GT500-spec steering and front suspension geometry sharpen up Shelby-tuned 533hp Mustang
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…
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As a mustang gt owner I would say the gt350r is a great bargain at 60k gbp or maybe even 70k gbp. Just as my 5.0 gt is a bargain at 35k gbp. At 100k gbp it is let down by the obvious cost saving of its base model. For instance the interior is simply not fitting for a vehicle in this price range. Same goes for the build quality which reminds me of 90’s Hyundai quality with all the mid aligned panels and creaks from the interior. The much higher starting price of the base 911 affords it a better quality starting point for the performance models. In the U.K. if you want high performance and don’t care about the interior you could buy an ultima for the same money. To me that would be a better place for my 100k.