There are those Mustang enthusiasts who enjoy a ride on the tracks occasionally and thus need a car that satisfies our daily routines and still has the muscles to quench our tracking urges when they strike. Well, that is what the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is made for.
Then, there are those of us who want to have a feel of the tracks every other weekend and still drive home through the city streets flaunting our muscle cars on the streets as if we owned the city (The mustang’s unique exhaust sound particularly helps in this). If you are in such a class, Ford has you covered with the new 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R. The GT350R is specifically developed for the tracks but is still street-legal. Read along to find out what the “R” adds to the already excellent GT350:
2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R Exterior and Interior
Unlike the standard Mustang GT350 2017, the GT350R exterior is optimized for extra performance. To start with, the vehicle has received a redesigned front splitter as well as a huge carbon-fiber rear wing which help improve its down-force. The rear wing helps enhance the balance between down-force and lift. On the sides, you will certainly notice its red brake calipers which come in handy when bringing the monster to a halt.
Unlike the standard model which was offered with various performance features as options before Ford decided to make the standard for the upcoming models, they were all offered on the GT350R as standard. They include a rear spoiler, front-suspension springs, aluminum strut-tower brace, MagneRide (adaptive dampers) and differential coolers.
The 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R rides on a set of 19-inch carbon-fiber wheels which is a rarity even among the more expensive supercars. At the front, the GT350R sports 19- by 11-inch wheels and 19- by 11.5-inch wheels for the rear. The wheels are covered in hyper-sticky Michelin Sport tires.
On the inside, the vehicle features leather wrapped racing seats which feature a red contrast stitching. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and features red stripes. Red trim is also featured on the vehicle’s badging and stripes due to the colors racing appeal. Don’t expect convenience features and tech gadgets you are used to in your regular hauler; the GT350R is stripped down to the bare minimum to reduce space and improve its performance on the tracks.
To start with, the rear seats have been discarded and there is no freight flooring. Don’t even expect an a/c or a radio in this car. This car is purposely meant for the race tracks and the above features add weight as well cause distractions during racing when the driver is supposed to be fully concentrating on maneuvering the vehicle.
The rear-view camera has most likely been dropped to reduce weight and keep the car geared towards the track. Parking this car in tight spaces isn’t the easiest job so it’s definitely something to consider.
However, if you buy the GT350R and after a short time feel you cannot live without the discarded features, you can still have them back by opting for an Electronics Package which will set you back $ 3,000. In addition to the reversing camera and a radio, the package adds auxiliary gauges, a tire inflator, floor mats and a sealant kit.
Engine and performance
The 2017 GT350R features the same engine as its sibling the GT350. The mill I am talking about is a 5.2 L V-8 engine capable of producing 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. The engine churns out all this power without the use of any turbo’ or supercharger. This displays the excellent craftsmanship Ford has used in creating this engine.
The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox which drives the rear wheels. In addition, the gearbox features Ford’s unique 3.73:1Torsen limited slip differential. The engine is also equipped with dedicated engine oil coolers.
Due to its less curb weight and more performance features, the GT350R will be quicker than the standard GT350. Though official information on performance is not yet out, rumor has it that the standard GT350 can reach 60 mph from standstill in around 3.5 seconds. If this is true, expect the GT350R to complete the same run in under 3.5 seconds making it the fastest naturally aspirated vehicle on earth. The automaker has further paired the vehicle’s exhaust system with 4 tips which produce a new sound different from what we are used to. The exhaust sound is close to the sound to that Ferrari models produce.
Price and release date
Ford has not disclosed official prices of the 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R. However, we don’t expect the price to vary much from that of the current models. Currently, the 2016 standard model starts at $48,695, while the GT350 R adds $13,500 to take its price to $62,195. Adding optional features such as a black painted roof adds $ 695, while a yellow paint costs $ 495, $ 475 for the ‘over the top’ racing stripes and $ 375 for a special car cover. Choosing all options will take the price to over $ 68,000.
Ford produces limited units of this model. Last year, Ford produced only 37 units of the GT350R. It is not clear how many models will be produced this year but you can bet they will be below 50. However, if you fail to get your hands on a GT350R you can still opt for its sibling the GT350 which comes with a similar engine and almost similar specs. In fact, the 2017 GT350 comes with performance features as standard meaning it has edged closer to its performance big brother. The models arrive in dealer showrooms in June this year.