Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Officially Discontinued For 2021
All good things must end, just like the Mustang Shelby GT350. It served as the flagship of the Mustang for four of its five years of production, but its high-revving V8 and racing stripes will officially retire later this fall.
“With the 760 horsepower Shelby GT500 now in full swing, we will end production of the Shelby GT350 and GT350R this fall as planned,” a Ford spokesperson told Motor1.com. “This sets the stage for new additions to excite our avid Mustang fans for the 2021 model year – including the Mach 1 Limited Edition.”
The GT350 made its debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, followed by the GT350R at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Both cars went on sale for the 2016 model year with a Mustang initially under the hood. Its naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V8 used a flat-plane crankshaft design, ultimately endowing the GT350 with 526 horsepower (392 kilowatts) to a very non-Mustang 7,500 rpm. Horsepower remained the same under the GT350R’s guise, but additional handling and aerodynamic improvements made it a legitimate sports car that could seriously turn corners. Suddenly the Mustang wasn’t just a straight-line scramble hero.
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However, we should not mourn the retirement of the GT350. As Ford mentioned, there are other offerings ready to fill the void, including the GT500 bonkers. It doesn’t quite have the finesse of the GT350, and its 5.2-liter mill trades high rpm for a bulky supercharger, but it doesn’t shy away from cornering like previous GT500s did. It is also very hard to argue with 760 ponies pushing the car a quarter mile in the middle of 10 seconds.
The spiritual successor to the GT350 may be the next Mach 1. It’s essentially a direct replacement for the Bullitt Special Edition – it even delivers the same 480 hp (358 kW) of the green McQueen machine – but it is also equipped with a variety of aero and suspension components from the GT350 and GT500. With a lighter weight and a throttle not as explosive as the GT500, we have high hopes that the Mach 1 will be as enjoyable on the track as the GT350.
The Mach 1 will arrive next year, but we still have some time to say goodbye to the GT350.