It’s not the GT500, but if you can’t wait, it’s not a bad compromise

Ford has finally introduced the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350, and it comes with chassis and aerodynamic updates as well as model-specific tires and tuning to make it go faster and handle better than ever before.

2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 Updates

We all know that Ford doesn’t play around when it comes to high-performance Mustangs and after learning about the work that went into creating the new Shelby GT350 we can only imagine what the Shelby GT500 has in store for us. But, that’s a conversation for another time. For now, let’s talk about all the goodies that come with the new GT350.

For starters, Ford completely revamped the aerodynamics package. I know what you’re thinking: “That doesn’t look any different.” And, at a glance you’re right; it really doesn’t. But don’t be discouraged because there’s actually a lot going on here – it’s just subtle little changes that improve the car as a whole. Take a close look at the grille. Notice how the closeout is just a little different. Ford claims this is proven to be more aerodynamic based on GT500 wind tunnel testing. To complement that, there’s also a new rear spoiler that’s more pronounced than before and can even be had with a new, option Gurney flap. Ford says that with the new flap equipped, the new spoiler provides better aerodynamic efficiency.

Ford Infuses the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 with Racing and GT500 DNA Exterior Wallpaper quality
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For starters, Ford completely revamped the aerodynamics package.

Ford didn’t stop there, though, as Michelin has created model-specific tires for the GT350. They are, as you probably expected, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, but they have a GT350-specific tread that is said to offer better grip in all circumstances, including acceleration and braking. They are 295/35-series tires in the front and 305/35-series in the rear, which makes the rears just bit wider for better traction and handling. They come complete with all-new 19-inch aluminum wheels. All of this apparently led Ford to retune the MagneRide suspension with recalibrated springs and revamped dampers that will probably cut down on body roll a bit and prevent squatting at high speed on the track.

As always, the Shelby GT350 comes with Brembo brakes. You’ll get six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear. Ford has also recalibrated the electric steering system to provide better feedback while the stability control system got its own update to improve overall stability. Unfortunately, Ford didn’t find it necessary to do any engine updates, though, so you’ll get the same flat-plane crank, 5.2-liter V-8 with 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. It still has the 8,250-rpm redline as well and comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission because real men row their own gears, right?

Ford Infuses the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 with Racing and GT500 DNA Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Ford didn’t stop there, though, as Michelin has created model-specific tires for the GT350.

Ford has chosen to forgo showing off the interior right now, but claims there are some fresh updates inside too. Apparently, it gets machined-aluminum trim around the instrument cluster, new door panel inserts with Miko suede, wrapped center console, and a pair of standard Recaro racing seats. You can still opt for the power-adjustable seats, but you’ll lose a bit of support. Carbon fiber trim will be found on the options list, as will a 12-speaker B&O PLAY audio system. Going with the standard or optional audio system will get you the 8-inch SYNC 3 infotainment system.

New exterior colors include Velocity Blue and Ford Performance Blue. And, you can still get the optional racing stripes in Shadow Black, Oxford White, or Kona Blue. If you opt for the Technology Package, you’ll get mirror-mounts Shelby Cobra Projection lamps included.

Final Thoughts

Ford Infuses the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 with Racing and GT500 DNA Exterior
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I have to say that the new GT350 looks pretty good with that new spoiler, but it would have been nice to see Ford change up the exterior look a little more.

I have to say that the new GT350 looks pretty good with that new spoiler, but it would have been nice to see Ford change up the exterior look a little more. Sure, the front and rear fascias are designed with aerodynamics and track use in mind, but a revised diffuser and revised front aero bits would have been a nicer touch. Also, what’s up with the power output? Ford could have tuned the mill a little more. Of course, that makes me sound a little greedy considering it’s still the most powerful and highest-revving naturally aspirated V-8 from the blue oval. But still, engineers couldn’t muster up 530 ponies? Just to give it a little extra go? It’s kind of a letdown, but in the end, the GT350 is one hell of a car, and its pure iconic presence is more than enough to keep the order books full and the assembly plant working at full capacity. Now, we just have to wait for the GT500. If you have your heart set on buying a new Shelby, will you go for the GT350 or wait for the GT500? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Further reading

2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350.

2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.

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Press release

To improve the new Ford Mustang Shelby® GT350 driver confidence and lap times, Ford Performance leveraged its Mustang road course racing programs and all-new upcoming Shelby® GT500, infusing GT350 with the very latest in track and street technology.

“Somewhere, Carroll is smiling,” said Hermann Salenbauch, global director for Ford Performance vehicle programs. “The new Shelby GT350 is our ultimate track Mustang. We’ve stuck to Carroll Shelby’s original formula for winning championships and made our Shelby GT350 even better with the latest in race-proven aerodynamics, tire and chassis technology.”

From F-150 Raptor to the Ford GT supercar, Ford Performance is creating authentic performance cars, trucks and utilities that deliver heart-pounding excitement for customers around the world.

Next-level chassis technology and aerodynamics

Building on a road course racing and track-focused legacy born in 1965, Ford Performance engineers and designers incorporated the latest advances in tire, aerodynamics and chassis technology into the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350.

Working exclusively with Michelin, the team also engineered new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a Shelby GT350-specific tread pattern and different compound to deliver more grip for significantly improved acceleration and lateral acceleration, as well as braking. The 295/35 front and 305/35 rear tires are fitted to improved stiffness and optimize new 19-inch aluminum wheels.

An all-new rear spoiler with optional Gurney flap and optimized grille closeout was designed and tuned with experience gained from wind tunnel development of the Ford Performance Mustang road course racing cars and upcoming Shelby GT500 model. Together, they deliver significant rear greater aerodynamic efficiency when equipped with the new optional Gurney flap on the rear spoiler, which will be available after launch.

Upgrades to Mustang Shelby GT350’s standard MagneRide active suspension complement the aero and tire enhancements with recalibrated springs and revised damping to take full advantage of the improvements.

Stopping power is provided by six-piston front and four-piston rear caliper Brembo™ brakes. For added control and improved driver feedback, Shelby GT350’s electric power-assist steering and three-mode electronic stability control settings feature enhancements taken from Ford Performance’s hundreds of hours of competitive track testing.

Tuning with Billy Johnson in the driver’s seat

Billy Johnson knows racing. As a driver for the FIA World Endurance Ford GT and IMSA Mustang GT4 programs, Johnson has broad expertise in what makes for a great driver’s car. He worked with Ford Performance to dial in the Shelby GT350 for 2019.

Shelby GT350’s exclusive high-revving 5.2-liter V8 remains the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever and the only one of its type in the segment – delivering 526 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque at a blistering 8,250-rpm redline. It’s mated to a track-proven and precise-shifting Tremec® 6-speed manual transmission.

Johnson said the result of the new Mustang Shelby GT350’s aerodynamics tuning, revised brake calibration, and much greater downforce is a more balanced, higher-performing car on the straightaways and especially in the corners.

“Along with improved grip, brake and chassis refinements, Shelby GT350 brings a whole new level of performance driving,” he said. “It’s a rewarding car to drive on track for amateurs and pros alike, while making the driver feel like a superhero. It’s confidence inspiring in corners and begs to be pushed harder and to take corners faster.”

More craftsmanship, technology and style

Inside, driver and passengers of the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 are treated to a comfortable, stylish and purpose-built cockpit boasting the latest in advanced technology and premium materials expected of a world-class sports car.

Fresh sporting cues include a standard machined aluminum instrument panel appliqué with an available exposed carbon fiber version, plus newly designed door panel inserts in dark slate Miko® suede with accent stitching. A wrapped center console offers rich world-class craftsmanship. Standard Recaro race seats with firm side bolstering and open pass-throughs for safety harnesses offer the highest level of performance, while new power-adjustable seating is available with Miko suede inserts for those looking for added comfort.

A new high-performance, custom-tuned 12-speaker B&O PLAY audio system by HARMAN is now available for the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350, controlled via the now standard 8-inch SYNC® 3 touch screen that features SiriusXM and FordPass™ Connect. Dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control is now standard, along with a universal garage door opener.

New colors for the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 include Velocity Blue and for the first time, Ford Performance Blue. Optional factory-painted over-the-top racing stripes are available in high-gloss Shadow Black, Oxford White or Kona Blue. Mirror-mounted Shelby Cobra Projection Lamps come standard in the available Technology Package.

The 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 will be available starting in early 2019 and will be built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. Enrollment in an exclusive, complimentary Track Attack driving program from Ford Performance is included with each vehicle.

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