While the big talk amongst the performance-car magazines and websites everywhere is the flat-plane crankshaft usage and its enhanced rpm range (redline on the 5.2L is 8,200 rpm!), there is indeed plenty more to discuss that is new to the Mustang courtesy of the GT350’s production. The GT350 is a track-focused design that was compared to such competition as the BMW M4 and Porsche GT3 and is one of the most track-tested Mustangs in history. The GT350 utilizes lightweight components to increase power-to-weight ratio as well as enhance handling and stability. A carbon-fiber radiator support is used to reduce frontal weight, while the complete front sheet metal, fascia, and hood are different than base Mustangs to reduce frontal area/lower hood height for better aerodynamics. Two-piece brake rotors feature aluminum hats to save on weight and help with brake cooling.
Optional packages, such as the Track Package, feature MagnaRide electronically dampened shocks/struts and integral oil coolers for the transmission, engine, and rear axle making the GT350 track ready right off the showroom floor. The new Ford Shelby GT350’s performance benchmark, collectability, and Shelby heritage have earned this latest Mustang a spot here on our top 10 list for certain.
About the photo: Exclusive to the Shelby GT350, the 5.2-liter V8 employs Ford’s first use of a flat-plane crankshaft. Combined with cylinder head and valvetrain advancements, the engine develops 526 horsepower with a rev limit of 8,250 rpm.
Story by Mark Houlahan