Video Credit: Ford Motor Company
Since its 2016 release, there has been no question of the S550 Mustang Shelby GT350’s performance prowess. However, with Ford’s relentless technological innovation, there’s always room for improvement further down the road. Well… we’re further down the road now and MAN did Ford knock it out of the park with the 2019 GT350!
The initial GT350, which came with the title of “best handling Mustang of all-time” from Ford, offered its drivers massive Brembos, improved chassis bracing, and other refinements that set it apart and above the competition. Building on this strong foundation, Ford added advanced technology from Ford Performance’s Mustang Road Course Racing program and a mix of features from the all-new GT500. All this, with the goal of delivering faster lap times and greater driver confidence for the vehicle.
Some of the major changes, and most visible, are the next-level chassis technology and aerodynamics. The all-new rear spoiler features an optional Gurney flap – increasing efficiency and downforce at higher speeds – and an optimized grille closeout developed through wind-tunnel testing. Ford also partnered exclusively with Michelin to create the new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tire specifically for the GT350 to deliver more grip and improve acceleration.
To improve the new Ford Mustang Shelby® GT350 driver confidence and lap times, Ford Performance leveraged its Mustang road course racing programs and all-new upcoming Shelby® GT500, infusing GT350 with the very latest in track and street technology. – Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company
The MagneRide active suspension got an update with recalibrated springs and revised damping to match the aerodynamic and traction enhancements. Topping it off, the GT350’s power-assist steering and three-mode stability control settings received updates gathered from hundreds of hours of competitive track testing.
It was necessary to make sure all these enhancements fit together like clockwork, and for that Ford called on Billy Johnson. If you don’t know, Billy Johnson is an FIA World Endurance driver for the Ford GT, as well as for the IMSA Mustang GT4 program. The 5.2-liter V8 puts down a monstrous 526 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque at a blistering 8,250-rpm redline.
Johnson, who is currently in Le Mans, France with Ford’s FIA World Endurance team to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, said of the new GT350,
“Along with improved grip, brake and chassis refinements, Shelby GT350 brings a whole new level of performance driving,” he said. “It’s a rewarding car to drive on track for amateurs and pros alike, while making the driver feel like a superhero. It’s confidence inspiring in corners and begs to be pushed harder and to take corners faster.”
The 2019 model will also feature new interior options, color combinations (Ford Performance Blue!), and other extras that will make this car another milestone in the history of the Mustang platform. It will be available from dealers in early 2019, with a complimentary Track Attack course from Ford Performance’s Racing School!