The Shelby GT350R is the first Mustang to inherit performance-enhancing suspension and steering components from the range-topping GT500, which are said to make the 533hp two-door sharper on both road and track. The changes, some of which are also set to make their way down the line-up in the future, include new front suspension geometry and redesigned steering knuckles, as well as a faster steering rack and recalibrated electric power assistance to match.
Combined, the updates ought to give the 5.2-litre V8-powered GT350R a keener, more responsive chassis along with a boost in overall performance thanks to heightened mechanical grip. The changes should also help keep the GT350R fighting fit ahead of the launch of Porsche’s 992-gen 911 GT3, which is due next year with some pretty aggressive aerodynamic features along with a flat-six 4.0-litre offering similar punch.
While Porsche’s model is historically more expensive, the plucky ‘Stang has often given it a run for its money on circuit – and that status could be enhanced by some new weight reduction options offered with the enhanced GT350R. Ford can remove the rear seats and ditch the exhaust system’s resonators, lowering mass and, in the case of the latter, helping to make the eight-cylinder freer breathing – and racier in tone.
Even in standard trim, the GT350R - which revs to 8,250rpm and can sprint from 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds - comes with carbon fibre wheels, front splitter and rear wing. There are 394mm front discs and Brembo calipers, a differential cooling system and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 boots, giving the GT350R a track-worthy setup from the get-go. Although the model is not officially sold in Britain, UK dealer Clive Sutton has a habit of getting even the most extreme ‘Stangs over the pond. We’re hitting Ctrl R on the line-up now…