The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R is the most extreme Mustang that is for sale, at least currently. Dramatic weight savings from the Mustang GT, a track focused suspension, combined with a screaming 5.2L flat-plane crank “Voodoo” V8 under the hood that can spin at 8,250 rpm, the GT350R is one loud and fast pony around a road course. But once the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 starts to arrive on dealer floors later this year, the GT350R will no longer be the fastest Mustang for sale. With power output sitting at 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque from a supercharged 5.2L V8, there is no doubting the GT500’s place atop the Mustang throne.
However, Ford has not forgotten about the Mustang Shelby GT350R, and they have promised upgrades are on the way for the 2020 model year.
These improvements will trickle down from the Mustang GT500, and include a redesigned front suspension with new geometry, as well as a redesigned high-trail steering knuckle. Ford has also recalibrated the Shelby’s electric power steering, and a new steering rack has been added to improve steering feel and accuracy. The Blue Oval hopes that these changes help to keep the GT350R exciting to drive on the street and competitive on the racetrack.
While the mechanical updates to the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R are exclusive, the lesser Shelby GT350 will only share in the new color options available for 2020. Grabber Lime and Twister Orange are reminiscent of the vibrant colors the early 1970’s, meanwhile Iconic Silver and Red Hot Metallic are meant to bolster the color line-up with their traditional hues.
While we are excited to get our hands on a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the GT350R is always going to be a special car. The experience of revving out a flat plane crank V8 connected to a manual transmission is something you’d expect from a vintage Ferrari, not a new Ford. And while the GT500 is certainly going to be quicker than the GT350R in a straight line, we’re not so sure we’d go home with it at the end of the day if we had the choice.