American thoroughbred with provocative Shelby badge landed in the UK for a bit of test. We took it out on track to see how good it is
The Shelby name will have most petrolheads screaming Eleanor from epic car flick Gone in 60 Seconds.
Well, this time there's no Nicolas Cage or (sadly) Angelina Jolie, just yours truly and a damp racing circuit in Hampshire.
We're at Thruxton to put the latest Shelby, the GT350R, through its paces. R on this GT350 signifying its a track special.
Ford claims this is the most race-ready road legal Mustang ever built. Helping those claims is the most powerful naturally aspirated engine Ford has ever made and the special tuning of this track prepared version.
It gets a 5.2-litre duel-overhead-cam V8 engine which is the first ever Ford produced engine with a flat-plane crankshaft. The beefy powerunit develops 519bhp and 429lb ft of torque. Sadly Ford doesn't have (or won't admit) any acceleration times.
The R version gets specially tuned suspension, revised springs and antiroll bars, a lower ride height and MagneRide dampers. The front suspension consists of independent MacPherson strut with double ball joints while its an independent multi-link setup at the rear. For traction it's fitted with a TORSEN® limited-slip differential and for stopping power BremboTM 6-piston monobloc callipers are fitted (4-piston on the rear).
Then there's the weight saving. The back seats have been ripped out while you'll do without air con, a radio, carpets and more. Add to that the lightweight 19in carbon-fibre wheels which are wrapped in specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, a larger front splitter and the large swooping carbon fibre rear wing and we're about ready to drop the hammer.
Not on sale in the UK, it costs approximately $60,500 stateside.