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Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Blasts Detroit With 500-Plus HP, Carbon Fiber Wheels

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/13/2015 Karla Sanchez
Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Blasts Detroit With 500-Plus HP, Carbon Fiber Wheels

The new Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang made lots of noise when it debuted in Detroit as it burned out driving out onto the stage. After all, it'd be hard not to bust that type of shenanigans in that car, seeing as Ford says the new GT350R is the most track-capable street-legal production Mustang ever.

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Although the new GT350R harkens back to the GT350 Competition model developed in 1965, it also looks to the future with a grip of super-advanced features. To start, the GT350R will get its power from Ford's first-ever production 5.2-liter V-8 with a flat-plane crankshaft, which the automaker claims is its most powerful naturally aspirated engine. With more than 500 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, the mill's architecture has been optimized for high-speed breathing and comes attached to a six-speed manual transmission.

Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang© Provided by MotorTrend Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang The GT350R also benefits from a specially tuned suspension with revised spring rates and anti-roll bars, plus a lower ride height, special track-tuned alignment settings, revised bushings, cross-axis ball joints in the front suspension, and revised calibration controlling the MagneRide dampers. Meanwhile, details such as the hood vent, aggressive diffuser, vented wheelwells, fender vents, wheel air curtains, and side skirts all help the GT350R look mean while helping it cut through the air more efficiently. A newly revised front splitter maximizes downforce, and a carbon-fiber rear wing is a new addition.

What's more is that the GT350R comes standard with carbon-fiber wheels made by Australian manufacturer Carbon Revolution. We got a chance to speak with the company, but you'll have to keep an eye out for that exclusive later on MotorTrend.com. In the meantime, know that wheels provide 13 pounds of unsprung weight reduction per wheel while offering higher levels of stiffness than aluminum wheels. "Obviously the carbon-fiber wheels have been really exciting to work with,” Ford VP of design Moray Callum told us. “That’s a real first and helps get a little bit more stance in the car as well." Those nifty new wheels decorate Michelin’s top-shelf Pilot Sport Cup 2 high-performance tires, 305mm wide at the front and 355 in the back.

Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang© Provided by MotorTrend Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Ford engineers had an aggressive weight-savings target for the GT350R, and if a part didn't make it faster around the track, it was canned. Getting rid of things such as air conditioning, stereo system, rear seats, trunk floorboard, carpet, backup camera, and the emergency tire sealer and inflator helped shave off an overall 130 pounds compared to the GT350 Track Pack. If you find you do want some of that stuff, an electronics package that adds dual-zone air conditioning, 8-inch touchscreen, nav, audio system, turn signal mirrors, and more will be optional.

People will know the R when they see one. “There will be a couple of identifiers — very few, as we wanted to keep the identifiers pretty minimum,” Callum said. “The larger splitter in the front, the rear spoiler, obviously the carbon-fiber wheels, and the production R will actually get red Shelby badges and red pinstripes, but we’re not representing that today because we wanted to get all of the colors combined for all of the cars."

The GT350R will have a limited production run and go on sale in the U.S. and Canada later this year.

Source: Ford

Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang© Provided by MotorTrend Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang
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