The 2016 Shelby Mustang GT350 features a 5.2-liter V-8 engine that is capable of producing more than 500 hp, with a torque peak above 400 ft lbs—easily the most powerful naturally aspirated engine that Ford has ever produced. Raj Nair, Ford’s group vice president and head of global product development, differentiates this Mustang GT350 engine from that of the Ferrari 458 Speciale: “This car is for a different type of performance enthusiast,” he says. “The engine spins faster; it is a free-revving road-racing car.” Other beefed-up elements include enhancements to the front and rear brakes, a racing-style suspension, and six-piston front binders.
Also improving the new Mustang GT350 performance is the even spacing of the crank pins—at 180-degree intervals instead of the typical 90 degrees—which permits a cylinder-firing order that reduces the overlap of engine exhaust pulses. This allows the engine to breathe better, particularly at higher rpm, creating better performance and a unique and stirring sound for an American V-8. Moray Callum, vice president of design for Ford in North America, says that the team created a whole new Mustang. “All bodywork from the A-pillar forward is unique,” he notes. “We have lowered the hood 2 inches and optimized the aerodynamic shape of the car, which increased downforce and cooling airflow [respectively].”
Unveiled on the premises of what will be the Shelby Automotive Museum near Los Angeles, the Shelby Mustang GT350 is expected to start at about $58,000. (ford.com)