With the release of the all-new 770 horsepower Mustang Shelby GT500, the muscle car scene has been thrown in the limelight once more. But it appears that another special edition Mustang has been feeling left out – the GT350R
First launched way back in 2015, it wowed both the public and the motorsports scene with its unusually revvy V8, agile handling, sleek aerodynamics, and Magneride active suspension. It even received technical upgrades last year that better suited it for the race track.
Now, with the GT500 set to go on sale in the US, Ford & Shelby decided now is the right time to trickle down some of the GT500's technology to the GT350R. “It’s always been our plan to take the latest innovations from the GT500 program and strategically apply them across the Mustang lineup. These latest updates to the GT350R keep its performance competitive and on the top if its game, whether that’s on the track or on the street,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief program engineer.
Unlike before, the GT350R now comes with better handling thanks to a redesigned front suspension geometry. It even gets a new steering rack and recalibrated electric power steering for good measure. Those looking at making the GT350R more lightweight can do so by having the rear seats removed for the 2020 refresh. In addition, the exhaust resonators can be deleted as well in order to shed more weight while also delivering a sharper exhaust note. Did I mention the GT350R can also come with the new lightweight carbon fiber alloy wheels too?
It's not all performance goodies that can be had on the GT350R. Ford also threw in the optional Technology Package which gives it the following: 12-speaker sound system from Bang & Olufsen, blind spot monitoring, cobra puddle lamps, and voice-activated navigation. As for its exterior, the GT350R now has a larger front splitter and a bigger rear wing. Touches of red on the brake calipers and red go-fast stripes make the GT350R stand out from the standard GT350.
Under the hood remains the 5.2-liter, naturally-aspirated Voodoo V8. It generates 533 PS along with 581 Nm of torque. And thanks to a flat-plane crankshaft, this all-American V8 can redline at 8500 rpm. A six-speed manual gearbox from Tremec serves as the only transmission option for the GT350R and GT350.
While the GT500 will serve as the most powerful stallion in the Mustang range, the GT350R and GT350 are the only special edition models that can be had with a stick-shift. And for some, that's all that matters...and then some. No matter the case, let's hope several examples of the GT500 or GT350 make their way to the Philippines.