If you thought the new Shelby GT350 was exciting, then you might want to hold on to something.
Unveiled today at the North American International Auto Show is the brand-new 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R, a track-capable version of the highly anticipated GT350. The GT350R is lighter and more powerful with a newly developed suspension.
“The Shelby GT350R Mustang is a no-compromise car in the pursuit of maximum track capability,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development, in a press release issued today. “It is a thoroughbred street car making use of technology and ingenuity to deliver performance few enthusiasts have ever experienced.”
Weight reduction was a huge focus for Ford when developing the GT350R, leaving nothing untouched when it came to saving precious pounds. The wheels, in fact, are made of carbon fiber, saving approximately 13 pounds of unsprung weight per wheel. Also, Ford removed the air conditioning, stereo system, rear seats, trunk floorboard, carpet, backup camera and emergency tire sealer and inflator for the sake of weight savings.
(See Also: New 2016 Ford GT Unveiled)
Working with the GT350R’s light weight to create an excellent power-to-weight ratio is the 5.2-liter dual-overhead-cam V8 engine with a flat-plane crankshaft. This is the most powerful naturally aspirated production engine Ford has ever created, and produces over 500 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.
To keep this powerful and light car hunkered down is a new collection of aerodynamic pieces added to the GT350R. These include the hood vent, underbody belly pans in the front and rear, a rear diffuser, vented wheel wells, fender vents, wheel air curtains, side skirts and the newly developed carbon fiber rear wing.
This limited edition track-ready Mustang will be available later this year and is only one of the 12 new Ford Performance vehicles coming by 2020.
Gallery by Alex Tillman and Jerry Villagrana
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Photos by: Jerry Villagrana and Alex Tillman