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Ford To Discontinue Mustang Shelby GT350
Thursday April 2, 2020

When it comes to the current, sixth-generation S550 Ford Mustang, the two models that are truly worthy of the enthusiastís attention are the Shelby GT350 and the Shelby GT500. Unfortunately, one of those models is not long for this world.

Sources familiar with The Blue Ovalís product plans that the Shelby GT350 and its GT350R track-focused variant will be discontinued in the near future. Though many had their fare share of antics yesterday, this folks, is no April Foolsí joke.

It appears that two range-topping Shelby models are just a tad too crowded for the lineup, particularly for a product that has seen sales volumes gradually decrease over the years: Mustang sales totaled just 72,489 units for the 2019 calendar year, a decrease of over 40 percent compared to the 122,349 units sold in 2015.

The situation wonít be turning around for the better any time soon, as consumers continue to flock to crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks and away from sedans and sport coupes. For proof, look no further than the fact that the ďtraditionalĒ Mustang will soon be joined by the Mustang Mach-E Ė a crossover-like hatch that also happens to be Fordís first dedicated electric vehicle.



As for the Mustang Shelby GT350, there doesnít seem to be enough of a reason for customers to go for the GT350 when the significantly more capable GT500 starts $12,500 higher (dealer markups notwithstanding). Though $12,500 might seem a lot at first glance, thatís not significant money when talking about high-priced pony cars that are often second or even third cars (read: toys) for their owners.

For that $12,500, the GT500 delivers more of everything: 234 more horsepower, 196 pound-feet more torque, and greater capability all around. And thatís not to mention the GT500ís various other qualities, such as massive 420 mm front rotors with an eye-popping 951.7 square centimeters of swept area, plus a unique front fascia thatís more aggressive than that of the GT350.



Of course, one of the defining elements of the S550-generation Mustang Shelby GT350 is the flat plane crank in its atmospheric 5.2L V8 Voodoo engine. Besides an exotic engine note, the unique crank configuration allows the motor to deliver an exceptionally wide powerband. Alas, the GT500 and its supercharged 5.2L V8 engine, internally known as Predator, uses a more traditional cross-plane crank, but still makes substantially more power, and healthy sounds, to boot.

The one key feature offered by the GT350 and not by the GT500 is a manual transmission. The former comes only with Tremecís TR-3160 six-speed stick, while the latter is offered exclusively with a Tremec-sourced seven-speed dual clutch. It appears that those who wish to row their own gears in a 2021 Shelby Mustang will be out of luck.

Thereís no official word about the Shelby GT350ís discontinuation just yet, but donít expect it to be on the menu once order banks for the 2021 Mustang open in a few weeks, though the ordering process itself could end up being delayed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the current Mustang, in its EcoBoost, GT, Shelby GT500 and new-for-2021 Mach 1 flavors, is road mapped to remain on sale through at least the 2025 calendar year. What happens thereafter is a bit muddy.



2020 Model Year Ford Shelby GT500


2020 Model Year Ford Shelby GT500

 

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