In a world of boosted 600-, 700-, and 800-plus horsepower factory muscle cars, the 526hp all-motor Shelby GT350 remains a favorite with enthusiasts—and Ford announced today, which is National Mustang Day, the wildly popular Shelby GT350 and GT350R models will return for 2018.
“The Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R Mustang will continue for 2018, and be available in showrooms this fall,” said our source at Ford. “The new models will be unchanged from the 2017 versions, with the exception of three new exterior color choices, Orange Fury, Kona Blue and Lead Foot Gray.”
Kona Blue was most recently available on the limited-edition, 50th Anniversary 2015 Mustang, Orange Fury and Lead Foot Gray are brand new. “The Mustang is visual entertainment,” said Ehab Kaoud Ford Chief Designer. “I like positive colors, colors induce energy,” he added. So we expect the new hues to give the Pony real punch. We also expect them to differ from Competition Orange (formerly available on the 2016 GT350) and Avalanche Gray, a current GT350 color.
Most unique to the Shelby GT350 is the high-revving 5.2-liter V8 that utilizes a flat-plane crank and ported heads to produce 526 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque. Ford’s magical mill features 12:1 compression, high-lift cams, a high-flow induction system, and active exhaust, as well as engine oil, transmission, and differential coolers to keep the car properly cooled on the track. The engine is matched to a six-speed manual, which is the only transmission choice.
Shelby GT350 breaks the trend of forced-induction American performance cars, but it stays true to the theme of the first-every Shelby Mustang, the 1965 GT350. And that seems to be appreciated by enthusiasts. The original was a serious handler (for its time), and the 2018 keeps up the tradition with a track-capable suspension that utilizes MagneRide dampers and massive Brembo brakes. The suspension also features specially designed coil springs, control arms and the electronics package lets drivers select a mode that best suits the driving condition, be it street, open track, or drag strip. Additionally, three steering modes let owners customize the “weight” of the steering to provide “Comfort” for cruising, “Normal” spirited driving, or a heavier ‘Sport” ultra-precise feel on the track. And stopping is no problem with vented 15.5-inch two-piece front rotors and six-piston Brembo calipers.
Ford will also offer an optional Electronics Package for both the GT350 and the GT350R. This includes SYNC 3, voice-activated navigation and nine-speaker audio system. An available Convenience Package for GT350 models replaces Recaro manual seats with six-way power, heated and cooled sport seats with Miko® suede inserts for both driver and passenger.