This 12 months’s Detroit Auto Present featured a high-horsepower announcement from the Blue Oval: The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 can be returning later this 12 months with over 700 horsepower and a fast-shifting dual-clutch transmission. So whither its little (and cheaper) brother, the Mustang GT350? Don’t fret, the “entry-level” Shelby has acquired some key updates to make it the best-driving GT350 but.
So what is the secret? There is not any single reply, so The Drive hopped in a brand new 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 with Ford Efficiency’s Chief Engineer Carl Widmann to speak concerning the high 5 tweaks which have made the brand new GT350 such a succesful sports activities automobile.
We requested Widmann which parts are shared between the GT350 and the upcoming 2020 GT500. Reply: The rear wing, whose Gurney flap (a downforce support) can also be discovered on sure variations of the Mustang Shelby GT500. Many of the photographs to this point of the GT500 have the large monitor wing, however the extra delicate dealing with pack automobile may have this wing.
#2. No Digital Instrument Cluster within the Shelby Mustang GT350
Widmann tells us that the GT350 is designed to be the purpose-built monitor automobile of the household, whereas the GT500 is the technological showcase of the last word Mustang. Meaning the 12-inch digital instrument cluster will not be accessible on the cheaper GT350. The GT350 just isn’t with out tech—the automobile we have been driving had blind spot monitoring, twin zone local weather management, assist for Android Auto and Apple Automotive Play, and the usual energy seats with heating and air flow. We even have a sense purists will respect the analog gauges.
#three. Shelby Mustang GT350 Wears Cup 2 Tires, However They’re Particular
Widmann dropped the Pilot Tremendous Sport tires for the 2019 GT350 and changed them with a particular design Cup 2 tire from Michelin. We requested him if that may have an effect on moist climate efficiency, and he instructed us that whereas there’s a little bit of a tradeoff, not all Cup 2 tires are the identical. Although some automobiles outfitted with Cup 2s is usually a handful, together with the Efficiency Pack 2 Mustang, Widmann is insistent that that the specification for the GT350 tires will not have the identical consequence.
#four. New Tires Want a New Suspension within the GT350
Including extra grip with the customized Sport Cup 2 tires was solely a part of the issue that wanted fixing, because the new footwear launched totally different dealing with traits. So the crew adjusted the usual MagneRide magnetorheological trip management dampers, the antilock brakes, and traction management programs. Engineers might’ve simply added the grip and let the automobile be, however the tires’ larger efficiency means they might change all the things else to make a greater automobile.
#5. Ford Mustang GT350 Has Pre-Refresh HID Headlights for a Motive
For the 2018 mannequin 12 months, Ford redesigned the entrance finish of the Mustang and included new LED headlights. These headlights are nonetheless not accessible on the GT350 and GT500—and that is for an excellent purpose.
“It was actually for carrying over the carbon fiber bolster from the GT350,” Widmann stated. The LED headlights are additionally a bit taller, so the outdated lights have been additionally used to maintain a decrease hood line. On the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the carbon fiber bolster additionally permits Ford to make use of hood pins to maintain all the things safe.
So does all of it work on the monitor? The quick reply is sure. This Mustang is essentially the most impartial dealing with Mustang I’ve ever pushed, and on the quick circuit at M1 Concourse it would not exhibit any scary conduct that may have plagued earlier Mustangs. In case you’re in search of the closest Mustang to a pure, idealized sports activities automobile, the brand new GT350 would possibly simply be the ticket.