As one of twelve automotive media Ford invited to drive the 2020 Shelby GT350R, I was able to invest ample time with the purpose-built monitor car to become familiar with its efficiency, both on and off the track.
To check the GT350R’s performance, Ford delivered us out to the same track exactly where I had previously driven the 2020 Shelby GT350 . The 1 . 5-mile routine at the M1 Concourse, in Pontiac, Michigan, features 25 feet associated with elevation change throughout the course, as well as a mix of tight, sharp corners along with fast, sweeping turns.
What amazed me most about the GT350R had been how different it feels from the GT350. While I found the 2020 GT350 to be a serious contender as one of the best Mustangs to date, the “R” distinction can make an enormous difference. The GT350R results in a bit rawer and less processed.
Visual differences that set the particular GT350R apart from the GT350 include red-painted brake calipers, red pinstriping, plus Shelby GT350R badging. Carbon fiber tires come standard on the GT350R, as well as a larger front splitter and back wing.
Previously, the 2016 design did not offer air-conditioning, a back seat, trunk panels, or any main stereo components. The 2020 design comes with an optional “Technology Package” that will consists of a 12-speaker sound system, a blind-spot system, cross-traffic alert, and voice-activated navigation.
Other visual differences inside the GT350R include high-contrast red stitching, Shelby GT350R badging, and a D-shaped controls complete with a red center mark at the very top.
Such as the 2020 GT500, Ford has not up-to-date the front fascia for performance factors, but unlike the GT500, the particular GT350R does not come with the standard model’s 12. 3-inch digital instrument bunch. My guess would be to save weight, however the performance data display could be helpful. Still, the 2020 GT350R signifies a thoughtful update to a well-known track car.
Such as 2016+ models, the GT350 plus GT350R come powered by a five. 2-liter, flat-plane-crankshaft, Voodoo V8 graded at 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque, redlining at almost eight, 250 rpm. It comes mated to some track-proven, lightweight Tremec six-speed guide transmission.
While the GT350R is purpose-built for that track and its engine revs excitedly, power does not develop in huge turbo-like globs; instead, it comes linearly with predictable performance. It mainly maintains its composure when the accelerator is aggressively (or recklessly) used. The only time the acceleration scoops is when it’s time for any gear shift.
The transmission is suitable for track driving, as the emergency to change gears allows us to ignore the short-throw notchiness felt on community roads and in the pits. Whilst I found the clutch on the GT350 to be forgiving and easy to handle, the particular clutch on the GT350R is more intense and has more travel to it.
The very first corner behind the wheel of the GT350R sensed tight, and the rear end felt steady and planted, while the nearly nonexistent redline of the 5. 2-liter OF V8 revved on with a glorious, addicting, deep-throated, erotic exhale on the immediately.
The GT350R feels considerably lighter in weight thanks to the rear-seat delete, carbon fiber tires, and the removal of its exhaust resonators – the source of its exotic roar. The sound combines the signature rumble of an American V8 with a touch of a high-pitched Ferrari-like scream. The particular GT350R Brembo brakes seem to nip a little harder and come with a your pedal feel that inspires confidence to braking system later and more aggressively on every corner of every lap.
Additionally , the particular GT350R is upgraded with the high-trail steering knuckle from the 2020 Shelby GT500. It receives a remodeled front suspension geometry with a new guiding rack and recalibrated electric-power guiding to elevate driver confidence and guiding precision.
While the revised setup is usually incredibly quick, it felt just a little numb to me and didn’t provide the same direct feedback I got in the GT350. Chassis communication helps make in the rack’s shortcomings, but not ultimately. Regardless of a lack of feedback, the setup enables the GT350R to rapidly modify direction, which only furthers car owner confidence to wait until the last feasible second to turn in. And the L will respond eagerly every time.
Where there is really a will, there is a way… but , the particular genuinely hardcore would enjoy every day driving the GT350R as it is an unapologetic track car first of all.
As mentioned above, the suspension improvements are perhaps felt most upon public roads where the GT350R is definitely impressively well composed. The 2020 iteration doesn’t suffer the same intense pull from side-to-side created once the suspension reacts to uneven roads because the prior model did. Instead, this responds well to bumps plus imperfections in a relatively stable straight-line. It comes across civilized and relaxed-enough to make driving with other traffic, workable.
Having said that, the GT350R has a raw plus mechanical feel to it. Those thinking about daily driving would most likely take pleasure in the GT350 more as it’s track-ready but retains enough tractability plus creature comfort to make it comfortable.
While the 2020 Shelby GT350 transforms the Mustang from a straight-line powerhouse to a track-capable, agile car for the street or even track, the GT350R puts the focus on setting quick lap situations. It asks you to drive this harder and faster — bold you to brake later and get each corner deeper.
The 2020 GT350R is a thoughtful update to some popular track car, though the refined changes make it a tougher sell for proprietors with an S550 Shelby already.
The particular improvements to its street ways are significant, but for many newbie drivers, track performance improvements can feel very low , except by people who drive the car at its limitations.
Regardless, the GT350R remains the likable and confidence-inspiring track vehicle with an accessible level of performance, even when it isn’t radically different for your 2020 model year.