2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
The still-under-wraps 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is already making its mark on the Blue Oval’s pony-car lineup. The 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 includes revised aerodynamics influenced by the development of the upcoming supercharged super snake. The GT350’s rear wing has been redesigned, while the front grille opening is now the same as that on the more track-focused GT350R, with its smaller opening for cooling air. Ford claims the new spoiler delivers “significant” gains in rear aerodynamic efficiency and that an optional Gurney flap available later in the model year will add more downforce while the grille admits less air under the hood, reducing lift on the front end.
The naturally aspirated 2019 GT350 also wears a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires; last year’s car had Pilot Super Sport tires. Wrapped around redesigned aluminum wheels, the sticky staggered rubber sports a GT350-specific tread pattern and measures 295/35R-19 up front and 305/35R-19 at the rear.
“Once you change the tires and the aero, you find you need to recalibrate the rest of the chassis,” said Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer. “We incorporated a lot of learning from the various tracks we run on.” The rear spring rate is slightly softer, while larger anti-roll bars at both ends and revised calibration of the MagneRide adaptive dampers fine-tune the handling. Ford also saw fit to tweak the electrically assisted power steering and had to revise the ABS and traction-control systems to work with the grippier tires. We’ll need to spend some time in the driver’s seat of the refreshed GT350 to taste the fruit of Ford’s labor, but Widmann said the aim was to improve the driving experience. Overall, he said, the standard 2019 GT350 closes some of the gap to the 350R, which is unchanged for 2019, but remains lighter and quicker thanks to deletion of the rear seat and air conditioning.
Such privations are not for those strapped inside the 2019 GT350, where the updated interior includes redesigned door panels with suede inserts, newly available power front seats, and now standard features such as an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and dual-zone automatic climate control. Widmann said so many customers added those latter features as options on the current car that Ford just made them standard for the ’19 model.
The powertrain, however, carries over untouched, and the GT350 continues to employ the same flat-crank 526-hp 5.2-liter V-8 and Tremec six-speed manual transmission used in today’s model. Ford did not say when the 2019 GT350 will go on sale, but we expect the updated muscle car to come to market with a sticker price within a few hundred dollars of the current GT350’s $58,235 asking price.