The GT350 looks even more impressive in the flesh, on the LA floor, than it does in the pictures. That’s because Ford chose to give the hottest naturally aspirated ‘Stang of the moment a dedicated visual identity instead of simply adding a spoiler here and a flared fender there. Ford does state that the entire front section of the car (up to the windshield) is new, but it’s not until you see the car that you realise the true meaning of that claim.
Ford's first flat-plane crankshaft on a production carOf course, the upgrade fairy focused on the 2015 Mustang’s technical side, with the track assault training being led by the flat-plane crankshaft as opposed to the cross-plane in other ‘Stangs. For those unfamiliar with the matter, we’ve attached a scheme showing the different layouts of the two.
A V8 flat-plane crankshaft sees the connecting rods of the pistons sitting at 180 degrees from each other, while a cross-plane crank reduces that angle to 90 degrees. The first sees the pistons reciprocation taking place as if these were two alternate four-cylinder engine, while the latter sees each piston’s movement alternating with that of the rest.
The cross-plane crankshaft engines are easier to balance, running smoothly without the need of expensive work, which is why this is the most oftenly used type. Nonetheless, flat-plane crank V8 engines allow for a higher red line and have the potential for superior output, so you’ll see these used on supercars and racecars - Ford has used the solution before, but never on a production car. Of course, they also bring an badass aural experience and the Shelby GT350 will be no exception, as the clip below shows.
Outside the engine compartment, the Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang packs hardware such as MagneRide adaptive dampers, a first for both Ford and the segment. And since the Bue Oval expects the GT350 to spend plenty of time flying from one vibrator to another, the torsional rigidity of the chassis has been increased.
Factor in the IRS (independent rear suspension) and the fact that the engineers tested this Shelby so hard they almost crashed it on the Nurburgring and we have the recipe for what should be one of the wildest ponies yet.