Ford Tries New Steering to Turn You Toward 2020 Mustang GT350R

It's easy for the little brother to get lost in the noise when big bro comes back to town after a long absence. Ford's trying to make sure that the Shelby GT350R Mustang doesn't disappear while buyers wait for the more powerful and more supercharged GT500 to arrive. To try and turn you to the GT350R, they're replacing the steering for 2020 with some GT500 tech.

Ford first showed off the Mustang Shelby GT350R way back in 2015. They called it the "most race-ready road-legal Mustang ever." That's thanks to the 5.2L flat-plane crank V8, with 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque. The GT350R took the already potent GT350 and added less – less weight, that is. Thanks to the fancy carbon-fibre wheels, a mass-production car first, the removal of the rear seat, and aerodynamic changes including the Gurney flap rear spoiler and a massive front splitter.

For 2020, Ford is borrowing from the upcoming 760 hp GT500. The GT350R will get new front suspension geometry for 2020. That includes a high-trail steering knuckle from the top-dog GT500.

Adding trail to a steering system increases high-speed stability, as well as steering effort. So to go with the new geometry, Ford is also adding a new steering rack to the GT350R. It's got a recalibrated power assist control to compensate, and Ford says the new rack should "elevate driver confidence and steering precision."

"It’s always been our plan to take the latest innovations from the GT500 program and strategically apply them across the Mustang lineup,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief program engineer. “These latest updates to the GT350R keep its performance competitive... whether that’s on the track or on the street.”

The 2020 GT350 without the R gets some smaller adjustments, mostly carried over from non-Shelby Mustangs. Like the new Grabber Lime and Twister Orange paint options, plus FordPass Connect as standard, which allows your smartphone to locate a parked car, lock and unlock, and check fuel and oil levels.

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R should arrive at dealers later this year.

Geometric improvements 8/12/2019 9:00:00 AM