The leg­end Shelby GT350 Mus­tang wows au­di­ences

Dubai In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

DUBAI: One of the most iconic per­for­mance Mus­tang name­plates of all times re­turns as the all-new Shelby GT350 Mus­tang and makes its re­gional de­but at the 2015 Dubai In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show this week.

The orig­i­nal Shelby GT350 in­tro­duced in 1965 es­tab­lished the Mus­tang’s per­for­mance cre­den­tials. The all-new Shelby GT350 Mus­tang, fea­tur­ing the most pow­er­ful nat­u­rally as­pi­rated Ford pro­duc­tion en­gine ever, is a world-class per­for­mance ve­hi­cle, de­signed to tackle the planet’s most chal­leng­ing roads - an all-day track car that’s also street le­gal.

The new GT350 builds on Car­roll Shelby’s orig­i­nal idea - trans­form­ing a great ev­ery-day car into a dom­i­nant road racer - by tak­ing ad­van­tage of a dra­mat­i­cally im­proved six­th­gen­er­a­tion Mus­tang to cre­ate a truly spe­cial driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Driv­ing en­thu­si­asts be­hind the wheel of a Shelby GT350 can ex­pect to be treated to the most bal­anced, nim­ble and ex­hil­a­rat­ing pro­duc­tion Mus­tang yet.

Ford en­gi­neers took an in­no­va­tive ap­proach with GT350. Rather than de­velop in­di­vid­ual sys­tems to per­form well in­de­pen­dently, ev­ery com­po­nent and shape is op­ti­mized to work in con­cert; bal­ance is the key. While pay­ing rig­or­ous at­ten­tion to de­tail, the team pushed the en­ve­lope with cut­ting-edge ma­te­ri­als and tech­nolo­gies.

“When we started work­ing on this car, we wanted to build the best pos­si­ble Mus­tang for the places we most love to drive - chal­leng­ing back roads with a va­ri­ety of cor­ners and el­e­va­tion changes, and the track on week­ends,” said Jim Ben­in­tende, Pres­i­dent, Ford Mid­dle East and Africa. “Ev­ery change we made to this car was driven by the func­tional re­quire­ments of a pow­er­ful, re­spon­sive power plant - nim­ble, pre­cise han­dling, and mas­sive stop­ping power.

Track-tuned driv­e­line

Early in the de­vel­op­ment of the GT350, it was de­cided that a high-revving, nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V8 en­gine would best suit a track­fo­cused Mus­tang. “The fi­nal prod­uct is es­sen­tially an all-new power plant unique to GT350 - “and one that takes true ad­van­tage of the new chas­sis dy­nam­ics of the Mus­tang plat­form,” said Ja­mal Hameedi, chief en­gi­neer, Ford Global Per­for­mance Ve­hi­cles.

The new 5.2-liter V8 en­gine is the first-ever pro­duc­tion V8 from Ford with a flat-plane crankshaft, an ar­chi­tec­ture typ­i­cally found only in rac­ing ap­pli­ca­tions or ex­otic Euro­pean sports cars. Un­like a tra­di­tional V8, where the con­nect­ing rods are at­tached to the crankshaft at 90-de­gree in­ter­vals, this de­sign evenly spa­ces all crank pins at 180-de­grees in­ter­vals.

The 180-de­gree, flat-plane lay­out per­mits a cylin­der fir­ing or­der that al­ter­nates be­tween cylin­der banks, re­duc­ing the over­lap of ex­haust pres­sure pulses. When com­bined with cylin­der­head and valve train ad­vance­ments, this per­mits bet­ter cylin­der breath­ing, fur­ther ex­tend­ing the per­for­mance en­ve­lope of the V8.

The re­sult is the most pow­er­ful nat­u­rally as­pi­rated pro­duc­tion Ford en­gine ever, at 500 PS, with a torque peak of 542 Nm The track ca­pa­bil­ity is en­hanced by the out­put char­ac­ter­is­tics of the en­gine - the 5.2-liter V8 fea­tures an ex­cep­tion­ally broad torque curve. Com­bined with its high-revving abil­ity, the flat-plane 5.2-liter V8 gives driv­ers an enor­mous amount of per­for­mance and flex­i­bil­ity within each gear of the light­weight six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion. A stan­dard Ford-tuned Torsen lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial op­ti­mizes cor­ner­ing grip and straight-line trac­tion. “Make no mis­take, this is an Amer­i­can in­ter­pre­ta­tion of a flat-plane crankshaft V8, and the 5.2-liter pro­duces a dis­tinc­tive, throaty howl from its four ex­haust tips,” Hameedi said.

Bal­anced dy­nam­ics

The new Mus­tang plat­form is the strong­est in the history of the brand, with tor­sional stiff­ness in­creased 28 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous model. That stiff struc­ture en­sures the sus­pen­sion ge­om­e­try re­mains con­sis­tent, even un­der hard driv­ing on back roads and tracks. Front stiff­ness is fur­ther im­proved on GT350 with a cut­ting-edge in­jec­tion-molded car­bon fiber com­pos­ite grille open­ing and op­tional light­weight tower-to-tower brace. The front track has been in­creased while spring rates and bush­ings have been re­cal­i­brated all around, with ride height re­duced com­pared to Mus­tang GT.

For op­ti­mum han­dling, the wheels need to re­spond quickly to the con­tours of the road and driver in­puts. Re­duc­ing un­sprung mass is key to im­prov­ing that re­sponse, but a bal­ance must be struck be­tween tak­ing mass out of a sus­pen­sion and de­liv­er­ing truly ca­pa­ble brak­ing per­for­mance. Due to the sig­nif­i­cant speeds the car can de­velop, the GT350 fea­tures the most track-cred­i­ble brake sys­tem ever of­fered on a Ford ve­hi­cle in terms of ab­so­lute stop­ping power, fade re­sis­tance and brake pedal feel. The brakes are two-piece cross-drilled iron brake discs mounted to alu­minum hats. At the front are mas­sive 394-mil­lime­ter ro­tors clamped by Brembo six-pis­ton fixed calipers with in­te­grated caliper bridges while 380-mil­lime­ter ro­tors at the rear uti­lize four-pis­ton calipers.

GT350 makes use of ex­tra-stiff 19-inch alu­minum al­loy wheels - 10.5 inches wide in front, 11.0 inches in the rear - clad in state-ofthe-art Miche­lin Pi­lot Su­per Sport tires with GT350-spe­cific side­wall con­struc­tion, tread face and com­pound. The cus­tom tires are de­signed to de­liver max­i­mum grip on the road or dur­ing week­end track days.

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