So the 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang wasn’t enough for ya? You wanted something a bit more? Or was it less? Well today Ford takes another swipe at satisfying you needy performance fiends with the 2016 Shelby GT350R.
Come on, it’s what the enthusiasts have been asking for since time began. “Give us a stripped down, bare-bones, performance parts only, no holds barred, no prisoners taken, pure, lightweight, raw, mean, nasty, kick-ass car”, you all say.
Well the 2016 Shelby GT350R Mustang is almost just that. It is Ford is saying, the most track-ready road-going production Mustang ever built. They may just be right, as the now milquetoast baseline 2016 Shelby GT350 was just that last week.
To arrive this summer, the Shelby GT350R has the same 500 plus horsepower 5.2 liter flat-plane crankshaft V8 and six-speed manual transmission. It has the same 400 plus lb-ft. of torque, though exact power specs have not yet been revealed.
Where the Shelby GT350R differs starts with the light-weighting. What you see is what you get, and those 19” wheels are made of carbon fiber, saving some 13 lbs of unsprung weight at each corner. Ford points out they are the first mainstream manufacturer to offer such things in production.
They’re wrapped in also very lightweight Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 high-performance tires designed specifically for the Shelby GT350R. The wheel and tire combination is said to offer exceptionally sharp steering feel on the track.
Ford says the Shelby GT350R is more than 130 pounds lighter than the Shelby GT350 Track Pack model. This is accomplished by removing air conditioning, audio system, rear seats, trunk liner and carpet, the backup camera and emergency tire sealer and inflator.
You might be looking at the pictures and asking yourself why are these things still here. Well, they’ll let you option some of it back in with an Electronics Package which has air conditioning, 8” touch screen audio with navigation and a few more things.
Chassis changes include revised springs and anti-roll bars and a yet lower ride height than the Shelby GT350. It gets track-tuned alignment settings, revised bushings and jounce bumpers, and a masssaged calibration for its MagneRide dampers.
The car is nearly identical from a visual and aerodynamic standpoint but has increased downforce at speed by way of a revised front splitter and more aggressive carbon fiber rear wing. Ford says the latter moves the center of pressure rearward while improving downforce and lift balance.
You spend out for all this and you do want some visual bones. So in addition to practical mods, Ford throws in red painted brake calipers, unique stripes with red pin-striping and of course Shelby GT350R badges.
The interior gets special two-tone upholstery treatments for the Recaro front seats with high-contrast red stitching, Shelby GT350R logos and a unique D-shaped steering wheel fitted with a visually helpful red center mark at the top.
So there you have it, your stripped-down, nothing but performance, raw, crude, purpose-built, kick-ass Mustang. Pricing will be….more. After all, less is more. Never forget it.