For all you Mustang fans it’s time to get out your fan gear. Because National Ford Mustang Day is here again. Ford’s not unleashing anything new for the celebration. But it does one better than that. It’s decided to continue selling the Shelby production model through the 2018 model year. So no early goodbyes here.
Interestingly, aside from three new paint colors, Orange Fury, Kona Blue and Lead Foot Gray, nothing about the GT350 and GT350R Mustangs will change for the new year. The current Shelby went on sale two years ago at the end of 2015.
The GT350 and GT350R pack 526-horsepower apiece. That power comes from a 5.2-liter flat-plane crankshaft V8. It takes the cake for the company’s highest revver. It rates 8,250 revolutions per minute.
The starting GT350 will set you back $57,045. Bumping up to the R hikes it up to $64,545. That extra $7.5K gets you carbon-fiber 19-inch wheels and rear wing. It also comes with a larger front splinter and special tuning to the chassis. However, inside you get less. Accordingly, the R drops the rear seats, rear view camera, audio system, Ford Sync, floor mats, aux gauges, tire inflators, sealant kit, and USB port. Yep. The R focuses on speed and speed alone.
It would be a tactical sales mistake to not offer a super hot rod. Especially, considering how hot the competition is getting. And what’s to change really? These Shelby’s are the epitome of Mustangs, right? Well, they do fall over 100-horses below the two main competitors.
The muscle car market is, well frankly, hot. Last week in New York, Dodge unveiled its 2018 Challenger SRT Demon. This 840-horsepower model just adds to the FCA offerings that include the much more affordable 707-horsepower Hellcat. For its part, Chevrolet has the 650-horsepower Camaro ZL.
Furthermore, Ford has been facing legal issues with the Shelby. Last month, a group of 2016 Shelby GT350 owners began suing Ford over performance issues. They claim their Shelby models overheat and lose power on the track. The lawsuit claims the automaker fixed the problems for the 2017 models.