By on October 1, 2020

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.

Everyone seems to love the car, including staff members who had the privilege of driving one from this site. It ticks all the right muscle car boxes without being a brutish hog in the corners. In fact, most seem to agree that’s where it shines the brightest. But don’t give up on life just yet, there’s always a chance you’ll find a holdover 2020 model sitting in some dealer showroom and Ford does have a replacement in mind.

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.

[Images: Ford]

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13 Comments on “Ford Ending Production of Mustang Shelby GT350/R...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    “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.’ ”

    I remember 8 years ago when Ford told Ranger buyers to go get a Focus instead. This isn’t as bad, but the Mach 1 isn’t a GT350 and it definitely isn’t a GT350R. It’s a performance package GT with better cooling and a better transmission. Worthwhile upgrades for sure (especially the Tremec), but the Shelby was practically exotic hardware. It might be one of the best things Ford has ever built.

    Overall very disappointing news. Wish I was a little bit wealthier a little bit faster.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Well, they’re killing off the only Mustang in the stable I would want.

    Guess I’ll pick one up at CarMax at some point.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    I’m told race horses aren’t necessarily shot or stabbed; at least the ones in the Northeast and Great Lakes areas are routinely sold to the Amish as work horses. At least that’s what I’d like to think.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    “ Blue Oval said ending production of the GT350 and GT350R would make way for “new additions to excite [its] passionate Mustang fans for 2021”

    With Fords recent history of ruining the Mustang name, I would imagine that statement means a Mustang Minivan is on the way. And with the 2.3L 4-banger from the base Mustang it will be the most powerful minivan ever sold.

    • 0 avatar
      Ko1

      What Ford really needs to do is to cram the 3.0 V6 diesel under the hood, stretch out the back end and make it into a 2 door station wagon. Just imagine the various combinations of shades of brown and fake wood grain they could offer. Of course, they’ll probably screw it up by making it automatic only because their “market research” shows that only five people in the continental USA would actually buy a brown diesel Mustang station wagon with a manual.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Ko1 – that’s been done

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Not a bad idea Ko1! Nothing says “true Mustang” like a brown diesel station wagon.

        I mean if you’re going to completely demolish the Mustang Name with a low quality electric Edge may as well go all in. Heck they should bring back the Crown Vic and swap the blue oval for a galloping donkey. Brown of course and we can call it the Mustang sedan. What a well rounded sub brand.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      As dumb as this sounds on paper, I would be interested.

  • avatar
    trackratmk1

    “Even the most capable of race horses eventually reach that day where they’re taken out behind the stables to be shot or stabbed”

    Only a cat person could say something so casually callous!

    Since yesterday’s political argument is drawing to a close, this morning is obviously ripe to incite a cats v dogs debate :) Or since we’re doing Mustangs should we bicker over cars v horses?

  • avatar
    EX35

    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.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    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.

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