The Legendary Ford Mustang GT350 Returns

Ford has just dropped the veil on a pony car.  The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is back with a vengeance!  This mean machine boasts the most powerful naturally aspirated engine that the brand has ever produced!  This is all courtesy of the unique flat-plane crankshaft and 5.2-liters of displacement, giving the Shelby GT350 over 500 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. This was billed by Ford as a "thoroughbred" and is a modern iteration of the iconic '65 version and, says Ford, will be a race car for the street.  Designed on Carroll Shelby's concept of taking a great street car and transforming it into a track day weapon, the new GT350 is much more than just an awesome new engine! The engine is more than just a larger version of the current Mustang's 5.0-liter V8, this new model uses a flat-plane crankshaft similar to those in race cars or exotic European sports car.  Rather than, connecting rods that bolt to the crankshaft at 90-degree intervals, a flat-plane crankshaft uses 180-degree intervals, which allows for cylinder firing that alternates from cylinder banks, while avoiding exhaust pressure overlaps.  There's also no need to add counterweights to the crankshaft, meaning it will rev much more freely.  Add this to an updated valvetrain and reworked cylinder head and Ford looks to be fulfilling its promise about bringing a race car to the street. It will sound glorious too, with Jamal Hameed, chief engineer, Ford Global Performance Vehicles, commenting that, "the 5.2-liter produces a distinctive, throaty howl from its four exhaust tips." Ford stiffened up the Mustang's chassis and there is an available front strut tower bar.  Big 19-inch wheels that measure 10.5 inches up front and 11-inches in the rear come wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires made specifically for the car.  To help take advantage of those larger wheels and tires, the Shelby GT350 gets a wider front track, which is accentuated with new, more prominent fenders.  The retuned suspension setup makes the GT350 sit lower than a Mustang GT, but in that lower suspension there is some hidden magic, Ford's first ever use of MagneRide dampers that continuous adjust their stiffness every 10 milliseconds. With all this performance stopping power is important.  Ford has created what it calls, "the most track-credible brake system ever offered on a Ford vehicle in terms of absolute stopping power, fade resistance and brake pedal feel." Up front are the 394-mm cross-drilled iron discs mated to aluminum hats with six-piston Brembo calipers, while the rear gets 380-mm versions mated to four-piston calipers for true stopping power. What good is all this performance if nobody knows you are driving this monster?  The exterior has been upgraded as well, with a new more sloped hood to help improve the car's aerodynamics, a redesigned front end and an aerodynamic underbody panel.  New functional hood vents cool the engine and act to reduce lift at speed, while a minimalist rear lip spoiler also adds downforce without adding drag. The inside has been upgraded as well, with cloth Recaro seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel and a reduction of chrome finishes.  There is also an integrated driver control system that allows for different settings for the ABS, traction and stability control, throttle response, steering feel, exhaust note and suspension settings. Check out the gallery for some images of this all new mean machine, and look for more info coming soon as the rest of the car is set to be revealed today at an event in Los Angeles ahead of the LA Auto Show!
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