Full disclosure: I am a Mustang enthusiast, Ford Performance fanatic, and I love the history Mustang shares with Carroll Shelby, the Original Venice Crew, and what has evolved into Shelby American.
From its inception, Mustang has always been about the driving experience, and Carroll Shelby was interested in a lot more than just going straight. Ford Performance has built upon Shelby Mustangs road-racing heritage and track-focused legacy to bring the 2019 Shelby GT350 performance updates.
As far as power is concerned, the GT350 retains its high-reving 5.2-liter V8 which is the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford Production engine – rated with 526 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. It comes mated exclusively to a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission.
Ford Performance updated the 2019 model with new Michelin tires specific to the GT350, new aero, and worked with Billy Johnson, a driver for the FIA World Endurance Ford GT and IMSA Mustang GT4 programs, to dial in the Shelby.
“It’s a rewarding car to drive on track for amateurs and pros alike while making the driver feel like a superhero,” Johnson said. “It’s confidence inspiring in corners and begs to be pushed harder and to take corners faster.”
Sized 295/35 in the front and 305/35 in the rear, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires developed for the GT350 have a different compound makeup then tires for a universal application. They also feature a tread pattern that allows the GT350 to have more grip and better lateral acceleration.
While its fun to go fast, the car still needs to stop. Brembo brakes come on all four-corners and work alongside the electric power-assist steering and three-mode electronic stability control settings that give the driver more control and improved driver feedback.
Aero often has a more significant impact on performance and handling then most realize. The 2019 GT350 features a newly designed rear spoiler, and optional Gurney flap and optimized grille closeout developed alongside the upcoming GT500 in the wind tunnel.
The GT350’s standard MagneRide active suspension, which compliments the performance enhancements with recalibrated springs and revised damping, allows drivers to take full advantage of all the GT350 has to offer.
“Along with improved grip, brake and chassis refinements, Shelby GT350 brings a whole new level of performance driving,” Johnson said.
Inside the GT350, drivers enjoy a purpose-built cockpit with aluminum and carbon fiber accents. Recaro race seats with firm side bolstering and open pass-throughs for safety harnesses are standard, and color options include Velocity Blue and for the first time, Ford Performance Blue. Optional factory-painted over-the-top racing stripes are available in high-gloss Shadow Black, Oxford White or Kona Blue. Mirror-mounted Shelby Cobra Projection Lamps come standard in the available Technology Package.
The 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 will be available starting in early 2019 and will be built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. Enrollment in an exclusive, complimentary Track Attack driving program from Ford Performance is included with each vehicle.
For more information, see Ford Performance.