The meanest Mustang ever built!

It was December 2013 when Ford unveiled the highly-anticipated 2015 Mustang. The redesigned pony arrived with massive improvements over its predecessor, including an independent rear suspension, a revised interior, retuned engines and a brand-new 2.3-liter, EcoBoost four-banger. Less than a year has passed since then, and the sixth-generation Mustang received a much-needed high-performance version to replace last year’s Shelby-badged model. With the ink still wet on our 2016 Shelby GT350 review, the Blue Oval has yet another muscle car in the pipeline under the GT350R nameplate.

As you might have already guessed, the "R" at the end of the iconic name makes this Shelby the lightest, quickest and meanest Mustang yet, with a host of track-honed talents on top. If you missed the Mustang 302 Boss over the past couple of years, the GT350R is here not just to replace it, but take over from where Ford left it back in 2013 and open a brand-new chapter in this pony’s rich heritage. In short, you’re about to learn more about the most track-focused Mustang in history and Ford’s answer to the bonkers Camaro Z/28.

Updated 01/21/2016: Ford announced that the new GT350R customers can now also opt for a new rear seat kit available through Ford Performance Parts. Continue reading for more details and prices.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R.

  • 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    500 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    400 (Est.)
  • Displacement:
    5.2 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    190 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    65000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Exterior
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The GT350R is indeed the most track-focused Mustang ever created and the rear wing is proof of the company’s intentions

Being based on the GT350, the R-badged Shelby inherits all of the former’s exterior characteristics, including the menacing body kit, the reshaped nose, the rear diffuser, the vented wheel wells, and turbulence-reducing fender vents. But Ford didn’t stop there, as it increased the GT350’s downforce-creating abilities by adding underbody belly panels on the front and rear, a revised front splitter, and a carbon-fiber rear wing. And I mean a rear wing, not just a trunk-mounted lip spoiler for cosmetic purposes. The GT350R is indeed the most track-focused Mustang ever created and the rear wing, which moves the vehicle’s center of pressure rearward while improving downforce and lift balance, is proof of the company’s intentions.

Moving on to detailing, the GT350R stands out when compared to the regular (like there’s anything regular about it) GT350 by means of red-painted brake calipers, red pinstripes for the optional "over-the-top" racing stripes, as well as "GT350R" badging on the front fenders. Needless to say, the GT350R is the meanest-looking Mustang in history.

Interior

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Interior
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2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Interior
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2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Interior
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Drivers will notice that the standard models lacks air conditioning, the sound system, the rear seats, and the backup camera

Inside, the Shelby GT350R is instantly recognizable thanks to high-contrast red stitching, special badging, and a flat-bottom steering wheel with a red center mark at the top. What’s more, drivers will notice that the standard models lacks air conditioning, the sound system, the rear seats, and the backup camera. These features, along with the trunk floorboard and carpet, as well as the emergency tire sealer and inflator, have been removed to decrease the coupe’s curb weight even further.

However, should any of you find it hard to live without some of the features mentioned above, Ford will happily provide you with an optional Electronic Package. This bundle includes dual-zone air conditioning, an eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, a seven-speaker audio system, turn signal mirrors and more.

Ford Racing also removed the exhaust resonators, and although you won’t miss them visually, you’ll notice they aren’t there as soon as you floor the gas pedal. And so will those around you, no matter the amount of sound-deadening materials they’re equipped with.

Rear-seat kit

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang
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For 2016, Ford Performance introduced an optional rear-seat kit for the muscle car. The bundle features the same high-quality Alcantara material and high-contrast red accent stitching as the front seats and comes with original GT350 occupant restraint systems. Installation can be performed at Ford authorized dealers or service centers. The rear-seat kit costs $999.

Drivetrain

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Exterior
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Motivating the GT350R is the same 5.2-liter, flat-plane crank V-8 that debuted on the GT350 in 2014. I bet you already know it’s the first-ever production V-8 from Ford with a flat-plane crankshaft, as well as the most powerful naturally aspirated engine the Blue Oval has ever produced, but I don’t mind repeating it, especially the last part. Output remains unchanged at 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque, but thanks to the fact that the GT350R is more than 130 pounds lighter than the GT350 with the Track Pack, it should deliver enhanced performance despite the similar ratings.

The transmission is a lightweight six-speed manual and all the oomph is routed to the rear wheels through a bespoke Torsen limited-slip differential optimized for increased cornering grip and straight-line traction. The 0-to-60 mph sprint takes less than 3.5 seconds.

BMW M4, you have been put on notice!

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 5.2-liter dual-overhead-cam V-8 engine
Horsepower 526 HP
Peak Torque 429 LB-FT
Transmission six-speed manual

Chassis and Brakes


What makes the GT350R truly special are the carbon wheels wrapped in the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires

Most of the chassis is shared with the GT350, meaning the GT350R benefits from the same custom-tuned independent suspension with MagneRide magnetic dampers, a wider front track, increased spring rates, and a lowered ride height. The braking system is equally impressive, consisting for massive 15.5-inch rotors up front and 14.9-inch discs to the rear. The former are clamped by six-piston Brembo calipers, while the latter work with four-piston units.

But what makes the GT350R truly special is what lies wrapped in the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. I’m talking about carbon-fiber wheels, which are standard on the muscle car, making Ford the first major manufacturer to introduce the technology as standard equipment. I bet you didn’t see that coming! The rollers shave 52 pounds off the GT350R’s total weight, while providing higher levels of stiffness compared to aluminum rims.

Prices

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing for the GT350R starts from $63,495, including destination and the $1,300 gas-guzzler tax. That’s a hefty $13,500 premium over the GT350, but it also makes the R about ten grand more affordable than its main competitor, the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. At the same time, it’s slightly cheaper than the BMW M4, its most coveted European rival, priced from $65,700.

Ordering Guide

2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang
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2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang
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2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang
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2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang
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2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang
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2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang
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2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang
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2015 GT350-R Option Pricing (MSRP)
R Package (over base GT350) $3,500
SVT Touring Package $3,000
Navigation $795
Painted Black Roof $695
Over the top stripes $475

Competition

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 High Resolution Exterior
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While the GT350 seems like the perfect competitor for the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, GM’s all-motor muscle car will be no match for the GT350R. But that’s not to say the Z/28 is a vehicle muscle car enthusiasts shouldn’t consider. Developed as a no-nonsense machine with lightness and track capability in mind, the Camaro Z/28 comes with a naturally aspirated, 7.0-liter V-8 engine rated at 505 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque.

Its stripped interior and race-bred chassis settings enables it to charge from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.8 seconds. A six-speed manual transmission does the shifting. Other highlights include 19-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires, adjustable spool-valve dampers, and Brembo carbon-ceramic brake rotors and calipers.

The Camaro Z/28 is priced from $75,000, but buying one can be a daunting task with the coupe selling like hotcakes.

Read our full review on the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 here.

Conclusion

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Exterior
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With an independent rear suspension, a more upscale interior, a brand-new EcoBoost engine and a more powerful V-8, the sixth-generation Mustang was already off to a great start when launched in 2014. Fortunately, Ford didn’t settle with that and came up with the first high-performance version of the new ’Stang in less than a year. That was the GT350, which already brought numerous firsts for the nameplate, but the GT350R came to add even more to that. Arguably the meanest-looking, most track-focused Mustang in history, the R-badged muscle car also makes Ford the first major manufacturer to introduce carbon-fiber wheels as a standard feature.

All told, the GT350R is more than just a spectacular Mustang and a threat to the finest sports coupe on the market, but also a point from where Ford is likely to start building a huge name for itself as a high-performance brand.

  • Leave it
    • * Expensive and built in limited numbers
    • * Availability limited to North America

Update History

Updated 08/11/2015: An online configurator for the new GT350 let you create the mucle car of your dream. Have fun!

Updated 08/05/2015: A new report from mustang6g.com reveals that the coolest option for the new GT350R Mustang - the carbon fiber wheels - will be priced at no less than $30k - which is pretty much the price for a base Mustang.

Updated 1/19/2015: The preliminary 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R and GT350 ordering guides leaked online and we have them posted after the jump. Remember that these are subject to editing prior to release, so the exact details may vary in the future.

Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.

Updated 01/05/2015: Since the 2015 Detroit Auto Show is only one week away, so we decided to create a rendering of the future Mustang Shelby GT350R that we expect to see at the show. Check it out after the jump.

Updated 01/12/2015: Ford unveiled the all-new Shelby GT350R at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The model will be offered in limited production numbers and will be available later this year.

Rendering

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Exclusive Renderings
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Compared to the 2016 Shelby GT350, we think the future Shelby GT350R will add a new carbon-fiber splitter, a double bubble roof, larger intakes, new racing stripes, and intakes on the sides and behind the B-pillar. We also expect the vent on the hood to become a scoop and we expect the fog lights to be deleted.

Press Release

Ford today unveiled the new Shelby® GT350R Mustang, the most track-ready road-going production Mustang ever built.

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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In 1965, Ford and Carroll Shelby developed a road-racing version of the popular Ford Mustang – the Shelby GT350 Competition model. Lighter, more powerful and with a highly developed suspension, it is one of the most iconic racing Mustangs ever produced.

Arriving later this year, the new Shelby GT350R has been designed and engineered in the same spirit, delivering never-before-seen track capability from a Mustang – thanks to innovations in aerodynamics, chassis engineering and light-weighting.

“The Shelby GT350R Mustang is a no-compromise car in the pursuit of maximum track capability,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “It is a thoroughbred street car making use of technology and ingenuity to deliver performance few enthusiasts have ever experienced.”

The car features the first-ever production V8 from Ford with a flat-plane crankshaft – the most powerful naturally aspirated engine Ford has ever produced – plus a specially tuned suspension. It is fitted with revised spring rates and antiroll bars, lower ride height, unique track-tuned alignment settings, revised bushings and jounce bumpers, cross-axis ball joints in the front suspension, and revised calibration controlling the MagneRide dampers.

“The Shelby GT350R Mustang is a car with the nimbleness and power delivery you want on a road course,” said Nair. “This isn’t just about horsepower. The Shelby GT350R is an all-around balanced athlete – one that is extraordinarily precise and agile.”

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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Track technology for the street

Lightweight carbon fiber wheels are standard on Shelby GT350R, making Ford the first major automaker to introduce this innovative wheel technology as standard equipment.

Carbon fiber wheels have been offered on only a handful of exotic supercars and will benefit Shelby GT350R performance by shaving critical unsprung weight and reducing rolling inertia. The 19x11-inch front and 19x11.5-inch rear wheels provide approximately 13 pounds of unsprung weight reduction per wheel and offer higher levels of stiffness than equivalent aluminum wheels.

The lightweight wheels will be shod in Michelin’s top-shelf Pilot Sport Cup 2 high-performance tires with rubber compound and a construction unique to Shelby GT350R. This combination of incredibly stiff and light wheels with bespoke tires offers customers exceptional steering feel and levels of performance.

Weight reduction in pursuit of performance

Ford engineers delivered against aggressive targets for weight reduction on the Shelby GT350R. If a part did not make the car faster around a road course, it was considered for deletion.

Items removed include air conditioning, the stereo system, rear seats, trunk floorboard and carpet, backup camera and emergency tire sealer and inflator. Exhaust resonators also have been removed for weight savings with the benefit of creating a sharper exhaust tone.

Shelby GT350R is more than 130 pounds lighter than the Shelby GT350 Track Pack model, which has proven its durability in multiple 24-hour racetrack tests.

For customers seeking more comfort in their Shelby GT350R, Ford is offering an optional Electronics Package. Included is dual-zone air conditioning, 8-inch touch screen with navigation, seven-speaker audio system, turn signal mirrors and more.

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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Aggressive aerodynamics

Shelby GT350R has been optimized for aerodynamic excellence. Details including the hood vent for heat extraction and lift reduction, underbody belly pans front and rear, an aggressive diffuser, vented wheel wells and turbulence-reducing fender vents, wheel air curtains and side skirts all remain on Shelby GT350R, but the car’s downforce capability has been increased.

Revisions to the front splitter maximize downforce, while an all-new high-efficiency carbon fiber rear wing has been added in anticipation of competition. The wing moves the vehicle’s center of pressure rearward while improving downforce and lift balance – ideal for high-speed track work.

“Shelby GT350R’s highly efficient aerodynamics, innovative light-weighting and world-class chassis deliver a truly spectacular driving experience that makes you feel like a professional racing driver,” said Kerry Baldori, Ford Performance chief functional engineer.

World-class powertrain

The new 5.2-liter dual-overhead-cam V8 engine is the first-ever production V8 from Ford with a flat-plane crankshaft – an architecture typically found only in racing applications or exotic European sports cars.

Unlike traditional V8s, where the connecting rods are attached to the crankshaft at 90-degree intervals, this design evenly spaces all crank pins at 180-degree intervals to optimize high-speed engine breathing. It is the most powerful naturally aspirated production Ford engine ever, with more than 500 horsepower and more than 400 lb.-ft. of torque.

An air-to-oil engine oil cooler typically found only on race cars maintains engine temperatures under the most severe conditions, as does a standard cooler for the six-speed manual transmission.

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Exterior
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A Ford-tuned limited-slip Torsen differential with 3.73 axle ratio is optimized for cornering grip and straight-line traction, while an electronically modulated rear-mounted air-to-oil differential cooler maintains ideal temperatures during track driving.

Dedicated R design details

Aside from carbon fiber wheels, larger front splitter and rear wing, Shelby GT350R features distinct design details. Exterior touches include red painted brake calipers, red pin striping at the edges of the optional over-the-top racing stripes and Shelby GT350R badging. Inside is high-contrast red stitching, Shelby GT350R badging and the D-shaped steering wheel fitted with a red center mark at the top.

New breed of performance

The limited-production Shelby GT350R will be available in the United States and Canada later this year, and is one of more than 12 new Ford Performance vehicles coming by 2020.

2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang Interior
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“This is the pinnacle of performance Mustangs today,” said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance. “The Shelby GT350R Mustang lays the groundwork for a story that will play out for years to come on the track and the street.”

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