2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 gets aero and chassis upgrades

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The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is already one of the best track-ready sportscars for sale in America, and for 2019, it gets even better. Ford Performance focused all of its efforts on the standard GT350 — the GT350R carries over unchanged. The 2019 model gets updated aero, suspension and a bespoke set of Michelin summer tires.

The new rear wing has an optional Gurney flap, helping downforce without adding too much drag. The other aero update is out front. The standard model now gets the grille from the GT350R. It has fewer openings, creating less front-end drag. The wing, grille and new wheels are the only visual tells that separate the current car from the 2019 model. Ford says that customers were happy with the current model’s appearance.

In order to improve corner grip and braking, Ford commissioned a custom set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that have a model-specific tread pattern and compound. They’re 295/35-19 section up front and 305/35-19 section in the rear, the same as the current car. The springs and shocks have been revised — 10 percent softer in the rear and 10 percent firmer in the front. The tuning for the Magneride system, ABS and electronic power steering system have also been revised.

Ford also gave the GT350 some attention on the comfort front. Power adjustable seats with faux suede inserts are available, along with faux suede inserts on the doors. An optional 12-speaker B&O Play sound system is also available. But even without springing for the added niceties, all GT350s now come standard with the 8-inch SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment and dual-zone climate control. Also of note are two newly available colors, Velocity Blue and Ford Performance Blue. Unfortunately, Ford’s trick digital instrument cluster will not be available.

The updated 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 goes on sale in early 2019. Pricing has yet to be announced for the new model and its optional features.

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2018 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Review | We love the 5.0L V8

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The naturally aspirated 5.0-Liter Coyote V8 in the 2018 Ford Mustang may seem like an already familiar engine, but Ford has improved upon it for the current model year. The cylinders have been bored out to 93.0 mm, up from 92.2 mm., The V8 now combines low-pressure port and high-pressure direct injection, has two new anti-knock sensors, redesigned cylinder heads and new crankshaft and connecting rod bearings. It revs higher — up to 7,500 rpm — and it’s more powerful than before, providing up to a peak 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, up from the previous 435 hp and 400 lb-ft.

That extra power comes without sacrificing fuel economy. The 2017 Mustang GT saw fuel economy figures of 15 city/25 highway/18 combined with the manual transmission, and 15/24/18 with the automatic. For 2018, the manual-equipped Mustang GT remains the same, while the automatic is slightly more efficient than the model it replaces at 16 city/25 highway/19 combined.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter V8 engine when you fire it up is the sound. It’s loud and proud. It’s got a smoother, more breathy and organic note than the mechanical roar of a Hemi. At cruising speed, the Ford motor does an uncanny impression of a huge dog’s growl, the kind you’ll know if you’ve ever played tug with a Great Dane. It only gets better from there, which helps to make the Mustang GT a sonically rousing car to drive at any speed.

Ford really wants you to appreciate the sound of this engine, too. For 2018, the Mustang GT is equipped with Ford’s available “Active Valve Performance Exhaust System,” an $895 option. This allows you to dial up or tone down the sound through various mode settings: normal, sport, track and quiet. If you don’t want to piss off your neighbors, it also has a time-configurable “Quiet Start” function, so those early morning ignitions won’t wake the baby.

That extra torque really makes a difference at the low end, giving the V8 a broad rev range in which it always feels punchy and potent. There’s an impressive amount of grunt below 3,000 rpm. You can really wring this engine out, too, as it’ll happily scream and pull its way up to the red line. Across the rev range, power delivery is urgent, but it’s really smooth, too. The 5.0-liter V8 is just one part of an all-around solid package, and it means that the power is not just available, but predictable and well managed all the way from the cylinder to the point of contact between rubber and asphalt.

The interesting thing is, the 10-speed automatic transmission began to sour on me over time. With such broadly available power, the Mustang’s V8 just doesn’t need all those gears, and I found it hunting around a lot, especially in hard driving situations. With only six gears in our manual-equipped version, it was easier to really appreciate the strengths of this engine — to feel the power and work with it. As I’ve gained experience, I’ve come to appreciate automatics more and more, but this one doesn’t feel like the right fit for this car. Paired with the Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter, a 10-speed autobox just doesn’t quite dance as well. (You can read more about the differences between the transmissions in our earlier review, here.) If you really want to appreciate the amazing engine Ford has built, stick to the stick.

The V8 in the Ford Mustang GT never disappoints. Every time we get behind the wheel of one, it’s as though we’re taken to some sort of magical land of enchantment for the senses: sound and feel. The fact that Ford has made that world even better for 2018 is really impressive. This V8 really stands out not just for performance, but for the good it can do for the human soul.

[Source: Autoblog]

New 2018 Ford Mustang GT won’t wake the neighborhood

As much as we all love the sound of a burly V8 cracking and spitting to life after a cold start, not everyone in this world shares our sentiments. Even enthusiasts can be undone by a noisy car at the early hours of the morning. Ford has come up with a solution on the new 2018 Mustang GT. Its so-called “Good Neighbor Mode” allows owners to start their cars at a relatively sedate noise level. This should help prevent any noise complaint calls to local constabularies.

The optional mode works like any active exhaust system. When you select Quiet Mode or Quiet Start, a set of baffles in the exhaust system close, dropping the sound to about 72 decibels. Ford says that’s about 10 decibels less than the standard Mustang GT. A lot of cars offer similar systems, though the Mustang has a bit of a party trick: scheduled quiet hours. For example, an owner can set the exhaust to automatically switch to quiet mode from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Switching to and scheduling Quiet Mode is just like changing to any of the other exhaust modes. Cars with the 4-inch screen can find the mode in the settings menu. Those that opt for the upgraded 12-inch digital instrument cluster find the setting in the pony menu. Once you’re out on the open road, you can simply switch it back to Sport mode like any blue-blooded American.

[Source: Autoblog]

Shelby’s widebody Mustang is a concept, but its Super Snake F-150 is production bound

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Though Shelby already offers a Super Snake version of the current Mustang, the company clearly wanted more. Specifically, it wanted more width. The result is a new Super Snake concept with a wide body kit, and apparently it’s the first Shelby-designed concept in over 10 years. You would be forgiven for at first mistaking it for a normal Super Snake, as the spoilers, diffuser, and side skirts are very similar, but the fenders have been significantly pushed out, and the correspondingly wide wheels fitted underneath. The rear wheels are 12.5 inches wide, and the front wheels are 11. These modifications increase the track by 4 inches at the rear, and 2.5 inches at the front.

The Super Snake concept receives various other expected upgrades. The Mustang’s 5.0-liter V8 has a supercharger that allows it to make about 750 horsepower. Fully adjustable coilover suspension is found at each corner along with larger brakes. The front discs are 16 inches in diameter with 6-piston calipers, and the rears are 14 inches with 4-piston calipers. But if you want a widebody Super Snake of your own, you’re out of luck, since it’s only a concept at the moment.

What isn’t a concept is the Super Snake F-150 Shelby. The company will build 150 of the trucks this year. It also has a 750-horsepower supercharged V8 under the hood, and buyers can choose to mate it to a two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive drivetrain. And of course, being a Shelby product, it has stripes and flashy bodywork so no one will mistake it for something else. It isn’t cheap, though. You’ll have to shell out $96,880 to take one home. To put that into perspective, just $10,000 more would buy you a new F-150 Raptor and a Shelby GT350 Mustang.

[Source: Autoblog]

Mustang history on the block: Car 00002 is up for auction

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A historic Ford – the first Mustang hardtop to get a VIN, 5F07U100002 – is headed for auction at Mecum’s Indianapolis sale in May.

“Firsts” are somewhat hard to pin down with early Mustangs because the record-keeping was shoddy during the first few months of pre-production, and Ford didn’t assign VINs in order. There were plenty of preproduction cars, so we can’t know that 00002 was or wasn’t the first Mustang hardtop, full stop. But it was the first hardtop given a VIN.

Car 00001, a convertible, meanwhile, is in the Ford museum. As for the first Mustang sold to a paying customer, that one still belongs to a lucky lady in Illinois. As Gail Brown told Forbes: “I was the coolest teacher in the school that year.”

Car 00002 is not the Mustang configuration any of us today might have chosen – it has a 105-horsepower, 170-cubic-inch six-cylinder and a three-speed, has 13-inch wheels and is Caspian Blue with a blue interior. But its owner, Bob Fria, has unearthed a lot of interesting history about it and ultimately became an authority on early Mustangs and wrote a book, Mustang Genius: The Creation of the Pony Car.

[Source: Autoblog]

Zero to 60 Designs creates a fusion of Ford GT and Mustang

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This car, which Zero to 60 Designs has produced for this year’s SEMA show, is called the GTT, for Gran Turismo Tribute. It takes some of the most iconic design cues of the Ford GT supercar and incorporates them into the Mustang. Whether these two great designs look great together is up to the beholder, but it’s worth noting that the company claims to have designed and built it in just six weeks. Impressive.

Zero to 60 Designs also made sure to give the GTT some added performance to back up its supercar-inspired looks. The 5.0-liter Coyote V8 gets a supercharger from ProCharger, Magnaflow dual exhaust, and an ECU tune from SCT Performance. These modifications are claimed to be good for over 800 horsepower. The company also upgraded the car’s handling and braking abilities with Eibach Pro-Street-S suspension, Brembo brakes and Pirelli P-Zero tires.

For people that do like the look of this package, we have good news: Zero to 60 Designs plans to offer a limited run of GTTs to the public. The company expects to start production in early 2017, and it will have pricing available by Christmas. It could make for a good consolation prize for someone that missed out on a GT in the first round of applications. Or it could be a fun matching daily for someone that did snag a new GT.

[Source: Autoblog]

There’s a beautiful ’66 Ford Mustang under all this dust

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Some automobiles look good with a little bit of dirt on them—namely rat rods, lifted trucks, and rally cars. But even pony cars can look delightful under a coating of the silty stuff, and that’s exactly how this aged ’66 Ford Mustang presents.

According to its owner, it has been cooped up in a garage for the past 14 years, waiting on an engine rebuild that would never come. Now it’s up for sale on eBay, with its 200ci straight-six in non-running state, and it begs the question—what would you do? Would you restore it, or would you give this Mustang the V8 it never had? For Mustang fans, that answer might take some serious soul searching.

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1966 arrived as the Mustang’s sophomore year, and like a band with a hit record… it didn’t change its game much, apart from minor mods like an updated grille, different side trim, revised side scoops, and a new instrument cluster. Beneath the hood you still found the same glorious engine options; at the low end, the 200ci six-cylinder pumping out 120 horsepower, followed by two different tunes of the 289ci V8, and culminating in the racy HiPo “K-code” V8 providing 271 ponies of twisting power. What a lusty thing that was.

This ’66 Ford Mustang came fitted with the six-cylinder base engine, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The six didn’t have near as much power as its bigger brothers, but it was light and provided nimble handling. In this instance, it swats through the gears of its Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission.

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Of interesting note, and as pointed out over on Barnfinds, this ’66 would appear to be one of the rarer “bench seat” cars. In 1966, front bucket seats came standard on all Ford Mustang, however convertibles and hardtops (such as this) could be optioned up with a “full-width” front seat, which featured a wide armrest that could either be flipped down or up to create more room. Period literature claims it was only available with four different interior color schemes.

So what do you think, Internets? Go for power with the V8, or keep it accurate with the straight-six?

This article by Zach Doell originally appeared on Boldride.