This Is The No-Compromises Mustang Shelby GT350R Mustang: NAIAS 2015

As we somewhat expected, Ford unveiled the ‘roided-up, other-worldly, completely mad Mustang Shelby GT350R  at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. As if 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350 weren’t enough to ruin your trousers.

The Mustang Shelby GT350R utilizes the same high-revving, 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V8 as the standard GT350 making the same 505 horsepower and over 400 pound-feet of twist. But it is lighter. Weight-saving measures include the removal of the air-conditioning, the stereo system, rear seats, trunk floorboard and carpeting, and even the exhaust resonators, all of which slash 130 pounds off the Mustang Shelby GT350R compared to the standard Mustang Shelby GT350. And we all know that the GT350 is anything but standard. We should note that one can opt for the available Electronics Package, which includes A/C, 7-speaker audio, an 8-inch infotainment screen, and more, back into the car… but that seems silly to us. For all intents and purposes, you’re essentially paying for their removal by opting for the GT350R, and then paying again to put them back. Last but certainly not least are standard carbon fiber wheels that save a whopping 13 pounds… per wheel.

Now, a diet of 50-some pounds is not insignificant in a road-legal race car like the Mustang Shelby GT350R. But a diet of 50-some pounds of unsprung weight? That’s huge, as less unsprung weight means much quicker suspension response, since there’s less inertia to slow upward or downward wheel travel.

So, the flat-plane crank V8 shown in the standard Shelby GT350 already had us in a tizzy, and the additional race-focused weight savings on the Shelby GT350R will likely make it a more stratospheric Mustang iteration than we’d ever guessed. And best of all, this wild pony is uninhibited by any sort of forced induction mischief.

Chevy Chevrolet Camaro Z/28: eat your heart out.

Aaron Birch is an automotive enthusiast and writer/filmmaker from Detroit, MI. As a rule, he only buys cars older than himself.

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