Mustang is no stranger to the track. As far back as 1965, Carroll Shelby was making the muscle car race ready with the GT350 Competition model. Since then, we’ve seen no shortage of track-ready vehicles come out of Detroit, like the much lauded Mustang Boss 302R factory race car and Boss 302 Laguna Seca, the track-ready street legal iteration. This year, the blue oval sets to outdo itself with the 2016 Shelby GT350R: the most track-capable road-going Mustang ever built.
Under the hood, the GT350R is powered by a 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V8. This is an engine build more often found in European sports cars and result is Ford’s most powerful naturally aspirated production engine, pumping out upwards of 500 horsepower and more than 400 pound-feet of torque. This power is channeled to the rear wheels by a tremic six-speed manual transmission. It all rides on a highly refined suspension that will feature magnaride shocks.
The surface of the new Shelby has been optimized to be as aerodynamically efficient as possible. The revised front splitter maximizes front end downforce, and the carbon-fiber rear wing moves the vehicle’s center of pressure towards the back, improving downforce and balance during high-speed track maneuvers.
This Mustang is all business, with anything not attributing to performance stripped out. Air condition? Gone. Radio? Please. Backseat? Who needs it? For all the things they deleted, the most major addition to the GT350R are standard all-carbon-fiber wheels, a first from a major automaker. This totals to 130 pounds shed when compared to the Shelby GT350 Track Pack model.
The Shelby GT350R will have a limited run, but how limited is yet to be announced. It will be available in the U.S. in Canada later this year.