Ford Hits Repeat on Shelby GT350 as Rivals Lead Horsepower War
Blue Oval fans who didn’t make the cut for GT ownership can settle for the Shelby GT350 Mustang for another year.
Ford Motor Company announced today — National Mustang Day, if you weren’t aware — that the hottest version of its perennial pony car, including the R version, will soldier on into 2018 essentially unchanged. Unless Ford has a monster Shelby variant on the way, its domestic competitors can point to their own output numbers and throw shade.
For now, anyway.
Carrying over for the coming model year is Ford’s 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V8, making 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, however, this Ford has no need for forced induction.
As with the 2017 model (but not the 2016), the “track-ready” GT350 boasts oil, transmission and differential coolers across its range, avoiding potential limp mode lawsuits. A technology package and heated and cooled seats remain on the options list, while a MagneRide damping system and 19-inch carbon fiber wheels come standard.
The only changes for 2018 are found in the model’s color palate. For something new to look at, Ford has added Orange Fury, Kona Blue and Lead Foot Gray to the GT350’s wardrobe.
There’s no shortage of speculation and spy photos that indicate Ford might be biding its time until it can launch a resurrected GT500 — a model that disappeared after 2014. As we’ve seen with the automaker’s truck line, Ford doesn’t enjoy second- or third-tier status when it comes to horsepower and torque, regardless of the segment. Still, there’s nothing official from the automaker.
Should this highly venomous snake return, expect output topping the previous generation’s 662 hp and 631 lb-ft.
[Image: Ford Motor Company]
Raph on Apr 17, 2017
I doubt they can do much without reworking the intake path and ending up with a more traditional flat-plane crank V8. It gets the job done though ( which is little to nothing for performance ) and sets the 5.2 in the Shelby apart from every other V8 out there. And as a package it works. Start stretching this chassis much past the 526 horsepower in the GT350 and its going to be one of diminishing returns just like 450 horsepower in the previous chassis was the sweet spot ( well 444 in the Boss ) maybe 550 with the current car. After that its starting to piss in the wind like the GT500.
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