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2019 Ford Shelby GT350 First Drive Evaluation|That voodoo you do so well

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PONTIAC, Mich.– The Shelby GT350 is an Autoblog preferred, a sharp and effective cars with a genuinely unique engine under the hood, helping it feel genuinely different from lesser Mustang versions. The cars and truck gets an update for 2019 (one year after the routine Mustang got a refresh of its own), but, unless you know what you’re looking for, you may not observe any differences. After spending a full day lapping M1 Concourse simply a couple of miles northwest of our office, we can say that sometimes subtle changes are the finest ones.

The basic formula remains the same. The coupe-only GT350 sits atop the Mustang lineup– a minimum of till the supercharged 700- plus horse power GT500 strikes display rooms– thanks to a myriad of performance upgrades over the Mustang GT including better aero, sharper suspension and steering, and the abovementioned powertrain, a naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V8 making 526 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. Redline is an eye-watering 8,250 rpm, a peak nearly unheard of amongst American V8s. Power is sent to the rear wheels solely through a Tremec-supplied six-speed manual transmission. Those that prefer something much more hardcore should inspect out the GT350 R, though that design rollovers unchanged.

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Visually, the 2019 GT350 is quite much the very same as the 2016 model, with carryover exterior styling save a couple of pieces: a bigger new rear wing with an optional Gurney flap, a new set of 19- inch wheels, and several brand-new colors. The wing improves general aero while the Gurney flap assists enhance rear downforce and grip without hurting drag. The interior, too, is mainly unchanged. There’s brand-new machined-aluminum-looking trim on the dash and some extra padding on the door cards.

It’s the performance changes that actually make a difference. The basic MagneRide active suspension gets recalibrated, and there’s more spring rate in advance and stiffer stabilizers in the rear, to benefit from the enhanced aero. The electronic power-steering and stability control have been reworked, too. Perhaps the greatest change are the new Ford Performance-spec Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, a few of the stickiest road-legal rubber around. Those replace the Pilot Super Sports on the ’18 model, though the 295/35 ZR19 front and 305/35 ZR19 rear rubber remains the same size. Seriously, we can’t emphasize this change enough. The Pilot Super Sports are already fantastic tires, but Cup twos are genuinely transformative. The engine, transmission and Brembo brakes– six-piston fixed calipers in the front and four-piston fixed in the back– are the exact same as previously.

Steering feel is greatly improved over the ’18, partially due to the tires, but also the modified power-steering rack. It’s still not as sharp as what Chevy uses in the Camaro, however it’s better than the Mustang GT Efficiency Pack 2. The dead spot on-center is almost gone, and the wheel translates much more of what the tires are doing through a corner. We spent the majority of our time in Track mode, which increases the firmness of the suspension and guiding while backing off the stability and traction control.

Track day with one of my favorites. @FordPerformance Shelby GT350 @therealautoblog pic.twitter.com/84 Mc98 U5GG

— Reese Counts (@rmcounts) May 10, 2019

M1 is a brief, narrow track better matched for smaller cars and trucks like the Mazda Miata or Subaru BRZ/ Toyota 86 Still, if you’ve spent at any time in the pre-refresh GT350, you’ll right away discover the changes. Thanks to the tires, there’s more grip everywhere. Even on a vigorous Michigan early morning, the Cup 2s warmed up quickly. Stab the firm, direct brake pedal and the automobile scrubs speed with ease; Even with some pretty late dives, there’s no obvious shudder from the ABS. Get on the gas and the GT350 bites and turns. With the extra lateral grip, the vehicle explodes out of corners with grace and eagerness. The automobile corners flat and neutral, though there’s a little understeer on the track’s tightest turn, though a little additional gas helps repair the concern.

The engine– codenamed Voodoo by Ford Efficiency– is still a marvel, a screaming testament to all things good about internal combustion. It revs rapidly and eagerly, though at low to mid rpm it does not feel much more powerful than the Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter V8. Above 6,000 rpm it actually comes alive. It does sound various, blasting out an unique wail that’s some weird mix of American and European V8 exhaust notes without imitating either. Both the free-revving nature and banshee-like exhaust note are because of the Voodoo’s flat-plane crankshaft

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Other modifications for 2019 are more concentrated on comfort and functions. Dual-zone automated climate control is now standard, and an upgraded B&O audio system is consisted of in the Innovation Plan in addition to blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, heated mirrors and an updated infotainment system. Leather seats can be optioned in place of the Recaros, though we prefer the snug fit of the latter, especially on track or curved roadways. Oddly, the digital instrument cluster that’s readily available in other Mustangs isn’t on offer here.

The modifications for the 2019 GT350 push the efficiency closer to the removed down, lightweight GT350 R’s without losing the animal comforts that make the basic cars and truck so compelling. However it’s not so various that current GT350 owners must regret their purchases– ordering a set of Ford-spec Pilot Sport Cup 2s from their local dealer will get you many of the method there. Still, the little changes do lead to an enhanced total item, pressing among the best efficiency vehicles on the market to even greater heights.

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About Ronnie

Ronald Antonio O'Sullivan OBE (born 5 December 1975) is an English professional snooker player who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. He has won five World Championships, a record seven Masters titles, and a record seven UK Championships, setting a record total of 19 titles in Triple Crown tournaments. He shares the record for the most ranking titles (36) with Stephen Hendry. His career earnings of over £10 million put him in first place on snooker's all-time prize-money list. Winning the Tour Championship on 24 March 2019 made him the sport's current world number one, the fourth time in his career that he has held the top position and the first time he has been number one since May 2010. This is the longest gap between number one spells by any player in history.