A clear emphasis has been placed on reducing weight and adding the sort of tech that regular 2015 Mustang owners can only dream about. The car features the first-ever production V8 from Ford with a flat-plane crankshaft, which we'll detail a little later, as well as a full body kit, track tires and a de-resonated exhaust.
Aerodynamics: real downforceFor all its bold claims of downforce, the Camaro Z/28 is more aerodynamically neutral than anything else. To really give the GT350R some downforce, Ford has given it an aggressive body kit that draws inspiration from those used by Pikes Peak racers (read: it employs generously-sized elements).
The most obvious details are the massive wing protruding over the trunk, the side skirts and the big splitter at the front. Even the underbody has received attention, as belly pans create a smoother air flow and increase stability.
The rear wing is made from carbon fiber and moves the vehicle’s center of pressure rearward while improving downforce and lift balance – ideal for high-speed track work, Ford says. Revisions made at the front also help cool the brakes and engine.
“Shelby GT350R’s highly efficient aerodynamics, innovative light-weighting and world-class chassis deliver a truly spectacular driving experience that makes you feel like a professional racing driver,” said Kerry Baldori, Ford Performance chief functional engineer.
Voodoo engine, magic engineUnder the hood of the Shelby GT350R is a new 5.2-liter dual-overhead-cam V8 engine, codenamed Voodoo. It's not only the most powerful naturally
Specific details have not yet been announced, but the 90-degree V8 will produce more than 500 horsepower and more than 400 lb-ft of torque (542 Nm). That's comparable with the 505 HP LS7 from the Z/28, but that's a 7-liter big-block lump.
Other tech goodies include air-to-oil engine oil cooler and a Ford-tuned limited-slip Torsen differential with 3.73 axle ratio. The wheels appear to be taken straight from an endurance racing car and are shod in Michelin’s top-shelf Pilot Sport Cup 2, the same tires they used on the new GT.
Weight reductionEverybody knows that weight is the enemy of performance, so radical measures have been made to ensure the GT350R is as nimble as a ballerina. For example, the exhaust system has no resonator box, so it should sound beastly.
Items removed include air conditioning, the stereo system, rear seats, trunk floorboard and carpet, backup camera and emergency tire sealer and inflator. Who needs those anyway? Compared to a GT350 with the Track Package, the R is said to be more than 130 pounds lighter. That's the difference between having an average child as a passenger or not.
Production of the GT350R will be strictly limited with exact availability numbers and prices to be announced at a later date. The model will be available in the United States and Canada later this year.