Ford announces Shelby GT350 to compete with Camero and Challenger (+video)

Ford may have announced the first Shelby Mustang nearly 50 years ago, but that doesn’t mean that the innovation is lost, or the buzz is gone. While Ford has definitely had its share of ups and downs over the last several years – one thing has remained very clear. Shelby Mustangs bring a racing feel to a street vehicle and even though some of the performance focus was lost over the last several years – it’s coming back.

The new Shelby GT350 was unveiled Monday afternoon and shed light on a brand new focus on the once-performance heavy Mustangs. Raj Nair, Ford’s product development chief said that “we wanted to build the best possible Mustang for the places we most love to drive – challenging back roads … and the track on weekends.’

For Ford, this is entirely new and uncharted territory. Muscle cars have not been bred with a mind on the back roads in a very long time, and that’s something that Ford wanted to return to with the Shelby GT350 of new. Many have said that this is a welcomed change, which many have waited to see for some time. Over the years, many have argued that Ford had watered down their sports and performance cars – and with the overwhelming focus recently being on repeated violations of federal standards and safety.

The GT350 is expected to hit the road late in 2015, but expects to directly compete with Chevrolet and Dodge directly with their Camero and Challenger models. The Shelby GT350 will be toting a 5.2-liter V-8 engine that will pump out more than 500 horsepower. The vehicle also uses a flat-plane crankshaft, which is somewhat unusual for street cars and more typical in racing cars. However, Ford was sure to push the limit from start to finish on design, development, and production of this vehicle.

The lighter crank allows for the engine to put out more energy, allowing the vehicle to really maximize what it has under the hood. Even though the actual horsepower output is slightly less than competing vehicles. The vehicle will be available in six-speed manual exclusively, and it doesn’t appear as though Ford will be in the market of developing an automatic version of the vehicle. Add in sixth generation suspension and what you’re left with is a thoroughly impressive vehicle from top to bottom.