Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R | Spotted

The 2015 Detroit motor show was a huge event for Ford. Not only had it managed to keep the incredible GT a secret โ€“ perhaps even more of an achievement than creating one โ€“ it also announced to the world that the Raptor would ditch a supercharged V8 for a turbo V6. Indeed both it and GT had embraced downsizing, leaving V8 honour to be upheld by the third big Detroit debut โ€“ the GT350R.

And what a way to demonstrate Fordโ€™s commitment to the V8. Using the same 530hp โ€˜Voodooโ€™ flat-plane-cranked 5.2 as the GT350, the R sharpened the package further with completely overhauled suspension, less weight, more aggressive aero and, somewhat unbelievably, carbon fibre wheels. Even four years later itโ€™s a surprise to find carbon rims on the options list, and here they were as standard.

The GT350R represented โ€“ and continues to do so โ€“ many of the things enthusiasts feared would soon be going from their cars: high-revving atmospheric engines, manual gearboxes, rear-wheel drive and an unashamed emphasis on the driving experience. It delivered, too, albeit with PH experience limited to a track drive at Thruxton. โ€œA load of fun to drive on circuitโ€, was the verdict, qualified by the lack of road experience and a fear that something so large and so stiff โ€“ make your own jokes โ€“ might prove a little overwhelming on the public highway. Certainly thatโ€™s the impression given by the first drive in the States, where Mike Duff actually preferred the 350 to the Rย on the road. Still, if you want focus, itโ€™s very seldom that you get cossetting as wellโ€ฆ

Now thereโ€™s a chance for a UK buyer to discover the full GT350R experience, with this 2019 example for sale. While the owner will have to battle with left-hand drive, this one is factory fresh, with 350 miles on it. The red-accented grey paintwork is a suitably menacing accompaniment to the pumped-up bodywork, a theme continued inside. Note too in the advert pics that the Mustang is parked about as close to a kerb as youโ€™d like to be in a car with carbon fibre wheels โ€“ at least sitting on the wrong side means youโ€™ll see it comingโ€ฆ

A price tag of ยฃ100,000 will inevitably draw some sharp intakes of breath, particularly with the 350R retailing for $67k in its homeland. But as well as the various costs associated with getting a car from the US to the UK, and a need to turn a profit, thereโ€™s a suspicion that this Mustang might be a little underpriced to begin with. 8,250rpm V8s and carbon wheels canโ€™t come cheap, after all.

As a product of the USA and one never officially sold here, the Shelby is short of conventional rivals in the UK. The 911 GT3 will inevitably be discussed, but will surely represent a very different experience given its weight and layout, and thatโ€™s before mentioning that ยฃ100k will only buy a five-year-old one. The old C63 Black Series actually looks the closest alternative, rude bodywork and monstrous powertrain harnessed to a chassis of rare ability. The Mercedes will probably make the nicer road car, the Ford more rewarding on track, though again youโ€™ll pay more money for an older car. And anyone intrigued by the Mustang engine โ€“ surely a key tenet of its appeal โ€“ will surely feel short changed by any Corvette equivalent.

Granted, nobody is expecting the GT350R to fly out of the showroom, given this represents another tiny cul-de-sac of charm in the Mustangโ€™s already niche appeal. But surely even those usually turned off by Fordโ€™s iconic pony car can see the attraction here; that the GT350R is so unlike a Mustang is what makes it great. The track days wonโ€™t be cheap in a Shelby Mustang, but what amazing fun they promise to beโ€ฆ


Engine:ย 5,163cc, V8
Transmission:ย 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp):ย 533@7,500rpm
Torque (lb ft):ย 429@4,750rpm
MPG:ย 16. If youโ€™re lucky
CO2:ย Pass
First registered:ย 2019
Recorded mileage:ย 350
Price new:ย $67,135 (MY2019)
Price now:ย ยฃ99,950

Click here for the full ad

Search for a Ford Mustang here

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (41) Join the discussion on the forum

  • cerb4.5lee 28 Aug 2019

    So much want, love these. smokin

  • gigglebug 28 Aug 2019

    It is very cool. I always think that I would rather keep the rear seats in this type of thing though for the sake of saving 30KG odd on something that is relatively heavy, it is only a very small percentage of the overall weight after all. What level of aftercare would the UK vendor be able to offer on such a relatively low volume model in the event of any faults?

  • Nerdherder 28 Aug 2019

    Price new: $67,135 (MY2019)
    Price now: £99,950

    Right-o. I will sit this one out for a bit.

  • sleepera6 28 Aug 2019

    Wait for the GT 500

  • Gameface 28 Aug 2019

    Why would you paint the carbon wheels?

    Strange decision.

    Would look better without the red pinstripes too.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment