When Ford first introduced the S550 Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R for the 2015 model year, it was clear that the muscle cars weren’t like the special Mustangs that came before them. Their 526 horsepower 5.2L V8 known as VooDoo features a flat-plane crankshaft, which allows the car to rev up to an astonishing 8,250 rpm. Usually a setup you’d find in race cars, or high-end exotics, no other American production car available right now has a flat plane crankshaft. Combine that engine with some serious chassis tuning and revised aerodynamics, and you end up with a seriously competent track car. However, Ford has just confirmed that the screamin’ Shelby will end its production run with the Mustang GT350 Heritage Edition cars.
According to the notice from the Dearborn automaker, the Shelby GT350 and GT350R will seize production this fall as the 2020 model year comes to a close. Ford further noted that this was in line with their original plans, and that the 760 horsepower Shelby GT500 is more than capable of holding down Carroll’s legacy. Furthermore, this move will free up production space for the upcoming 2021 Mustang Mach-1 model.
While we can’t be angry with Ford for wanting to push new products out the door, the Shelby GT350 twins were genuinely special vehicles. The GT500 is an incredible performer, but it follows the same supercharged recipe as all the other range-topping muscle cars. Nobody would have expected one of the Detroit Automakers to develop a flat-plane crank engine a decade ago, nonetheless for use in a high-volume product like the Mustang. While it may share a similar layout as some European V8s, the VooDoo engine sounds unlike anything else on sale today. And that was fitting for a car that was unlike anything else in the segment.
It goes without saying that the current global situation surrounding internal combustion engines means we won’t ever see a car like this again. As electrification continues to move to the forefront, it will be cars like the Shelby GT350 that makes us look back at the good ole days. Thank you Ford for having the gall to build something like this, we’re really sorry to see it go so soon.