Ford’s Global Performance team has been busy churning out new products, like the Focus RS, as well as upgrading the new Shelby GT350 Mustang making it the best performing version of the street racer yet.
“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 at the track on weekends,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development.
“Every change we made to this car was driven by the functional requirements of a powerful, responsive powerplant – nimble, precise handling and massive stopping power.”
The automaker provided a wealth of information about the new Carroll Shelby-inspired Mustang at a recent media event, including the updates to the car’s suspension to improve the handling and braking systems as well as the wheels and chassis.
The Shelby GT350 is the first Ford to use MagneRide shocks. The dampers are filled with a hydraulic fluid impregnated with iron particles that, when charged with an electric current, can improve the ride with reaction times as little as 7 milliseconds.
The new suspension includes new aluminum front knuckles that help save weight and improve steering.
Going fast with secure footing is what everyone wants, but being able to bring all of that power to a halt – quickly – is equally as important. Ford’s engineering team designed the brakes in-house and they have the largest rotors ever for a production Mustang.
(Ford planning limited run of Shelby GT350s. For more, Click Here.)
The 394-millimeter front rotors and 380-millimeter rear rotors are a floating type and are pin-driven to its aluminum hats to reduce heat transfer to the bearings and are supported with six-piston Brembo calipers.
Keeping all of this on the road are new 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires designed with specific sidewall construction, tread face and compound for the GT350. The GT350R will use lightweight carbon-fiber wheels.
(Click Here for details about Ford’s global performance unit.)
The new platform is the strongest in the history of the Mustang brand, with torsional stiffness increased 28% over the previous model, Ford officials noted. A new lightweight aluminum tower brace connects the shock towers and firewall, and improves front-end stiffness.
Ford Performance re-engineered the grille opening reinforcement with a carbon fiber composite structure that is 24% lighter than the base Mustang while maintaining the stiffness of steel.
“These cars can be driven by any driver on any track in the world – with virtually no fade,” said Brent Clark, vehicle dynamics supervisor.
(To see more about Ford’s Q1 earnings falling short of expectations, Click Here.)
Ford will produce just 100 GT350s and 37 GT350Rs – the latter to honor the car’s originator, Carroll Shelby, and the car’s 50th anniversary. Dealers will begin taking orders for the cars this summer, Ford executives said.