Thursday, November 20, 2014

The GT350 is Back!

2016 Ford Shelby GT350. Photos courtesy of Ford.
The Shelby GT350 will return to the Mustang lineup in 2016, after a long hiatus. Most young people know about the earth-shattering GT500, but this muscle car is completely different. Instead of being designed to tear down drag strips, the GT350 is made for carving through tight turns.

Ford's engineers have said that they looked at the whole car and how the different systems worked when they tuned everything. In other words, the GT30 is all about balance and control, not about kicking up acrid plumes of smoke from the rear tires.

The car's design takes full advantage of the Mustang's new independent rear suspension. The geometry of the suspension in both the front and rear of the car should hold up, even when the driver throws the GT350 around right turns, thanks to a chassis that features a 28 percent increase of torsional stiffness.

Then there's the engine, which features a strange, even exotic V-8 growl. That's tanks to a flat-plane crankshaft, which is what you find in cars like Ferraris.  It allows for the firing order of the cylinders to switch back and forth between the two banks, which results in less overlap of exhaust pressure pulses. Thanks to a peak output of over 500 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, the 5.2-liter V-8 is the most powerful naturally aspirated engine to ever be used in a production Ford.

Other features of the car, like the big brakes and six-piston calipers, are also designed for rigorous track use. Even though the Mustang Boss 302 is no longer in production, we are getting something that will be even better.

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