifies for A-plan. I’m looking at $36K-$37K for a loaded GT Premium with the Performance Package, Nav, and 401A. If I just wanted a GT with the Performance Package and no other options, I am looking at not much over $30K.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            On the flip side, what’s a 5y/o Mustang GT worth versus a 5y/o GT350 (or other comparable Shelby?) I bet you get all the extra back and then some buying a Shelby versus a GT if you take care of it and don’t drive it to the moon.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You are right. You’ll get that $8K back. Stop giving me reasons…

            I’d drive it year round though.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Chris, I’ll bet that at least a majority, if not 75%+, of GT350s will be essentially either put away in storage, or rarely driven, on the hopes that limited production will make it an appreciating asset/collectible.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          DeadWeight,
          I would actually like to see which one is quicker around most any race track.

          I have read that the 2.3 EcoThirst is 1/10 sec. slower to 100kph than the V8.

          With the reduced weight on the front end I would assume the “4 banger” would be a nice drive.

          As for the missing burble of a V8. Doesn’t Ford use the vehicle’s sound system to give you that big engine ambiance. I know the macho aluminium F-150 EcoThirst has the masculine sound enhancement.

          Ford has even given you 1970s retro V8 FE with the 2.7 as well.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            There’s just something heretical about any “good” Mustang not having a 5.0 (especially now that it has evolved into the sweet, sweet Coyote).

            Maybe I’m a dinosaur for feeling this way.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            “Five point oh” means nothing to me, given that Ford spent so much time trying to convince the faithful that a 4.9 liter engine was worthy of the label.

            The only sin that was its equal was when AMG dit it with a 6.2L engine. Learn significant digits!

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            You are aware of MB’s history with the 6.3L, yes? I’ll forgive them the .1L for the coolness of the name.

            And yes, I’m never, ever, buying a pony car without a V8. What’s the point without that V8 rumble and hooligan personality?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            A more powerful 2.7TT Mustang may have a shot at being faster around a track than the 5.0L, but the 2.3T would not. The 2.3T is more than a full second slower to sixty than the 5.0L.

            Edmunds did an instrumented test. I’ve also driven them back to back and there is no doubt that the 5.0L is significantly faster. The 2.3T is similar in power to the old 4.6L.

            However, the new 3.5TT in a Mustang would absolutely obliterate the current GT.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The next time you see Fields, ask him when the 3.5T will be available in the Mustang.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Ford *should* do it for the midcycle refresh. More than likely Ford will tweak the 5.0L again in order to make it more competitive with the 6.2L in the Camaro SS.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            The EcoBoost has good specs and is highly tunable, but my experience with it (my best friend has a 2015 Mustang EcoBoost Premium) is that it’s temperamental and doesn’t put power down as linearly as you’d like. The Cyclone V6 is a far superior engine, but Ford has deliberately made it an unattractive option by equipping only base or low-spec cars with it.

            I’d love to see the 2.7-liter or 3.5-liter EcoBoosts in the Mustang, though.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @VoGo Ford called the 302 a 5.0 to differentiate it from the 300 which was called a 4.9.

            It is very common to fudge a little or a lot in advertised displacement for one reason or another.

            Ford lied about the various engines called 351 as initially they didn’t want confusion with the FE 352 which shares the same bore and stroke. Why they then also called the 352s derived from the 335 engine series 351 also who knows.

            The FT 361 & 391 actually had the same displacement as the FE 360/390.

            International called the 391 version of their SV family a 392 so it wasn’t mistaken for the FT391.

            Then we have GM and all the 350’s and 454/455s which were named because they didn’t want the mid priced brands to be outdone by each other or Chevy. There were also a number of other instances some related to mandates that mid size cars couldn’t have more than a certain displacement. So they just changed the name to meet the mandate, or they changed displacement by going to entirely different bore and stroke and then kept the old designation.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          “Ecoboost 4 banger is wrong choice for all, even if they fail to realize it (and remorse sets in later).”

          Well, sure, but if you want anything like, say, leather or other options, you have to get the EcoBoost. I’d get the V6 myself, but I like a car with features. And I wouldn’t want the EcoBoost. So Coyote it is.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Kyree, bball, 28CL, ViGil BAl –

            – It’s not just about speed for me, but the V8 harmonics and overall feel.

            Chris nailed my thoughts.

            Just like a Honda S2K *should*have a high rpm VTEC mill, and a BMW 3 Series should have BMW’s magical inline 6, and a Porsche should have the famous flat-6, my ideal Mustang must include a torque-rich, burbling V8.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Deadweight,
            You still have the multi speaker sound system to give you that!

    • 0 avatar
      mu_redskin

      Alex Dykes really needs to do one of his car seat reviews on this!

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Insurance?

    I was always under the impression that the reason Porsche 911 had rear seats was because insurance rates on “two-seaters” tends to be exorbitant.

  • avatar
    DanDotDan

    Maybe it’s there to avoid Euro-taxes on two-seat vehicles? Kind of like 911’s.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Every family car review from here on out should consist solely of “It’s not a Mustang GT350R. Fail.”

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “Having said that: Who wouldn’t want to ride in the back of a paint shaker with a flat-plane crank V-8, ”

    surprisingly, the vibrations from the engine aren’t that bad.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Oooh, it’s got LATCH points!

    Weekend Shopping List:
    – Mustang GT350 (1)
    – Back seat kit (1)
    – Britax advocate car seats (2)

    I’m sure this won’t be frustrating…

  • avatar
    nsk

    “The demand was clear, according to Ford Performance folks: people want a four-seater, track-ready car that could pull double duty owning all the apexes and hauling kids — which is not already called a Focus RS.”

    You write this facetiously, but as a dad of two with limited garage space and money, I can tell you that I’m far from alone in wanting exactly that. I think the only track-durable cars with back seats are 991 Carrera and Turbo, GT-R, Evora 2+2, and California. And now GT350 and its R variant.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Camaro Z28? Golf R? FR-S & BR-Z? I’m sure I’m missing some others.

      • 0 avatar
        nsk

        Yeah, Z28 for sure. FR-S and BRZ I think probably since they’re light cars. Golf R I’m not so sure based on its weight.

        I’m defining track-durable as capable of going straight from showroom to twenty 8/10-pace laps without significant understeer, brake fade, or overheating.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Is a Turbo track durable? In GT2 guise yeah, but a run of the mill one, I dunno?

      I also don’t know about the Cali. Something tells me the suits didn’t greenlight that as a track car.

      • 0 avatar
        nsk

        I’ve put lots of track miles on stock (and modified) 996 and 997 Turbos. Very reliable, safe, and dependably fast. I’ve got to think 991 Turbo is more of the same.

        California – like all current Ferraris – has ceramic brakes. The car is more sporting than many would think.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    It was pretty stupid of them to take it out, to be honest. The R is a whopping 105lb lighter, a lot of which comes from the wheels and deleting the A/C. I bet the back seat weighs like 60 lbs max. That is the kind of deletion I would expect from a high schooler in his automatic Corolla, not from a multi billion dollar auto maker.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    My take was that without a back seat, the Mustang is comparable to the ‘Vette, which is a fool’s errand.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Mustangs can certainly run with Corvettes, when equipped right, from the factory. The Boss 302 is one. Of course when given the same power-to-weight ratios, of course.

      Corvettes are really overrated with a layout not so special. They’re better for *looking* fast though. But a backseat would only help out the GT350r’s balance, if anything.

      Corvettes are terribly slow around a track, when considering their low center of gravity and other racing chassis specs.

      • 0 avatar
        brenschluss

        “Corvettes are terribly slow around a track, when considering their low center of gravity and other racing chassis specs.”

        Having been taken around a track in a C7, this is simply bullshit.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “Corvettes are terribly slow around a track…”

        Isn’t that special herb legal now in Denver? Sounds like someone has got the good stuff!

        #fatblunt

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Mike,
          I never really got into the whole Chevy vs. Ford thing, and I could never remember if it was Calvin or Hobbess peeing on which logo.

          But if we are comparing ‘Vette vs. Mustang at the track, then the ‘Vette comes in with multiple advantages. Lighter, lower center of gravity, and designed from the start for many large V8s and only two seats.

          There are plenty of wonderful Mustangs, but in this scenario, the Mustang is Peyton to the Vette’s Brady. One is clearly superior (he’s the one who is 2 games away from ring #5).

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yes Corvettes are terribly slow, FOR WHAT THEY ARE.

            Still a damn Mustang can give them a run for their money. Why make this a Ford vs Chevy thing. The same could be said about Camaros vs Corvettes. Well almost.

            But of course (again, you weren’t listing)) given the same power-to-weight, and the Corvette can still keep its lower center of gravity and near 50/50 weight dist. It doesn’t matter.

            The Corvette is an awesome concept on paper, but in practice, not so much. Just so so.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Road & Track had the Z06 just about within a tenth of a Viper ACR and faster than the Ferarri 488.

        http://tinyurl.com/jjwty7a

        Back in 2013 the standard Z51 was faster around a track than and F-type V8 and R8 V10.

        Here’s what Car and Driver have on their “Lightning Lap” test:

        http://tinyurl.com/zzjkw37

        I don’t understand how that can qualify as “terribly slow”. How fast do you think the Corvette should be on a track? What do you consider to be a “fast” track car? Are Vipers and Ferraris “slow” in your opinion as well?

  • avatar
    Fred

    Who actually do the manufacturer’s listen too? Is it dealers? Internet? Focus groups? They don’t listen to me I at least know that.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Dealers mostly.
      Occasionally, dealers.
      Also, dealers.
      Yeah, pretty much only dealers.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      they listen to people who actually buy cars, not Internet Car People. They figured out long ago that when an Internet Car Person says “You should make a brown diesel Fusion wagon with a manual trans, I’d totally buy one,” the rest of the sentence is “when it’s five years old and my parents can co-sign the loan for me.”

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The customers of the OEMs are ultimately their dealers. I believe those mfg conduct a fair amount of market research and collect feedback from individual buyers, but ultimately buyers can be fickle and may need the proper sales push it get into a product.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Not surprising. Honda made the S2000CR as a track-ready model with AC and audio delete, then added a version with AC and audio.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      That is because unless you go full out race prep, IE: completely strip the interior of everything, put in a cage and have a trailer – most people drive their race cars to the track. No AC and no radio = downright painful… mainly because until you actually get to the track your stuck on a normal road doing normal driving.

      I think someone below really nailed it: the reason to put the seats back in (despite them being clearly useless) is it LOOKS better. Weight savings? Who cares! A gripper set of tires would easily overcome the tiny difference those rears seats, AC and a radio delete save. Heck given the weight of fuel you would be better off running 1/2 tanks and refueling between sessions if really wanted to shave that .1 second of your lap time.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        JMII – unless you run a “baffled” fuel cell wouldn’t fuel sloshing around a fuel tank potentially have an effect on the chassis stability? In that respect s full tank of gas would be better.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Most cars these days have baffled tanks to begin with, so slosh isn’t an issue. Running a low fuel load can cause fuel starvation problems during vigorous cornering.

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            Agreed plus safety concerns have moved most tanks in passenger cars ahead of the rear axle mitigating some effect of what fuel does slosh around.

            Since 2005 Mustangs have used a saddle tank located under the rear seat effectively dividing it into two fuel tanks I suppose holds about 7.5 gallons apiece (or there about).

            I hazard a guess that it also moved the tanks roughly a foot to a foot and a half closer to the middle of the car maybe more.

            In another safety move (I’d guess like the fuel tank) the battery has also been moved inside the wheel base of the car. Prior to the S-197 the battery was located out toward the nose of the car (like most cars back then) now its up on the passenger side firewall. While not ideally located in the trunk where it can counter balance the engine its still better than hanging 25-40 pounds off the nose of the car.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            bumpy ii – thanks.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    So Ford takes it out for some reason I guess and now for a grand will sell it to you and a dealer will charge another grand to put it back in, yeah that makes sense.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    I don’t know about youse guys, but I might take a GT350R to a track but I would push it the same way I’d push something used and more importantly something that I really don’t care if it gets scuffed up.

    So, If I’m buying a GT350R or Viper ACR or GT4 I want the A/C and the radio. If I want a real track car I’ll buy something used and strip out what I don’t need myself and if it gets some track rash it doesn’t really matter.

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    I recently attended my local auto show, and one of my favorite things to do is try the back seats of sporty cars. I’m not a small person, but I’m flexible.

    Even so, Mustang was simply a no go. With the front seat moved a bare minimum to fit, driving was *not comfortable*. It’s a two-seater if you’re carrying men or women of above-average stature, so family use only.

    I don’t want to assume there would be an insurance discount for choosing such an option, so until I learn otherwise I’m going to assume it’s a PsyOps mission to keep the next generation demanding V8s.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      That’s all I need, just need to be able to get the kid from daycare or whatever on occasion. I don’t need her to ride across country in it, just so long as I can get her around safely on short hops.

      • 0 avatar
        johnny_5.0

        They are fine for kids in boosters. I would never want to deal with a rear facing car seat in one, but I used mine semi-frequently like you describe. Picking the kid up from school or other short trips for the two of us. As you can see from the pics the shape of the rear seats isn’t super fun for any type of car seat though.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          I believe every kid deserves a parent with a GT350, but you’d better hope they don’t have tall genes if you’re expecting them to sit in the back.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            If the kid is in a restraint seat anyway, all you would need is seat belts. In some respects that would be safer since the seat is secured right to the pan as opposed to a soft seat. A Booster would need a seat back.

          • 0 avatar
            BuzzDog

            Actually, Lou, the LATCH anchors in my Mustang’s back seat are welded to the pan, not to the seat. I know this because I use them to secure my dogs; put the pooch in a harness, and use a lead with a spring clip on both ends, clip one end of the lead to the harness, and one to the LATCH anchor.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            BuzzDog – thanks. I’m aware that the latch anchors are to the car but I’ve found that there is some give with anything secured on top of the seat.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    Because even all but the most extremely stripped down cars get used as daily drivers, often by guys in their 20s and 30s who have young children.

    Ever lived or worked on a military installation, particularly overseas? They’re overrun with Mustangs. Here at Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul, there are at least 3-4 different GT350s and a handful of other high end variants. There’s a Roush sitting in front of the Dragon Hill Hotel right now. I think I’ve seen pretty much every single one dropping and picking up kids at the elementary school.

    My brother in law has one. He drops the kids off at kindergarten and first grade on his way to work all the time. If you’ve got 5-10 year olds, you can still do that with tiny back seats, so long as they are there. No back seats means you aren’t driving your car to work and dropping the kids off at the same time.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Next you will be able to get a tow package for the GT. This is for towing your tools and spares as well as take the family on a race day outing.

  • avatar
    b534202

    I would say that what they had instead of the rear seats there look ugly and cheap, so I would probably opt for the rear seats too even though nothing fits back there, just so my $60k car doesn’t look it went through some DIY weight reduction.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      I’m glad someone said it. Ford want $995 for an alcantara sheet that replaces something that midgets and small kids or your bags can sit on for something that no one or your bags can sit on.

      Yeah, nah. lol. If you want the pro rice look, remove the seats and then fix a cheap half cage in it, preferably sprayed red.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Every time I scroll past that top photo my sense organs instinctively clinch because my brain stem thinks it’s a Murilee interior about to spark a Crabspirits vignette.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Dylann hated the GT350R. “Sounds like a f’n Subie” he cursed to himself. All seven speakers had long ago descended into rattly static, robbing him of the sonorous burble of a proper V8. The touchscreen was equally weary of its existence; the mocking patina of dull black and heavily-scratched glare denied Dylann any opportunity to overawe the raucous, cobby power plant with a more potent serenade…


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