Shelby upgrades 2019 GT350 for the race track
Marcus De Guzman | Ford Shelby
June 13, 2018 13:21
2019 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350 gets a plethora of upgrades inside and out
The meanest Shelby Mustang GT350 has received its first mid-cycle update and now comes with sharper handling as well as sharper looks. According to both Ford and Shelby, the 2019 GT350 was retuned, refined and recalibrated to deliver faster acceleration and better grip. It now also comes with new exterior colors, improved aero and an upgraded interior.
“Somewhere, Carroll Shelby is smiling. The new Shelby GT350 is our ultimate track Mustang. We’ve stuck to Carroll Shelby’s original formula for winning championships and made our Shelby GT350 even better with the latest in race-proven aerodynamics, tire and chassis technology,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Global Director for Ford Performance vehicle programs.
Beginning with its exterior, the GT350 is now available with new body colors. These include Velocity Blue and, for the first time, Ford Performance Blue. Meanwhile, optional factory colors for the GT350 are Kona Blue, Oxford White and Shadow Black.
There's also an all-new spoiler that can be paired to an optional Gurney flap for better aerodynamics. It even gets an optimized front grill that will improve airflow as well as deliver better efficiency for the Shelby Mustang.
Under the hood remains the 5.2-liter naturally-aspirated Voodoo V8. It still cranks out 533 PS from before along with a gut-pulling 581 Nm of torque. Thanks to a flat-plane crankshaft, the Voodoo V8 still redlines at 8500 rpm. A six-speed manual gearbox from Tremec serves as the sole transmission option.
While all remains the same with the engine, Shelby was busy upgrading the GT350's handling and chassis components. Starting with the tires, the company worked exclusively with Michelin to produce GT350-specific Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for the high-performance muscle car. The tires come with their own unique tread pattern along with a different compound to deliver more grip and improved acceleration. The front axle gets 295/35 tires while the rear is fitted with 305/35 series rubber. Shod around those wheels are new 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels.
The Magneride active suspension, on the other hand, gets recalibrated springs and revised dampers to take full advantage of the handling upgrades. Meanwhile, stopping power is provided by Brembo that consists of six-piston calipers at the front and four-piston calipers at the rear.
“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,” said Billy Johnson, FIA World Endurance Ford GT and IMSA Mustang GT4 driver.
As mentioned earlier, Shelby was also busy giving the GT350's interior a makeover. Occupants are now treated to more comfortable cabin along with a 'stylish and purpose-built cockpit'. A machined aluminum instrument panel trim, along with new door panel accents give the GT350 a cooler appearance. The same Recaro seats with wide side bolstering are still standard equipment on the GT350. However, they are power-adjustable seats with Miko suede inserts for better riding comfort. A custom-tuned 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system by Harman is now available for the 2019 GT350, as well as an 8-inch SYNC 3 infotainment system.
The 2019 Shelby Mustang GT350 will be available in Q1 of 2019 and will be built at the company's Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan.