Few figures in the performance end of automotive history even approach the celebrated status of Carroll Shelby. No one else has had such a close—and mutually beneficial—relationship with Ford, and especially to the Mustang. Sadly, Shelby passed away in 2012, shortly before the launch of the sixth-generation Mustang.
Helping to commemorate Shelby’s legacy as a motorsports legend and celebrated engine tuner, Ford introduced the first factory-produced Shelby GT350 since the 1960s for the 2016 model year. Packed with performance upgrades encompassing nearly every detail, the GT350 clearly qualifies as a truly special vehicle. Ford calls the GT350 its “most track-capable, race-ready” Mustang of all time. During the 2016 model year, Ford also launched a limited-production GT350R version with such performance extras as carbon fiber wheels.
What's New for 2017
Based upon the current Mustang, but with a far more powerful engine and a long list of performance modifications, the Shelby GT350 was a brand-new model for 2016. The formerly optional Track Package has been made standard for 2017, featuring an aluminum tower-to-tower brace and high-downforce decklid spoiler. Also included are engine oil, transmission and differential coolers, as well as a MagneRide damping system. Either an Electronics Package or a Convenience Package, each priced at $3,000, may now be installed. Three new body colors are offered.
Choosing Your Ford Shelby GT350
The original GT350, introduced in 1965, clearly demonstrated that a Mustang could do far more than excel in straight-line drag racing. The revived GT350 debuted as a 2016 model, soon after the Mustang shifted to a fully independent rear suspension. This change gave engineers an ideal chassis for race-readiness, to compete against such performance machines as the BMW M4 and Chevrolet Corvette.
Obviously, the Shelby GT350 isn’t a car for everyone, or even for every Mustang enthusiast. Considering all the technical achievement that goes into each GT350, however, not to mention its exclusivity, that hefty sticker price doesn’t really sound all that excessive.