A little nostalgia may come standard with the new Shelby GT350 Mustang, which Ford finally unveiled ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show. But while the car carries Carroll Shelby’s name, it’s not 1965 all over again: Under the hood of the new GT 350 is a 5.2-liter V-8 engine, the first such engine with a flat-plane crankshaft.
The naturally aspirated engine “evenly spaces all crank pins at 180 degree intervals,” not the usual 90 degree spaces usually found in traditional V-8. Ford says this “layout permits a cylinder firing order that alternates between cylinder banks, reducing the overlap of exhaust pressure pulses.”
The result is a 500 horsepower and torque over 400 lb.-ft. The GT 350’s lightweight 6-speed manual transmission is combined with a standard Ford-tuned Torsen limited-slip differential for better grip, which is further solidified with 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
Ford points out this Shelby has a number of state-of-the-art updates. From a stiffer structure to accommodate suspension for driving on back roads and tracks to a carbon fiber composite grille. The Shelby ride about two inches lower than its sibling Mustang GT.
The Shelby’s brake system was designed with race-readiness in mind, and Ford calls it the “most track-credible … ever offered on a Ford in terms of absolute stopping power, fade resistance and brake pedal feel.” The front brakes are 394-millimeter rotors clamped by Brembo six-piston fixed calipers with integrated caliper bridges, while 380-millimeter rotors at the rear use four-piston calipers.
The interior is highlighted by unique Recaro sport seats and flat-bottom steering wheel. The Shelby GT350 packs all of Ford’s latest tech, including a new integrated driver control system with five unique modes that tailor ABS, stability control, traction control, steering effort, throttle mapping, MagneRide tuning and exhaust settings. The upgrade to Tech Pack throws in power, leather-trimmed seats; Shaker Audio; 8-inch MyFord Touch LCD touch screen.
Photo Credit: Ford