Faster than ever on the track. But easier to drive. That’s what we can expect from the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
, according to Ford’s Performance Team. It’s promising better precision and balance for faster lap times both on and off the track thanks to new tires, updated suspension and design tweaks for better aerodynamics.
2019 Mustang Shelby GT350
Performance enhancements include a new spoiler to reduce drag, while a new available Gurney flap adds downforce.
Tires are a big part of the equation as well. Ford worked directly with Michelon on new custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2’s. They have a Shelby-specific tread pattern for better grip, improved acceleration, and lateral acceleration, as well as improved braking.
New Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a Shelby GT350-specific tread pattern. Credit: Ford
Stopping power is provided by six-piston front and four-piston rear caliper Brembo brakes. For added control and improved driver feedback, Shelby GT350’s electric power-assist steering and three-mode electronic stability control settings feature enhancements taken from Ford Performance’s hundreds of hours of competitive track testing.
Upgrades to the GT350’s standard MagneRide active suspension complement the aero and tire enhancements with recalibrated springs and revised damping to take full advantage of the improvements.
The powertrain is unchanged so you get the Shelby-exclusive 5.2-liter V-8, the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever produced. Paired to a 6-speed manual, it delivers 526-horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque at 8,250-rpm.
Tuning with Billy Johnson
Ford had some help fine-tuning the GT350 from race car driver Billy Johnson. He’s a driver for the FIA World Endurance Ford GT and IMSA Mustang GT4 programs. Here’s what he has to say about the new Shelby’s aerodynamics tuning, revised brake calibration, and greater downforce.
“Along with improved grip, brake and chassis refinements, Shelby GT350 brings a whole new level of performance driving. 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.” – Billy Johnson, FIA World Endurance Driver
Like the 2019 Ford Raptor
, you can get the GT350 in Ford Performance Blue for the first time. Other new colors include Velocity Blue. Optional factory-painted over-the-top racing stripes are available in high-gloss Shadow Black, Oxford White or Kona Blue. If you really want to jazz things up, you can add mirror-mounted Shelby Cobra Projection Lamps come standard in the available Technology Package.
Inside, you’ll find a standard machined aluminum instrument panel appliqué (an exposed carbon fiber version is available), plus new suede door panel inserts. Standard Recaro race seats offer bolstering and open pass-throughs for safety harnesses, while new power-adjustable seating is available with suede inserts for those looking for added comfort. Dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control is now standard, along with a universal garage door opener. The GT350 will also offer Ford’s new custom-tuned 12-speaker Harman B&O PLAY audio system.
The 2019 Shelby GT350 will be built at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan. It’s due in early 2019.
Photo Credit: Ford