Ford preparing a hotter Shelby GT350R Mustang for the 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Article by Christian A., on November 25, 2014

Although the Shelby GT500 Mustang offered a convertible version, it appears that the 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang will be offered only as a coupe. According to Road&Track, an open-top version of the new Shelby GT350 was never planned as the vehicle was developed as a high-performance model that can be driven to the maximum on a racetrack.

As you may know already, if the vehicle will loose its roof, the stiffness of the body will be reduced, which means not so impressive performances. Still, we have som good news as a hotter GT350R, with upgraded brakes, tweaked aerodynamic kit, high-performance tires and more, is expected to arrive at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, in January.

We don’t know if the engine will be upgraded too, but we would be satisfied if we will receive the standard engine found on the new Shelby GT350.

For those who still don’t know, the 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V8 engine that generates in excess of 500 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The engine is bolted to a lightweight six-speed manual transmission, while power is delivered to the rear wheels.

The Shelby GT350R rides, as standard, on lightweight carbon fiber wheels. This makes Ford the first major carmaker to offer this wheel technology as part of the standard equipment. Previously, carbon fiber wheels have been offered on a number of exotic supercars.

Now on the Shelby GT350R performance, these carbon fiber wheels – measuring 19 x 11 inches on the front and 19 x 11.5 inches on the rear -- help remove critical unsprung weight while reducing rolling inertia. In fact, these carbon fiber wheels save around 13 pounds of unsprung weight (per wheel) while offering greater degrees of stiffness than equivalent aluminum rims.

These carbon fibers wheels will be hugged by Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 high-performance tires that feature a rubber compound and a construction distinct to Shelby GT350R. This wheel and tire combination is expected to deliver outstanding steering feel and high levels of performance.

The Shelby GT350R presented aggressive targets for weight reduction. To achieve these targets, Ford engineers would consider removing a certain part if it failed to make the Shelby GT350R faster around a road course. Among the items deleted are air conditioning, rear seats, stereo system and trunk floorboard. Also removed are the backup camera, emergency tire sealer, inflator and even the carpet. Engineers also removed the exhaust resonators, a move that also gave the Shelby GT350R a sharper exhaust tone.

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