The legend Shelby GT350 Mustang wows audiences
Dubai International Motor Show
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.
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.
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.