2015 seems like the right year for Mustang, as it is not only getting a full redesign, but Ford is also bringing back an American legend. That’s right, early next year, Ford enthusiasts will be able to get the Shelby GT350 Mustang in all of its glory, with what Ford is claiming to be their most powerful naturally aspirated production engine ever shipped. Let’s find out what makes the Shelby GT350 Mustang such an important icon both on the track and on the street.
First off, a little bit of history. The name Shelby became famous by the mid 60’s, when Carol Shelby and his team decided to modify a Mustang for track racing. The result? The first Shelby GT350, a small, light, super-powerful Mustang also referred to as the “Cobra” with a 4.7 l. V8. Since this original version was meant for the track and racing purposes, it was never thought of as a comfortable street car. More recent versions of the Shelby will combine comfort and drivability as well as powerful engines.
So what’s in store for 2015? The new 2015 Mustang takes design cues from the 1965 model, also called fast-back for its roofline that continuously down slopes to the back. Early in the development, Ford engineers decided a natural aspirated engine would better suit the Shelby, as opposed to a super-charged one. The 2015 Shelby GT350 relies on a 5.2 V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft, which allows for better engine breathing resulting in overall better performance. This type of engine configuration is only found in racing cars and European supercars.
Ford claims this engine will deliver over 500 horsepower and more than 400 pounds of torque, which should make it a delight on the track. In addition to the engine improvements, Ford is adding a new injection-molded carbon fiber grille and lower brace, which improves stiffness in the structure. Other improvements include an all-aluminum hood, flat-bottom steering wheel, extra-stiff 19-in aluminum wheels, and more.
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