While we wait for the reveal of the mighty GT500, this is the hottest, most badass Mustang to have – the 2019 Shelby GT350. That said, the GT350 doesn't get a facelift like the rest of the new Mustang range, but it does get some added track performance, chassis refinements, and new colour options.
The GT350’s raucous powerplant is unchanged for 2019. It retains its high-revving 5.2-litre V8, which is still the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever and the only one of its type in the segment. Power output is 392kw and 581nm, while it screams its lungs out as it powers towards its 8,250rpm redline. As before, it is paired with a track-proven Tremec 6-speed manual transmission that sends power to its 305 profile rear tyres.
However, the chassis and aerodynamics of the sports car receive an overhaul for 2019 – with much of it straight off the GT500. Ford includes a new rear spoiler and a more functional grille design, while a Gurney flap (extra tabs added to the rear wing for further aerodynamic improvement) is available as an option.
An upgraded version of the Shelby’s MagneRide active suspension system is also standard to the 2019 GT350, which features recalibrated springs and revised damping, while a Brembo brake system with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers helps bring the vehicle to a halt. It also gets a GT350-exclusive set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.
"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, tyre and chassis technology."
A new high-performance, custom-tuned 12-speaker B&O PLAY audio system by HARMAN is now available for the GT350, controlled via the now standard 8-inch SYNC 3 touch screen. Recaro race seats are standard, as well as dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control, along with a universal garage door opener – a nice convenience to have if you make a habit of losing your garage remote.
New colours are available for the GT350 – these include Velocity Blue and for the first time, Ford Performance Blue. While optional 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.
Unfortunately, the Shelby GT350 will not be coming to SA - or for that matter be available in any right hand drive countries. Shelby SA has said that this is due to it having been engineered specifically for left hand drive applications. The 2019 GT350 will go on sale early in 2019 with prices starting at US$61 340 (ZAR 809 000).