The S550 also saw the introduction of something rather exotic, namely the 5.2-liter Voodoo flat-plane crankshaft V8 derived from the 5.0-liter Coyote cross-plane crankshaft V8 we all know and love. Revealed in 2015 at the Detroit Auto Show alongside the 2017 model year F-150 Raptor and V6-powered GT, the Shelby GT350 came in two distinct specs.
Pictured in blue, the 2020 model year Shelby GT350R in the video below stands out from the Shelby GT350 in numerous ways, beginning with lower weight, a carbon-fiber rear wing, carbon-fiber wheels, and grippier tires. Exclusively manual, the S550-generation 2015 to 2020 Shelby GT350 twins pack a stupendous 526 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 429 pound-feet (582 Nm) of torque at 4,750 rpm.
Tipping the scales at circa 3,760 pounds (1,706 kilograms), the GT350R in the featured clip is joined by the 2024 model year Ford Mustang Dark Horse. Think of it as the S550-gen Mach 1 on steroids, a track-oriented take on the immensely capable Mustang GT. Estimated at 3,900 pounds (1,769 kilograms), the Dark Horse is equipped with a 10-speed automatic rather than a manual transmission.
It's also down on power and torque, with Ford quoting 500 horsepower and 418 pound-feet (567 Nm) at full chatter. Maximum power and torque are delivered at 7,250 revolutions per minute and 4,900 revolutions per minute. Gifted with dual throttle bodies and the Shelby GT500's forged conrods, the Dark Horse isn't your dime-a-dozen V8 pony car.
At Lonestar Motorsports Park in Texas, the fully stock GT350R makes the newcomer eat its dust in a good ol' drag race from a rolling start. What's particularly fascinating is how easily the GT350R picks up speed compared to the Dark Horse, making the most desirable Mustang for 2024 look a tad slow. Had it been a dig race over the quarter mile, the auto-equipped Mustang Dark Horse may have stood a chance.
Then again, that's one of the reasons the GT350 and GT350R hold their values extremely well. Three days ago, a 1,700-mile GT350R sold for $76,500 on Bring a Trailer. Back on September 18, a 675-mile GT350 went for a cool $62k on the same platform.
We also have to remember that Ford's latest breed of Mustangs will be incredibly desirable in the not-so-distant future because the S650 is the final combustion-engined Mustang. The S750 is due to start production on May 1 of 2029 at Flat Rock, a mere four days after the S650 will end production.