The Shelby GT350 is no more, but you can still buy the supercharged GT500

After five years on the market, Ford decided to discontinue the Shelby GT350 based on the sixth-generation Mustang. Introduced in 2015, the Shelby GT350 and the GT350R won’t be offered for the 2021 model year. If you already own one, this is good news as the value of the GT350 is likely to go up. If you missed on the GT350, well, you can always go for the beefed-up GT500.

The end of an era

The Current-Gen Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Just Got More Valuable
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The Shelby GT350 is arguably one of the most iconic versions of the Ford Mustang and seeing the modern model go into the history books is a big event.

The GT350 was first launched in 1965 as a lighter, track-oriented variant of the Mustang and remained in production until 1967. The nameplate was revived in 1969 on the updated, larger first-gen Mustang, but production didn’t last toward 1970. Gone for the second time, the Shelby GT350 wouldn’t return until 41 years later, in 2011. The first modern GT350 was again short-lived, lasting until 2013.

The latest iteration of the nameplate arrived in 2015, this time around as a product of Ford Performance, a newly established entity back then. Ford developed a brand-new engine for this car, in the form of a 5.2-liter V-8 with a flat-plane crank. Rated at 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque, it’s the most powerful engine ever used in a GT350. A more track-oriented version, the GT350R, was launched immediately with improved grip, carbon-fiber wheels, and a bigger splitter and rear wing for enhanced downforce.

The Current-Gen Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Just Got More Valuable
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An update for 2019 added revised suspension and aero features, as well as new rubber from Michelin. A Heritage Edition Package and the Shelby Signature Edition models were added for the 2020 model year. Ford Performance and Multimatic Engineering also developed a race-spec version of the coupe, called the GT350R-C.

Can you still buy a Shelby Mustang in 2021?

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
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Yes, but you’re going to have to settle for the Shelby GT500, which is an entirely different animal. Boasting a more aggressive front fascia, the GT500 lacks the GT350’s race-inspired wing, but it’s significantly more powerful. Motivated by a supercharged, 5.2-liter cross-plane crank V-8, the Shelby GT500 comes with a massive 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of twist on tap.

But while quicker and more powerful, the Shelby GT500 is also notably more expensive. The beefed-up coupe starts from $72,900, whereas the GT350 was priced from $60,440. This means that you’re paying a $12,460 premium for the Shelby GT500. On the other hand, the GT500 is a bit more affordable than the GT350R, priced from $73,435.

The Current-Gen Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Just Got More Valuable
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But the really sad news here is that you’ll no longer be able to buy a Shelby model with a manual transmission. While the GT350 came with a six-speed manual only, the Shelby GT500 is restricted to a seven-speed dual-clutch. Granted, an automatic transmission means quicker shifts and quicker sprints, but this is a certain letdown for three-pedal, row-your-own enthusiasts.

There’s the Mustang Bullitt too

OG 1968 Ford Mustang Bullitt Shows Up Alongside 2019 Mustang Bullitt; Gets Inducted into the National Historic Vehicle Register Exterior
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If you’re not hooked on a "Shelby" badge but still want GT-style updates and a special-edition model, you can always go with the Mustang Bullitt. It’s not as aggressive looking and aerodynamic as the Shelby GT350, but it borrows a few features from the track-ready coupe. And it’s a cool tribute to Steve McQueen and the iconic "Bullitt" movie. The 5.0-liter V-8 engine under the hood cranks out 480 horsepower, not as much as the GT350, but a bit more than the standard Ford Mustang GT. And it starts from $47,705.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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