Fast (not just on the straight), well braking, exciting among the curves. The new 2018 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R has only one, great flaw: it is not imported into the old continent.
In 2014, the Ford Mustang (one of the great icons of World motoring) celebrated its 50 years with an edition literally revolutionized in the engineering project (until that moment unchanged in its fundamental parameters, in particular The architecture of the suspensions): the formidable evolution of the dynamic qualities of the chassis resulting from the changes introduced has assured the car that global performance growth that needed to allow it to enter fully into the Real Sports. Until that moment, in fact, the Ford Mustang had always had the rear suspension with rigid axle: a very traditional architecture, less adapted to a truly sporty guide, especially given the values of power and torque very high of which They were capable of the thrusters of the flagship versions (arriving to exceed 600 hp), always marked by the Shelby or Shelby-Cobra brands. The new chassis uses a very advanced independent wheel rear axle, able to assure excellent bending qualities, stability in speed and neutrality of steering response, even in the presence of very high powers. This adds a very high performance calibration of the shock absorbing units, a highly refined wheel and tire set, and a final touch, a Brembo Corsa braking system.
Engine Performance Review
The Ford Mustang “edition 2014” was from the outset proposed only with very Gagliardi engines, capable of powers ranging from 317 CV of the sober 2.3 Ecoboost to 421 V8 5.0 liters. But this was just the beginning. In 2016 he made his debut on the U.S. market the 2018 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R, a very high-performance version that perfectly combines the great dynamic qualities of the new chassis. The powertrain, the extreme evolution of the 5.0 V8, is a piece of great engine engineering. Its displacement has been brought to 5.2 litres, the whole architecture of the internal organs has been revised to allow rotational regimes at the limit of 8000 rpm, the suction and exhaust systems have been modified to achieve a very high-efficiency Volumetric. In particular, the crankshaft has cranks of connecting rod placed in opposition to 180 °: it is therefore a “flat tree”, while usually in the V8 the cranks are decreasing by 90 ° between them (the first V8 with “flat shaft” was the legendary Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0, up to 90 Forward the F1 engine-myth). From this technical solution it follows a sequence of suction and exhaust pulses that improves volumetric efficiency, while at the same time it allows to achieve higher rotational speeds.
The power is 533 hp at 7,500 rpm, with a maximum torque of 581 Nm at 4,750 rpm. But the Mustang Shelby GT350R has been the subject of technical refinement in every detail. The torsional stiffness of the body was increased by 28 percent while the weight of the complete car was reduced by about 50 kg using carbon fibre body elements. Of great technological finesse the 19-inch wheels, in carbon fibre, for a drastic reduction of inertia of the unsprung masses. All the elements of the suspension, in aluminium, have been increased to better manage the superior steering and braking torques and, for the first time on a Mustang, the shock absorbing units are of the active type with magnetic modulation. New is also the six-speed manual gearbox, while the management of the powerful torque provides a mechanical self-locking differential type Torsen. The braking system is a Brembo Corsa with increased self-ventilating discs (the fronts of 394 mm) and six-piston calipers.
We have devoted a lot of space to technical analysis because Ford has worked with engineering expertise at the highest levels to bring the already superb Mustang GT V8 5.0 to performance excellence levels for this Shelby GT350R. The car body, apart from the rear wing, has only detailed changes. The New Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R of our test was set up in a livery of a solar yellow, perfect to emphasize the spirit and mission of this version. The seats are of anatomical sporty type, with high lateral support capability. The riding structure is easily adjustable and, despite the high vocation, comfort is pleasant. The steering wheel has a low diameter and offers a very solid grip. Short and well positioned the shift lever, whose drive is very fast, perfectly fluid and very precise. The pilot has five modes of engine and trim adjustment: Normal, Sport, Track, Weather and Drag. Ford’s technicians had preset the Sport mode, already galliard but with wide margins of safety and traction control. As we could check during a short test on the track, the performance turned out to be overwhelming: the V8 5.2 “flat shaft” never ends, it seems impossible that a series thruster of this displacement achieves with impressive progression the Over 8000 laps.
The hoarse roar is the most beautiful musical background to the performance of absolute excellence. According to the data of the House, the acceleration 0-100 km/h takes 3.9 seconds, while the maximum speed exceeds 280 km/h: performance that there are completely realistic parses (and which, of course, present the account to the Distributor: The Ford declares an average consumption of Just under 5.7 km/L…). The curved seal reaches 1.1 g, while the steering response is immediate, fast, agile as we did not expect. The big surprise, given the specific power, came from the extraordinary qualities of elasticity of the V8, generous also under the 3000 laps: the specific value of the couple, truly “monstrous”, ensures an extraordinarily powerful fluidity of delivery. Brakes, gearbox and traction control, all perfect. All these qualities make the second floor a few small problems of practicality of use: as a certain inconvenience of loading, due (more than to the capacity of the trunk) to the relative height from the ground of the load threshold. In fact, the only real flaw of “our” Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R is that it was a yellow passing lightning for Europe: In this version, the American coupé is not meant to be imported on this shore of the Atlantic. Serious!