Home Review 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Heritage Edition first drive: Slick nod to the past

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Heritage Edition first drive: Slick nod to the past

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Heritage Edition first drive: Slick nod to the past

Limited-edition styling packages are a typical observe amongst automakers. Most contain a particular paint or shade mixture together with minor inside alterations. But some carry a bit extra that means, drawing inspiration from a mannequin’s storied previous with out overshadowing what makes the present automotive so particular. That’s the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Heritage Edition in a nutshell.With the Heritage Edition Package, prospects can get a Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 or GT350R coated in an unique Wimbledon White paint with Guardsman Blue facet and over-the-top racing stripes. The livery harks again to Carroll Shelby’s 1965 GT350 fastback that was victorious in its race debut with driver Ken Miles behind the wheel. Is {that a} cool factor to base a restricted version on? Absolutely. Does the colour combo occur to look depraved as well? Oh yeah.
2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Heritage Edition: Steeped in historical past
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Outside of the paint and stripes, the Heritage Edition adjustments are minor. The entrance and rear outdoors GT350 badges are completed in Guardsman Blue, in addition to the particular sprint badge inside. Those choosing the Heritage Edition Package on the GT350R get utterly black seats as an alternative of the usual ones with purple bolsters.

So, why the particular version? Well, sorry to say, GT350 manufacturing is coming to an finish. Ford confirmed in an announcement, “With the 760-horsepower Shelby GT500 now in full stride, we will finish production of Shelby GT350 and GT350R this fall as planned. This makes the way for new additions to excite our passionate Mustang fans for the 2021 model year — including the limited-edition Mach 1.” Pour one out.One final Voodoo danceKnowing that the GT350 is not lengthy for the world makes driving the Heritage Edition bittersweet. The 5.2-liter, naturally aspirated, flat-plane-crank V8 is sensible. Known internally at Ford because the Voodoo, it spits out 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque for robust, linear energy supply all the best way as much as the 8,250-rpm redline. Throw within the superb, roaring soundtrack below wide-open throttle, and it will absolutely make any driver’s heartbeat quicken.

Ford’s 5.2-liter Voodoo V8 is an actual sweetheart.
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Connected to the 350’s engine is a Tremec six-speed guide transmission providing exact motion and a properly weighted, easy-to-work clutch. Combine that with the engine’s speedy throttle response and well-spaced pedals for heel-and-toe shifting, and it is tremendous simple to drop a gear or two earlier than turns. The solely drivetrain component I’d change is putting in a shifter with barely shorter throws.

Tackling my go-to stretches of twisty roads within the Heritage Edition is an absolute riot. With some warmth within the staggered, 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, the 3,800-pound coupe does the whole lot you ask of it. Track mode corporations up the dampers and steering, turn-in is instant with nice weight and excessive ranges of suggestions, and physique motions are properly managed with big quantities of grip. If you are feeling like making the rear finish dance in a managed method, it is simply completed with a liberal dab of throttle. The six-piston entrance and four-piston rear Brembo clampers effortlessly sluggish issues down, offering the arrogance to go deeper into braking zones if you want.The spotlight of the GT350 stays its uncooked however approachable efficiency persona. It’s forgiving to drive proper as much as the restrict with a usable quantity of energy and an excellent ol’ guide gearbox. In some ways it is a throwback sports activities automotive, free of latest efficiency applied sciences in the perfect methods.The inside is normal Mustang stuff, with Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment tech onboard.
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Daily toleranceJust as a result of there’s a lot to love about this Shelby Mustang’s old-school make-up, nevertheless, does not imply there aren’t some fashionable components. Case in level: the adaptive dampers, adjustable steering and lively exhaust. Engaging the Normal drive mode softens bump stiffness, lightens steering and yields a quieter exhaust word for extra comfy, lower-key motoring. This does not imply impacts from greater bumps are erased, however they’re smoothed out sufficient for a really tolerable experience round city.The center floor between Normal and Track drive modes is Sport, which is right for extra enthusiastic day by day driving whereas possessing sufficient damping properties to maintain issues from being jarring. Yes, it makes the Shelby marginally firmer, however utterly livable with extra cornering composure and a bit heftier steering.The GT350 is not the right day by day driver, although. Remember these aggressive 295/35R19 entrance and 305/35R19 rear tires which can be oh-so-good for dealing with? They are vulnerable to tramlining on rutted roadways, making it arduous to trace straight. But the largest strike towards this Shelby is its less-than-stellar gasoline financial system, with EPA estimates of 14 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 21 mpg freeway. Those numbers are low sufficient to trigger the coupe to get hit with a $1,300 gas-guzzler tax. Then once more, in case you’re actually apprehensive about gasoline effectivity, a Shelby in all probability is not for you.
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The spotlight of the GT350 stays its uncooked however approachable efficiency persona.

Inside, the Heritage Edition is a typical Mustang. The door panels have suede inserts, and the usual Recaro entrance race seats are supremely comfortable and supportive. Outside of that, the again seat continues to be tight and finest used for young children, the construct high quality is nice however not nice, and there is serviceable cargo-carrying potential within the trunk, with 13.5 cubic ft of area.On the tech entrance, the GT350 makes use of Ford’s tried-and-true Sync 3 interface, housed on an 8-inch touchscreen. A nine-speaker audio system, satellite tv for pc radio, Wi-Fi hotspot and each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come normal. Navigation with real-time site visitors and a brand new 12-speaker B&O sound setup are non-obligatory. For security, a rear-view digicam is normal, whereas accessible options are restricted to blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.We’ll actually miss this one when it is gone.
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Hard to say goodbyeThe 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R are on sale in sellers now with a base worth of $61,635 and $74,630, respectively. Both figures embody $1,195 for vacation spot and a $1,300 gasoline guzzler tax. The Heritage Edition Package tacks on a further $1,965 to the underside line of every.I’d undoubtedly put a examine mark subsequent to the Heritage Edition Package choice on my GT350 construct sheet, which says one thing, as a result of I’m often not one to get sucked into the limited-edition brouhaha. But the truth that it is an awesome-looking bundle steeped in historical past on the perfect driver’s Mustang ever constructed has me bought. For anybody considering a Shelby GT350, you are formally on the clock. The finish is close to, however that is nonetheless a stunning sendoff.