Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, GT350R Discontinued For 2021

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - October 1, 2020

Not all rumors are true, but in the case of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R, the leaked document spelling the two models’ discontinuation that was leaked earlier this April was. Autoblog reports that Ford has confirmed the GT350 and GT350R’s death.

In a statement to the outlet, Ford stated, “With the 760 horsepower Shelby GT500 now in full stride, we will finish production of Shelby GT350 and GT350R this fall as planned. This makes the way for new additions to excite our passionate Mustang fans for 2021 model year – including the limited-edition Mach 1.”

While this was expected we’re still disheartened by the decision. The decision to end production of the GT350 and GT350R only leaves the 760-horsepower GT500 as the sole model in the Shelby lineup. The GT500 isn’t available with a manual transmission. Ford, from the statement to Autoblog, believes the Mach 1 will fill the voids left by the outgoing Shelby models, but we don’t see that happening.

Ford Shelby GT350R

What made the Shelby GT350 and GT350R so special is its 5.2-liter flat-plane-crank V8 engine that was paired to a six-speed manual transmission. The special V8 engine makes an exotic sound and revs out to 8,250 rpm. Additionally, the two models came with high-performance suspension setups, performance brakes, and sticky tires to appeal to consumers that wanted to spend some time on the track. Unfortunately, we’re sure the manual-only transmission, track-focused setup, and relatively low-rent interior didn’t appeal to many consumers. While Ford doesn’t have any information on how well the two Shelby models sold, we’re sure it’s nothing compared to the regular Mustang lineup.

While a good value option against the likes of the Porsche 718 Cayman and the BMW M4, the Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat all offer more performance for similar starting prices. When compared to the regular Mustang, the Shelby GT350’s starting price tag of $61,635 (including destination) is roughly $14,000 more than Bullitt, the most expensive Mustang in the regular lineup. For the majority of consumers, that’s a tough sell.

The new Mustang Mach 1 looks to fill the gap between the Bullitt and the Shelby GT500 that's left behind by the Shelby GT350 and GT350R. The Mach 1 comes with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes 480 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, which are similar figures to the Bullitt. The available six-speed manual transmission is from the Shelby GT350, while a 10-speed automatic is also offered. Additional components borrowed from the Shelby GT350 include an intake manifold, engine oil cooler, oil-filter adapter, and bushings. The Mach 1’s rear axle cooling system, rear diffuser, and rear toe link are from the Shelby GT500.

While the Mach 1 doesn’t have the same V8 as the Shelby GT350, it looks to be a better compromise for the majority of consumers that will probably never take their car to the track. For consumers that are looking for a track-capable Mustang, you’d better buy a Shelby GT350 and GT350R while Ford still makes them, because they’ll go down as some of the best pony cars ever made.

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, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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