Tweaks across the board for improved performance, faster lap times
Mustang fans, rejoice: For 2019, Ford has given the GT350 a host of upgrades across the board targeting aerodynamics, chassis refinements, and a new tire compound.
Ford first introduced the GT350 as a 2016 model, touting it as the “best handling Mustang of all time.” Stiffer chassis bracing, magnetic ride control, and Brembo-sourced brakes underscored the Mustang’s track-focused mission. In its quest to improve the GT350’s performance chops for 2019, Ford focused on refining these key attributes, drawing on experience from its Mustang road course racing programs, as well as the upcoming Shelby GT500.
Improved aerodynamic updates are among the most visible changes, with the GT350 receiving an optimized grille closeout up front and a redesigned rear spoiler out back. That spoiler is also available with an optional “Gurney flap,” a small tab affixed to its top trailing edge, providing greater aerodynamic efficiency and increased downforce at high speeds.
To take full advantage of these higher speeds, Ford worked with Michelin to redesign the tread pattern and compound of the Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. With these tires, Ford claims better grip, improved linear and lateral acceleration times, and shorter braking distances, also aided in part by revised antilock braking tuning. Underneath, Ford updated the suspension with recalibrated springs and revised damping to accommodate these higher thresholds.
The heart of the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 continues to be a 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V-8 producing 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque, paired to a Tremec six-speed manual transmission. In our 2016 review, we recorded a 0-60 time of 4.1 seconds and a figure-eight performance of 24.2 seconds at an average 0.82 g. We’ll report back once we’ve had a chance to see if the updates made for 2019 allow us to improve upon these figures.
When the sound of the V-8 isn’t enough, the GT350 now offers a 12-speaker B&O PLAY system, controlled via Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system. New standard features include dual-zone automatic temperature control and Homelink garage door opener.
The 2019 GT350 will be on dealer lots starting in early 2019. New owners will also receive a complimentary enrollment in Ford’s high-performance driving school so they can fully appreciate all of the GT350’s improvements.