Ford Ending Production of Mustang Shelby GT350/R
Even the most capable of race horses eventually reach that day where they’re taken out behind the stables to be shot or stabbed — whatever happens to them after they’ve passed their prime. The same is true in the automotive realm, with the only difference being that the cars are not eventually turned into food for my cat.
Ford has decided to end production of the track-focused Mustang Shelby GT350/R this year. Introduced in 2015, the model uses a 5.2-liter “Voodoo” V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft for some of the nicest naturally aspirated action money can buy. On the current model year (which will also be the last) 526 horsepower is sent through a Tremec six-speed, with performance further aided by a transmission cooler, limited slip rear axle, track-worthy suspension, upgraded Brembo brakes and super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber.
If you’re one of the few individuals who needs a good track-day vehicle, you could certainly do worse. And now you’ll have to because dealer orders already ended.
Blue Oval said ending production of the GT350 and GT350R would make way for “new additions to excite [its] passionate Mustang fans for 2021 model year — including the limited-edition Mach 1.”
The upcoming super ‘Stang is supposed to carry over most of the GT350’s performance upgrades, including that dope Tremec gearbox — though a 10-speed SelectShift automatic is available. Details remain incomplete but the coupe has been confirmed with a built (by raiding the GT350 parts bin) 5.0-liter “Coyote” V8 to make 480 hp at a substantially lower price point than its predecessor. That makes it hard to be truly angry, even if the Mach 1 (bottom of the page) fails to be quite so exquisite on the racetrack.
Buyers will also have the option of splurging on the 760 horsepower GT500 for the foreseeable future and let’s not forget that Chevrolet’s Camaro and Dodge Charger/Challenger also come in a wide variety of ass-kicking flavors. While the GT350 will be missed, we remained spoiled for choice in this class.
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Doesn’t the 5.2 fail at an alarming rate? That was the primary reason I bought a ‘19 C7 7M and not a 350 last year, other than getting the vette for $10k less than the mustang.
I suspect that most GT350R's are purchased to sit in a hermetically sealed bubble or are driven to the local "show and shine". How many actually end up on the track? 16 grand worth of carbon fibre wheels would make me fearful of driving on a typical city street or back road. The 5.2 is a screamer with a sweet sound but in the hands of John Q. Public, a standard 5.0 V8 has a better "real world" torque curve.