The Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang debuted last year with plenty of attitude, and the on-track aptitude to back it up. The hottest Mustang returns for 2017 with some minor changes, so if you missed out the first time around, start saving now.
The biggest change for the GT350’s sophomore year is a longer list of features, both standard and optional. The Track Package that was optional last year is now standard, adding an aluminum tower-to-tower brace, deckled spoiler, engine, oil, and transmission coolers, and Ford’s MagneRide magnetic adjustable suspension system. Most of these features are standard on the track-focused GT350R, but cost $6,500 extra on the GT350 in 2016.
The GT350 also gets a bigger dose of technology with two new option packages. The Electronics Package adds Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, voice activated navigation, and a nine-speaker audio system. The Convenience Package includes those features, and also replaces the standard manual-adjust Recaro sport seats with power-adjustable leather seats.
Some new colors round out the changes. For 2017, Ruby Red Metallic, Lightning Blue, and Grabber Blue are in, while 2016’s Deep Impact Blue and Competition Orange are out.
There are no mechanical changes, so buyers still get a 5.2-liter V8 that sends 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. This engine remains a novelty because of its lack of turbochargers or superchargers, and its flat-plane crank design. Unlike the previous Shelby GT500, the GT350 is more focused on handling, hence features like the MagneRide suspension and the cool carbon fiber wheels available on the GT350R.
Ford’s thoroughbred certainly gallops into 2017 with more equipment, but we’ll have to wait until the Blue Oval releases pricing information to see if that translates into good value. For reference, the 2016 GT350 started at $48,695 (including destination). The 2017 GT350 goes on sale in June.
There are those Mustang enthusiasts who enjoy a ride on the tracks occasionally and thus need a car that satisfies our daily routines and still has the muscles to quench our tracking urges when they strike. Well, that is what the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is made for.
Then, there are those of us who want to have a feel of the tracks every other weekend and still drive home through the city streets flaunting our muscle cars on the streets as if we owned the city (The mustang’s unique exhaust sound particularly helps in this). If you are in such a class, Ford has you covered with the new 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R. The GT350R is specifically developed for the tracks but is still street-legal. Read along to find out what the “R” adds to the already excellent GT350:
Unlike the standard Mustang GT350 2017, the GT350R exterior is optimized for extra performance. To start with, the vehicle has received a redesigned front splitter as well as a huge carbon-fiber rear wing which help improve its down-force. The rear wing helps enhance the balance between down-force and lift. On the sides, you will certainly notice its red brake calipers which come in handy when bringing the monster to a halt.
Unlike the standard model which was offered with various performance features as options before Ford decided to make the standard for the upcoming models, they were all offered on the GT350R as standard. They include a rear spoiler, front-suspension springs, aluminum strut-tower brace, MagneRide (adaptive dampers) and differential coolers.
The 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R rides on a set of 19-inch carbon-fiber wheels which is a rarity even among the more expensive supercars. At the front, the GT350R sports 19- by 11-inch wheels and 19- by 11.5-inch wheels for the rear. The wheels are covered in hyper-sticky Michelin Sport tires.
On the inside, the vehicle features leather wrapped racing seats which feature a red contrast stitching. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and features red stripes. Red trim is also featured on the vehicle’s badging and stripes due to the colors racing appeal. Don’t expect convenience features and tech gadgets you are used to in your regular hauler; the GT350R is stripped down to the bare minimum to reduce space and improve its performance on the tracks.
To start with, the rear seats have been discarded and there is no freight flooring. Don’t even expect an a/c or a radio in this car. This car is purposely meant for the race tracks and the above features add weight as well cause distractions during racing when the driver is supposed to be fully concentrating on maneuvering the vehicle.
The rear-view camera has most likely been dropped to reduce weight and keep the car geared towards the track. Parking this car in tight spaces isn’t the easiest job so it’s definitely something to consider.
However, if you buy the GT350R and after a short time feel you cannot live without the discarded features, you can still have them back by opting for an Electronics Package which will set you back $ 3,000. In addition to the reversing camera and a radio, the package adds auxiliary gauges, a tire inflator, floor mats and a sealant kit.
The 2017 GT350R features the same engine as its sibling the GT350. The mill I am talking about is a 5.2 L V-8 engine capable of producing 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. The engine churns out all this power without the use of any turbo’ or supercharger. This displays the excellent craftsmanship Ford has used in creating this engine.
The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox which drives the rear wheels. In addition, the gearbox features Ford’s unique 3.73:1Torsen limited slip differential. The engine is also equipped with dedicated engine oil coolers.
Due to its less curb weight and more performance features, the GT350R will be quicker than the standard GT350. Though official information on performance is not yet out, rumor has it that the standard GT350 can reach 60 mph from standstill in around 3.5 seconds. If this is true, expect the GT350R to complete the same run in under 3.5 seconds making it the fastest naturally aspirated vehicle on earth. The automaker has further paired the vehicle’s exhaust system with 4 tips which produce a new sound different from what we are used to. The exhaust sound is close to the sound to that Ferrari models produce.
Ford has not disclosed official prices of the 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R. However, we don’t expect the price to vary much from that of the current models. Currently, the 2016 standard model starts at $48,695, while the GT350 R adds $13,500 to take its price to $62,195. Adding optional features such as a black painted roof adds $ 695, while a yellow paint costs $ 495, $ 475 for the ‘over the top’ racing stripes and $ 375 for a special car cover. Choosing all options will take the price to over $ 68,000.
Ford produces limited units of this model. Last year, Ford produced only 37 units of the GT350R. It is not clear how many models will be produced this year but you can bet they will be below 50. However, if you fail to get your hands on a GT350R you can still opt for its sibling the GT350 which comes with a similar engine and almost similar specs. In fact, the 2017 GT350 comes with performance features as standard meaning it has edged closer to its performance big brother. The models arrive in dealer showrooms in June this year.
The flat-plane crankshaft in the 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 is about as big around as, oh, Dwayne Johnson’s bicep. It’s therefore somewhat terrifying to realize that, as the tach needle swings skyward and the exhaust note is shrieking and the car is trembling and that giant crank is whirling around mere inches in front of you at 6,000 rpm, you’ve still got 2,000 rpm left to go.
You’d be forgiven for feeling the sudden urge to leap out of the driver’s seat and straight into the nearest blockhouse.
There’s nothing subtle about this Shelby rocketship. It fairly shivers with power, the exhaust snorting and ripping and bellowing even when you aren’t exploring the tachometer’s upper stratosphere. The 19-inch black-painted aluminum wheels wearing sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires say “don’t tread on me” with a capital “Tread.” A new-for-2017 color, vintage-themed Grabber Blue (a friend called it “Smurf Blue”), stands out like Kim Kardashian in a library. A white racing stripe ($475) is actually named “Over The Top” on the options list. Clearly, Ford understands what it’s baked-up here.
In creating its 2017 model, Dearborn listened to potential GT350 buyers. And, basically, what they heard was “stop pussy-footing around and just give us the damn Track Pack already.” Thus, what was a $6,500 option in 2016 is standard on all 2017 models. That adds coolers for the engine oil, transmission, and Torsen rear diff; an aluminum shock-tower brace; a higher-downforce rear spoiler; and, most important of all, adaptive magnetorheological (“MagneRide”) shocks. A new Electronics Package ($3,000) adds Sync 3, voice-activated nav, and an uprated nine-speaker audio system. Also available is a new Convenience Package (not on my test car), which includes all of the above options but replaces the manual Recaro seats with power leather chairs (ummm, pass).
All-in, we’re now looking at a $60,000 Mustang. Does it deliver?
Well, there’s no denying the chops of that hulking, 526-horsepower V-8. Topping the magic 100 horses per liter without forced induction means this is one finely tuned piece of power art. The flat-plane crank, with each con-rod journal 180 degrees opposite the next in line (instead of at the usual 90-degree intervals), enables a cylinder firing order that alternates between banks — reducing exhaust pulse overlap and allowing the engine to breathe more freely and rev both quicker and higher. (That’s precisely why Ferrari uses the same crank design in the 488.)
Opened wide on an empty mountain road, the GT350’s so-called “Voodoo” V-8 is nothing short of mind-blowing. Acceleration is brutal. Fearsome. And…is there even a redline?
You could convince yourself there isn’t, because the thing just winds and winds and keeps right on winding — all the while emitting a shattering blast of exhaust that’s probably knocking nearby birds right out of the sky. It’s not your typical muscle-car roar, nor is it the finely polished shriek of an Italian exotic. It’s something in-between, unique, a potent, brassy, very American take on an upscale V-8. It’s like riding inside a tornado, if you want to know the truth. Mind you, full torque is on tap by a relatively modest 4,750 rpm, so the engine is pulling plenty hard way before redline. But, damn, there’s something indescribably delicious about winding this beast all the way to its limiter.
Wreaking such mechanical havoc almost seems sinful. After a few minutes going full-throttle at every opportunity I started to feel guilty without knowing why.
Fortunately, the GT350 can use its power unlike any Mustang before it. Especially given the added Track Pack bits, this baby is glued to the tarmac. No limp “Mustang” cornering habits here, this Shelby feels more like a BMW. There’s a ton of grip on tap, I’m guessing close to or maybe right at one-g worth. Moreover, the chassis is balanced, pushing just a bit near the limit (after all, it’s packing a lot of forward mass) but never really sliding into full understeer.
You can hustle this thing like a true sports car, the short-throw six-speed manual shifter firing off gear changes like a quick-drawn Colt, the MagneRide shocks capable of independently fine-tuning their response every ten milliseconds, the structure tight and strong, the big Michelins taking full advantage of the sophisticated platform. And when another corner comes rushing up, fear not: the brakes are freaking enormous. The front discs are 15.5 inches in diameter and clamped by six-piston Brembo calipers. Your jeans will fade before these binders do.
If the GT350 has a downside, it lies in its relentlessness. Yes, the adjustable mag-ride shocks do an impressive job of creaming the rough edges off of broken pavement, yes the Alcantara-wrapped wheel feels great in your hands, yes the clutch effort is surprisingly light considering the brute with which it’s partnered. But the Shelby is, first an foremost, an extreme car. The engine never lets you go; it’s always there and in your face and assaulting your ears. When you’re out for a romp it couldn’t be better; the snarl and noise and fury are precisely what you want. But if you’re going to commute in this thing, by the time you arrive at your destination you may need a little alone time.
The sporty Recaros are appropriately well-bolstered, but it you’re the slightest bit wide you’ll likely say “they bind.” And then there’s that bod. Let me put it this way: When you’re flaunting 19-inch black alloys, bazooka-sized quad tailpipes, and a big ol’ racing stripe, every other rat racer in town is gonna roll up alongside for a sniff — and probably a “dare ya.” I could see other drivers wondering, “Is that thing really as mean as it looks?” And usually they played cautious, not wanting to tempt humiliation. But they all swooped in close for an eyeball.
The 2017 Shelby GT350 is righteous that way. It’s got the swagger and the cojones to back it up. Along with its even-edgier GT350R sibling, it’s the first Mustang with moves across every degree of the friction circle. That is, it turns and stops every bit as good as it goes.
And, man, does it go. After I week I’m not sure I ever found that redline.
Photography courtesy of Juliette St. Antoine
|ON SALE||July 2017|
|ENGINE||5.2L DOHC 32-valve V-8/526 hp @ 7,500 rpm, 429 lb-ft @ 4,750 rpm|
|LAYOUT||2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe|
|EPA MILEAGE||14/21 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||188.9 x 75.9 x 54.2 in|
|0-60 MPH||4.1 sec (est)|
|TOP SPEED||175 mph (est)|
Despite rumors and render images that appeared on the Internet, Ford for 2017 production year has no plans to radically change the look and specifications of the Mustang. The Ford Mustang is a model with a rich history. The 2017 Ford Mustang which is entering its 6th edition is set to offer a comfortable and classy driving experience as is the norm with all Mustangs.
The automaker always tries to keep up the comfort and class together and always steps up with each release. We can all expect an improved model that is more fuel efficient and fun to ride.
2017 Ford Mustang Concept render Image from Internet
Ford Mustang is known for its highly rigid body which is very strong. Similarly, the 2017 version will maintain the same body structure. The model comes with minimal exterior changes compared to the outgoing models.
It will sport a similar wheelbase; however, the front and rear fascias will feature some changes. The new body color is red with a dose of white which results in a fascinating profile and a black shade which adds an elegant touch. The front bumper and grille have been redesigned. The nose is more aggressive and the air vents are wider than the outgoing models.
Other features include a bigger hood and a larger power extractor than the predecessor model. At the rear, the vehicle features quad-angle exhaust pipes and a redesigned rear spoiler. The Mustang will ride on multiple-spoke Camo wheels similar to those of the Shelby GT 500. These wheels complement its exterior charm.
2017 Mustang GT
Though there is little information about the model’s interior specs, we expect the cabin of the 2017 Ford Mustang to feature several new changes.
To start with, expect a roomier cabin. The seats will be upholstered in quality leather to offer a comfortable ride to all passengers. The steering wheel will feature acoustic control keys. Other standard features will include power-operated windows, a sporty LCD screen with MyFord infotainment system and an audio system that is compatible with USBs and an array of external devices.
For safety, the vehicle comes with a pack of two airbags as standard with an option for more airbags at an extra price and an integrated traction control system. We will inform you more on the interior styling once Ford avails more information.
The 2017 Ford Mustang will feature three engine options. The base models will be equipped with a 3.7 L, V6 engine capable of producing300 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The second engine is a 2.3 L, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine capable of producing 310 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. The final and the most potent engine on the Mustang GT is a 5.0 L, V8 unit that comes good with 435 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. All the engines will be paired with a 6-speed manual transmission system or a 6-speed automatic system.
The engines will also be equipped with two turbo to boost their overall performance. Fuel economy and speed specs are not available at the moment but we will give you updates once such information becomes available so make sure to come back for more.
There are no official reports about the 2017 Ford Mustang release date or price. However, the production model is likely to be released in the second half of 2016 (late June switches to 2017 model year) and will attract a starting price of around $ 22,500. This price could go as high as $ 40,000 for the Mustang GT when all optional are selected.
Previously announced 2017 Ford Mustang render
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