Ford To Discontinue Mustang Shelby GT350: Exclusive

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When it comes to the current, sixth-generation S550 Ford Mustang, the two models that are truly worthy of the enthusiast’s attention are the Shelby GT350 and the Shelby GT500. Unfortunately, one of those models is not long for this world.

Ford Authority has exclusively learned from sources familiar with The Blue Oval’s product plans that the Shelby GT350 and its GT350R track-focused variant will be discontinued in the near future. Though we had our fare share of antics on Wednesday, this folks, is no April Fools’ joke.

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It appears that two range-topping Shelby models makes for a lineup that’s just a tad too crowded, particularly for a product that has seen sales volumes gradually decrease over the years: Mustang sales totaled just 72,489 units for the 2019 calendar year, a decrease of over 40 percent compared to the 122,349 units sold in 2015.

The situation won’t be turning around for the better any time soon, as consumers continue to flock to crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks and away from sedans and sport coupes. For proof, look no further than the fact that the “traditional” Mustang will soon be joined by the Mustang Mach-E – a crossover-like hatch that also happens to be Ford’s first dedicated electric vehicle.

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As for the Mustang Shelby GT350, there doesn’t seem to be enough of a reason for customers to go for the GT350 when the significantly more capable GT500 starts $12,500 higher (dealer markups notwithstanding). Though $12,500 might seem a lot at first glance, that’s not significant money when talking about high-priced pony cars that are often second or even third cars (read: toys) for their owners.

For that $12,500, the GT500 delivers more of everything: 234 more horsepower, 196 pound-feet more torque, and greater capability all around. And that’s not to mention the GT500’s various other qualities, such as massive 420 mm front rotors with an eye-popping 951.7 square centimeters of swept area, plus a unique front fascia that’s more aggressive than that of the GT350.

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Of course, one of the defining elements of the S550-generation Mustang Shelby GT350 is the flat plane crank in its atmospheric 5.2L V8 Voodoo engine. Besides an exotic engine note, the unique crank configuration allows the motor to deliver an exceptionally wide powerband. Alas, the GT500 and its supercharged 5.2L V8 engine, internally known as Predator, uses a more traditional cross-plane crank, but still makes substantially more power, and healthy sounds, to boot.

The one key feature offered by the GT350 and not by the GT500 is a manual transmission. The former comes only with Tremec’s TR-3160 six-speed stick, while the latter is offered exclusively with a Tremec-sourced seven-speed dual clutch. It appears that those who wish to row their own gears in a 2021 Shelby Mustang will be out of luck.

There’s no official word about the Shelby GT350’s discontinuation just yet, but don’t expect it to be on the menu once order banks for the 2021 Mustang open in a few weeks, though the ordering process itself could end up being delayed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the current Mustang, in its EcoBoost, GT, Shelby GT500 and new-for-2021 Mach 1 flavors, is roadmapped to remain on sale through at least the 2025 calendar year. What happens thereafter is a bit muddy. Rest assured that we’ll be here to report more as it happens, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for more Mustang news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

2020 Shelby GT500 vs. 2020 Shelby GT350
2020 Shelby GT350 2020 Shelby GT500
Engine 5.2L V8 Voodoo 5.2L V8 Predator
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 315 / 5,163 315 / 5,163
Valvetrain DOHC, Ti-VCT, port fuel injection DOHC, Ti-VCT, port fuel injection
Materials Cast aluminum block and head with plasma transfer wire arc cylinder liners Cast aluminum block and head with plasma transfer wire arc cylinder liners
Crankshaft Forged steel flat-plane Forged steel cross-plane
Aspiration Atmospheric Supercharged
Compression Ratio 12.0:1 9.5:1
Power (hp @ RPM) 526 @ 7500 760 @ 7300
Torque (lb-ft @ RPM) 429 @ 4750 625 @ 5000
Transmission Tremec TR3160 6-speed manual Tremec TR-9070 7-speed dual clutch
Base MSRP $60,440 $72,900

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Written by Alex Luft

Ford Authority founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.

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16 Comments

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  1. I do hate to see this go away, but this does open the door for a higher performance Mustang GT variant at a lower price.

    • Exactly. And that lower priced, higher performance Mustang GT will be the Mach 1. As much as I like the GT350, the GT500 is a better value.

      • ya if you want a ‘performance’ mustang that in normal/quiet mode drives like the Ecoboost auto …

        make no mistake, there is no ‘value’ for any true driving enthusiast that wants to row their own gears… the bean counters and the blvd cruisers have won

  2. The Shelby Cobra GT350 has been on the market from 2015 up until now without any body or up grades in horsepower which would also play apart in slower sells. It is a very nice history make Pony Car indeed that will become a great collectible in the future, that being said it’s time to build the next high powered model with talks of the Mustang Mach 1 returning hopefully with 600hp or 650hp 5.2 would be a great filler between the Mustang GT/5.0 & Shelby Cobra GT500

  3. So what about all the race cars that are based upon? Will they do redesigns? Make the nascar look like the mach 1, make the GT4 look like the GT500(which would be cool), make the fps350 the fps500 that looks like the gt500.

  4. This isn’t a terrible idea honestly, Ford could literally take everything off of the 5.2L Voodoo top end and make a 495hp 5.0L V8 for the GT, take a naturally aspirated 5.2L cross plane crank V8 with about 550hp for the Mach 1 and Still have the GT500 as top dog with a 5.2L Supercharged V8.
    What would really be nice would be for Ford to make two middle ground mustangs between the Ecoboost 2.3 and the 5.0L GT, a 400hp/415tq 3-Liter ST Variant and a 445hp/465tq 3.5L RS variant. both priced less than the 5.0L GT. Giving the 3.0L Twin turbo V6 the 10-speed auto and the GT Performance Pack 1 suspension and braking systems while giving the RS the GT350 Track Pack equipment and the new 7-speed DCT from the GT500 (tuned down of course) along with an exhaust system that is more reminiscent of the sound of the Ford GT super car. would be awesome. Obviously the new RS will still have the regular body work with upgrades like the GT350 Track rear spoiler, GT500 style rear lower valance, side skirts, GT350 Track wheels, GT350 brakes, PP2 front splitter, unique RS grille and RS badges, GT350 steering wheel, GT350 seats (with RS embroidery) B&O navigation and stereo, etc. The ST should be everything the GT PP1 is, with the 400hp 3.0 Twin Turbo and a 10-speed auto and 6-speed manual. give it optional active exhaust but either way it should have quad tips. The Ecoboost should just be the Ecoboost HPP with 350hp/350tq with a manual and auto option. The GT should have 495hp and at least 450lb-ft of torque with both the 10-speed and the 7-Speed DCT with PP1 package as standard and PP2 package as just a “Track Pack” option. The Mach 1 should have the GT350 Track pack suspension, wide body w/o front fender vents, Mach 1 hood, Mach 1 spoiler, Mach 1 wheels, stripes, interior, etc and the GT500 should be renamed Cobra and drop the Shelby Moniker all together. If they’re going to keep the mustang around, this makes a better lineup. Make the Ecoboost cars affordable w/ factory performance and cosmetic “hop ups” from Ford Performance and then make your V8 cars the premium (high priced cars)

  5. Best investment: go to a driving school. 500hp is enough for street use. Got more? See you at the track.

    Quit driving technical stats. It really doesn’t work that way.

    Proof?

    Take the ultimate race car, put any driver into it. The other car will be 10 years old, but be driven by the champion in that class. Where are you going put your wager?

    It’s not the car. It’s the driver. I’ll bet on it.

    • from the Book of Rainer 👳🏼

    • Mmmmmm…he say those ones that want to roar there engine will be out of luck because the GT500 come only with a DCT….well dose he know that you can pull both shift pedals at the same time on the GT500 and it act like you press your cloch and you can roar all what you want and Eve here the engine fire and pop like a manual transmission?

  6. With the new EPA standards of 40+ MPG fleetwide by I believe 2026. It’s looking like the days of the gas gusler V8 powered cars like the GT350 along with FCA Hemi powered vehicles may be numbered. Having one, possibly two gas thirsty vehicles within a companies fleet might work if the remaining vehicles balance the average. Regarding Ford. This means more EV vehicles like the Mustang Mach E and EV F-150 will be needed to join the lineup inorder to obtain the required EPAs MPG numbers and keep the GT500 and Mustang GT in production. An interesting balancing act.

  7. It’s no surprise we may be seeing the age of of the modern muscle cars coming to an end, just as we did in the 70s. Perhaps its time for energy providers to start rolling the ball soon on fuel alternatives other than gasoline and diesel such as algae and ammonia, before EVS Take over the market. I still think the ICE is long from dead.

  8. No surprise at all, this poorly managed company (whose stock price is trading $4.26/share and is continuously falling) is being run by an inexperienced unqualified furniture guy was unable to bring new customers with the GT500, instead the GT 500 stole sales from the GT350. Lets face it this poorly managed company is a truck company, their entire management team has no idea on how to build and market passenger cars.

  9. This is a sad day: not because the 2015-20 GT350 was the fastest, most powerful, top dog muscle / sports / track car, and not because it was the most affordable; it was not the ultimate in any of those categories – although it placed pretty high in all of them. The 2015-20 GT350 was the closest thing to Carroll Shelby’s 1965 GT350 produced by an American company. It was the only car since 1967 that was worthy of being called a Shelby GT350. And it was a great start, with disappointing follow through. Looks like history is repeating itself as Ol’ Shel saw the writing on the wall and walked away after just 6 years of glory. So it shall be for the modern GT350. That’s what all the “product planners” defining what Ford should have in it’s lineup are missing.

    Ford Racing never fully developed the Voodoo engine. 5.2l DOHC V8 with iron sleeved aluminum block, forged steel flat plane crank, 6-bolt mains, forged pistons, 4-valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, competition radiator, intercooler, transmission oil cooler, rear differential oil cooler, shorty headers, X-Pipe, stainless steel resonator delete exhaust, etc. What a great start! It should have been raced, improved, and set for a long street life. But Ford Racing gave up on it. Heck, they put more time and effort into the 2.3l I4 Turbo in my SVO (it became the basis for Ford’s Indy car program in the 80s). When Ford stopped racing this motor in 2016, I knew the GT350’s days were numbered. I think they stopped developing the Voodoo to work on the Predator which they needed for the GT500. Perhaps they just couldn’t do both.

    As I’m an MCA Director, MCA & SAAC judge, officer in my local Mustang club, and a regular on road racing tracks around the country, a GT350 was destined to join my stable. I bought a 13 Boss 302 Laguna Seca and was delighted with it on the street and the track – until I drove a GT350. So if my 70 Boss 302 needed a modern stable mate, so did my 67 GT350. My 19 GT350R is the epitome of what a modern sports car should be. And yes that includes shifting gears. On the ROVAL at the Ford Racing School 2 weeks ago, the GT350 showed its stuff. Fast, light on it’s feet, and ultra capable, there’s a point where man and machine become one in the GT350; you command, it responds. That doesn’t happen for me in the GT500.

    For the product planners of the world, the reason Ford isn’t selling more Mustangs is because over 100 countries in the world have one or more car manufactures. The sad reconing is that the industrial superpower that was America (and made us wealthy) has eroded away. It’s not because there are too many Mustang models, its because 2 generations of Americans didn’t and still don’t buy American cars. So what is a manufacture like Ford going to do? Consolidate and concentrate on what sells. Considering buyers can choose no less than 10 competitors, 70,000-100,000 units per year is a pretty good percentage of the market. But it’s not enough to fund the development and product improvement needed.

    The GT350 struck a chord then and now. I’ve met Carroll Shelby, talked to him on many occasions, and can state with impunity that he reflected what America was – and so did his cars. He would have loved the 2015-20 GT350 especially the R. I’m eager to see the 2021 Mach I and what else Ford has planned. Mostly, I’m damn glad I was able to take delivery of a Shelby GT350R brand new, to drive on the street and flog on the track. The way Carroll Shelby meant it to be.

  10. I hate to see the 350 go too, but with the 500 being so much better it’s a no brainer to drop it from their lineup as Ford struggles to maintain market share and stock value. I drove a GT350 For a day and Decided it really wasn’t much better than a GT premium. Then I sat with a close friend at his dealership and special ordered a GT Premium Convertible for my Florida home. He let me build one in his computer with all the goodies. When I got done adding magneride suspension, Brembo’s, the larger wheels and summer tires, the 3.55 rear and new 10 speed with active exhaust ( just to mention a few of the add-ones), I’m so pleased with this vehicle I can’t overemphasize how awesome this GT runs. I used to enjoy manuals but no longer. No one can outshift these new boxes and for the amount of time you spend using the full power vs. just enjoying an afternoon cruising with an occasional flip to manual mode to blow off a few Germans at a stoplight, it’s just a blast. For Anyone worried about the 66hp difference, I’m sure you can put a tune on this thing that will more than make up the diff! I agree with the writer that said… Bring on that Mach 1 redo!

  11. Ford please, please 🙏 don’t discontinue the GT350. I believe you guys got something special going with this car. Man, with the GT350 I see so much possibility. Everyone knows the GT500 is just a limited production car… we where waiting for a car to bridge the gap between the mustangs GT and a True-Track performing cars!!; the GT350 and the R or just the cars!! Please Ford don’t do this!! Die-Hard Ford fan…

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