If you read into the announcement of the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Heritage Edition, you might have caught a bittersweet note: That special model is effectively the GT350’s swan song, at least in the car’s current incarnation. We’d speculated this to be the case earlier, but now it’s official: 2020 is the final model year for the Shelby GT350 and GT350R, which Ford confirms are being sunset. The automaker’s statement, in full, is as follows: “With the 760-hp 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 2021 model year—including the limited-edition Mach 1.”
So the formidable GT500 carries the Shelby torch into 2021—not such a bad thing. But the delicious flat-plane V-8 found in the GT350 and GT350R, the 5.2-liter Voodoo engine that thrills with a staccato scream, won’t have a home, at least for now. Whether this is the end of the line for the Voodoo or merely a hiatus isn’t clear.
What is clear is that the GT350 doesn’t have a direct successor. The Mustang Mach 1 should be great, given its enthusiast focus and increased output over the regular GT, but it is not a Shelby and it won’t pack a flat-plane crank. Rather, it will have the cross-plane 5.0-liter Coyote V-8, good for 480 horsepower and 420 lb-ft. While that will disappoint flat-plane crank enthusiasts, the rest of the Mach 1 package is more than a consolation prize. The GT350’s Tremec TR-3160 manual transmission features in the Mach 1, and a 10-speed automatic is also available. Handling and braking bits are a mix of Mustang GT Performance Pack 2 and Shelby GT500.
The Heritage Edition, while limited in number, is currently available on 2020 GT350 and GT350Rs. Knowing the GT350 is bowing out might increase the desirability or collectability of these last-model-year specials—so you might want to move quickly to secure one.
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