Development of the GT500 helped improve the GT350.
Little has changed about the Mustang Shelby GT350 since Ford introduced it for the 2015 model year. It debuted alongside the sixth-generation Mustang for its 50th anniversary. However, for 2019, Ford introduced several minor updates to the GT350, improving the handling and aerodynamics. In the video above, Ford Vehicle Engineering Manager Derek Bier details all the little changes the automaker made to strengthen the GT350, and many of those changes came from the development of the GT500.
One of the most noticeable changes is the rear spoiler/wing. It’s the same part found on the entry-level GT500, allowing for airflow both underneath and above, which provides more downforce. The GT350 in the video features an optional handling package that adds a gurney flap to the spoiler/wing, creating even more downforce. At the front, there’s a heat extractor on the hood; however, this causes some front end lift. To compensate, engineers made the grille opening smaller, lowering the top lip.
To account for the added downforce, Ford softened the rear springs, stiffened the fronts, and added a bigger stabilizer bar. This helps the GT350 put more power to the road. They also retuned the MagneRide suspension. With the GT350 now putting more power down to the rear wheels, Ford increased rear braking power. Typically, this could cause the rear tires to slide when braking and turning. However, Ford offset this, allowing the driver to use the rear brakes to drive into the turn and rotate the vehicle through the corner.
Gallery: 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350: First Drive
The improvements help make the GT350 a more nimble and powerful car even though the 5.2-liter V8 remains unchanged. It produces the same 526 horsepower (392 kilowatts) and 429 pound-feet (581 Newton-meters) of torque. The GT350 isn’t supposed to be an insane sports car packing supercar-levels of performance—that’s the role of the 2020 GT500. What the GT350 is supposed to do is dominate at the race track, and these upgrades should help with that mission.
Video: StangMode via YouTube