PONTIAC, Mich. -- Ford Motor will build a 2019 model of its fast and popular Shelby GT350 Mustang with a number of upgrades to raise the 526-horsepower pony car's performance to an even higher level.
"We increased grip for better handling thanks to new tires, wheels and aerodynamic tweaks,' Mustang brand manager Mark Schaller said at a race track just outside Detroit Monday.
The fact that the Mustang's image and engineering can support everything from a $25,680 base model to near-$60,000 sports cars - and higher when the 700-horsepower-plus Shelby GT500 debuts sometime next year - is the reason Ford decided to keep the legendary car in production when it shifts the rest of its lineup to SUV-type vehicles.
The Shelby GT350 became an immediate sensation when Ford unveiled it for the 2015 model year. In addition to chassis and suspension upgrades, it will come with a unique 5.2-liter V-8 engine that features a flat-plane crankshaft, a part normally only seen on exotic sports cars costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The 2019 GT350 will go on sale early in 2019 with prices starting at $61,340, including destination charge. Ford had not previously confirmed production of the 2019 model.
Engineers from Ford's performance group worked with tire maker Michelin to develop new Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a unique tread pattern and compound for the '19 GT350. New 19-inch aluminum tires, new springs and retuned MagneRide adaptive shocks also contribute to better acceleration, road holding and braking, Ford said.
The main aerodynamic changes are a new splitter below the front bumper and a big new rear wing. The aero tweaks increase the amount of downforce generated to keep the car securely on the road at extremely high speeds.
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