2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 : Astonishing Muscle Car
Published November 18, 2014
It is hard to believe that the new Gymkhana with the Ford Mustang starring the main role was accidentally released at basically the same time as Ford unveiled their newest, baddest and most impressive new gen Mustang. We are treated with the 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 which is the closest thing to a race car wearing a Mustang name anyone can find on the market at this time. It is a lean, mean and fast machine which was specifically designed and constructed to provide the best possible driving experience and echo the wonderful race bred Mustangs from the past.
So, what is this car all about? According to an official Ford statement the Shelby GT350 “is a thoroughbred capable of tackling the world’s most challenging roads and racetracks.” Technically speaking, the Shelby GT350 is based on a usual new gen Mustang, but it was thoroughly modified by the Shelby department. Everything was reworked. The suspension received much needed updates, exterior looks were enhanced by the integration of a new body kit and the engine is a story in itself. Now, we know that the Hellcat is the meanest new musclecar available, but it seems that the Mustang is the most sophisticated. Actually, if it did not wear an all American name and the looks that echo everything we like about America, we could call it a European sports car. The Shelby GT350 is all of that and then some more.
Sculpting the new body kit in a Shelby design studio, the Mustang received a much more aggressive front end which is also better suited for the track. The downforce was enhanced a bit and thanks to the rear diffuser, the stability of the car at high speeds is also better in comparison with the conventional model. Moving under the car, car geeks will be glad to hear that the Shelby received an all new MagneRide suspension setup. For those not acquainted with the system we just may say that the MagneRide dampers are filled with a special magnetorheological fluid which is sensitive to changing electromagnetic forces. As the ECU orders the electromagnetic coils in the dampers to change the magnetic force, the fluid becomes more viscous thus making the dampers much more stiffer. The system works flawlessly and it is already used by some of the biggest names in the business such as Ferrari, Audi or Even a Range Rover. Thanks to this suspension, the driver is able to adjust the stiffness manually. Also, predetermined driving modes are available and by choosing different modes the driver can affect steering, suspension, throttle response and even the exhaust note. This, of course, works great with an independent suspension and a limited slip differential which is a standard equipment for every Shelby GT350.
However, all of this high-tech mumbo jumbo is dwarfed by an exceptionally crafted engine. General specs say that the engine has the capacity of 5,2 liter. As it is naturally aspirated V8 unit its character fits the pony car spirit the new Mustang is based upon. Ford released the official tech specs saying that this engine produces 500 HP and that is “the most powerful naturally aspirated engine Ford ever produced”, which is, to say the least, questionable. However, this engine has a Flat Plane crank which is, well, different than a Cross plane crank usually associated with the new gen V8 engines. The best way to see the difference is to look at the picture we’ve found on google which perfectly sums up what is the main difference between a flat plane and a cross plane crank. All in all, the advantage of a flat plane crank is higher revs, louder engine note and much lower weight in contrast to cross plane. However, the V8 engines with flat plane crank tent do vibrate much more which involved some reliability issues in the past. However, Ford sorted out vibration even on the three cylinder units, so the V8 might be even better sorted than that small three cylinder unit.
With a flat plane crank, this engine could hit 8.000 rpm which is very, very good for a V8. So, with the standard six speed manual (there is no automatic for the time being), Flat plane crank V8, limited slip diff, adjustable suspension and specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport tires on 19 inch wheels, this 2015 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang is a track car hidden behind the pony car exterior.
Ford knows that so they’ve offered a special Track pack for this car. It brings an engine and transmission oil cooler, aluminum hood and wonderful and huge Brembo brakes. If you want to be Ken Block and do not have money to build that V8 Mustang he has, you should go for this. It is a muscle car that will go around the track as the best European sports car of today.
Categories: Gear Grinding