It has been over 11 months since Ford officially debuted the 2015 Mustang. Once we got a look at that car, and the standard GT, EcoBoost, and V6 models, everyone has been wondering what SVT had up their sleeve to follow up the super car levels of power from the late GT500.
Today is the day we find out that answer. We’ve heard rumors, seen speculation, and even been privy to some accidental slips within Ford’s own internal systems that indicate the GT350 will be the next Shelby and SVT variant of the Mustang. While we can all but confirm that much through Ford, the rest of the car has been shrouded in mystery.
Rumors have flown about what will power this car. Is it a naturally aspirated flat-plane crank equipped, high-revving V8. Does EcoBoost somehow play a roll in this car’s powertrain? Could there be twin turbos lurking beneath the hood? Or even, dare we say, a version of the 3.5 EcoBoost V6?
We know from the prototypes we’ve seen running around in camouflage that the body work is definitely different. We also know from the noise that those make, that there almost certainly has to be a V8 under the hood.
Ford has been teasing us for the past two weeks with a video series surrounding the GT350. Giving us small glimpses of the car, and talking “racing heritage”. We’ve even been able to listen to the car’s distinct exhaust note, which sounds different than a standard Ford V8 somehow.
Hints have included that there is much changed about this car in a functional way, and that the looks follow those changes. We’ve seen the words carbon fiber thrown around and mentioned numerous times. We’ve seen images of a myriad of scoops and intakes, and we’re hopeful that those intakes are real, and not a throw back to the fake ones we saw in the late 1990s and early ‘00s with the New Edge Car.
So without further delay, here are the details, per the blue oval themselves on the GT350.
The final product is essentially an all-new powerplant unique to GT350 – and one that takes true advantage of the new chassis dynamics of the Mustang platform. -Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Global Performance Vehicles.
This engine will be high-revving and the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 Ford has ever produced. “The final product is essentially an all-new powerplant unique to GT350 – and one that takes true advantage of the new chassis dynamics of the Mustang platform,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Global Performance Vehicles. The engine also makes over 400 ft-lbs according to Ford, and has a very broad torque curve.
The front track has been increased and all spring rates were revised. Ford says the new GT350 has a lower ride height than the 2015 GT. The GT350 also features revised bushings.
Ford is also making its first ever use of MagneRide dampers on the GT350. These dampers allow for continuous adjustment to changing road and track conditions for ultimate performance. They’re filled with a fluid that is impregnated with iron particles. When an electrical current is passed through them the particles instantly react. The current is varied to control how viscous the fluid is. The GT350 uses a myriad of sensors to constantly monitor wheel position, this allows the GT350 to make adjustments to the MagneRide system every 10 milliseconds. Those adjustments can make even the best driver even better, and help improve the lap times and cornering capabilities of drivers with modest skills.
The wheels measure 19-inches, and are what Ford calls “made of an extra stiff alloy”. The fronts measure a huge 10.5-inches wide, while the rears are 11-inches wide.
The tires were a project with Michelin. The Pilot Super Sports, feature GT350 specific sidewalls tread face, and compound. Ford says this will give the GT350 super sticky grip.
Ford used an all new injection molded carbon fiber front grille opening on the front of the car, and will offer an optional carbon fiber tower to tower brace under the hood.
All of the body work in front of the cowl is unique to the GT350, and Ford says that in some places it’s two inches lower than the GT.
The hood is an all new aluminum piece. It is designed to wrap around the engine, providing a smoother aero dynamic profile. The reversed scoop in the hood serves two purposes. First it is a functional heat extractor. Second, it also allows air to move from under the hood to reduce front end lift at high speeds.
A new front splitter has been added to the unique front nose, and combined with a belly pan, provides increased front end down force. The aluminum front fenders have been resculpted to allow for the car’s wider front track. The fenders feature functional ducts to direct turbulent air from inside the wheel wells.
Track pack cars can get optional high pressure brake cooling ducts, as well as differential, transmission, and engine oil coolers.
Inside the car features unique to the GT350 Recaro seats, not the same models found in the GT and EcoBoost models. Ford says hundreds of hours and a myriad of prototypes were evaluated and tested to deliver a seat that provides daily driver and track comfort.
The steering wheel has a flat bottom to allow easier ingress and egress. All of the bright work inside the car has been muted or even eliminated, the idea is to give minimal light reflection, especially solar glare, during track or spirited driving.
Track apps will also be part of the picture, and in addition to adjusting the usual steering, throttle response, ABS, and traction control features of the car as we’re accustomed to seeing, they’ll also determine the MagneRide system’s profile. The apparently also features active exhaust, as Ford states that the track apps will also control exhaust. We’re wondering if this isn’t the same system we recently featured from ROUSH. A ROUSH representative did mention they’d developed the system for a client, and were also going to offer it as one of their options.
For those looking for more comfort, Ford will offer an optional tech pack, complete with Shaker Audio system and 8-inch touch screen featuring MyFordTouch. Leather of course will be an option as well.
As we write this, our Editorial Director, is headed to the GT350 press event in Los Angeles, California. We’ll have more details on the car later today, as well as a full gallery of photos. So keep checking back.
No official on sale date has been released yet, but Ford says the car will be available in 2015. Be sure to tell us what you think of the GT350 in the comments below.