The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 will not see another model year. Ford announced last week that it will drop the GT350 and the hotter GT350R after 2020, ending five-year production of the model. The 760 horsepower (566 kilowatt) Shelby GT500 replaces it, and we know the coming Mach 1 borrows from the GT350’s parts bin. Jim Owens, Mustang Marketing Manager, explains why we’re saying goodbye to the Shelby pair in a new interview with Muscle cars and trucks.
The demise of the GT350 doesn’t mean Ford is throwing away everything great about the Shelby – on the contrary. Owens told the post that the Mach 1 rebate package “learned from the GT350,” adding that when Ford learned what worked and what didn’t with Shelby’s first offering of the S550, he needed to find a name as the product evolved. This is how the Mach 1 should arrive next spring.
The Mach 1 will also be available internationally, unlike the GT350. As Muscle cars and trucks Note, European regulators have banned Ford from selling it, and the GT500, on the Old Continent due to the car’s poor emissions. However, this is not a problem the Mach 1 will face, as Ford can sell its 5.0-liter V8 there and elsewhere in the world. The GT350 uses Ford’s 5.2-liter flat-cranked V8.
It’s disappointing to see the Shelby GT350 drop from the Mustang lineup, but the Mach 1 sounds like a riot on the track. Ford called it “the most capable 5.0-liter Mustang on the track,” those are bold words from the automaker. It has those of us who remember the previous generation Boss 302 Laguna Seca giddy with excitement. The GT350 may be on the way out for now, but the lessons Ford has learned from it will make the Mach 1, and other future Mustang models, much better.