After being revealed at Barrett Jackson in 2010 as a celebration of the original 1965 Shelby GT350’s 45th anniversary, the 2012 GT350 made its world debut at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show.
The GT350 model is based on the most current Ford Mustang GT and is priced at $26,995.00 (normally aspirated) and $33,995.00 (supercharged). The price, however, doesn’t include the base car which will tack on another $22,000 – $40,000 depending on your preferences.
A convertible version is a welcomed change for 2012 considering the last convertible to be offered was back in 1970. Red and blue will also get added to the list of exterior colors which will make the limited run of 350 models sell out as fast as water in the desert.
The most unique aspect of these powerful Mustangs is that Shelby has been such an integral part of Ford, but managed to remain a separate company. The Shelby Corporation designs parts and works in conjunction with Ford on some projects, but also designs and sells its own models like the legendary Shelby Cobra.
The 2011 Ford Mustang GT from Shelby was previously only offered in a white exterior color with Guardsman Blue Le Mans racing stripes running the length of the vehicle, but 2012 will see two new colors in Race Red with white LeMans stripes and Kona Blue with white LeMans stripes. These paint schemes are unique because they are not Factory paint jobs from Ford, with Shelby being an independent tuner it is rare to find one that does such an extensive paintjob that is also reminiscent of years past.
The convertible will offer a new optional light bar with other options including a one-piece drive shaft and color coordinated billet aluminum engine cap set. The extensive body kit includes a revised front fascia, side rockers with brake ducts, rear bumper, and decklid. New taillights and custom Shelby GT350 badges further distinguish this special model and bring back memories of past models. The serialized dash plate with individual numbering for each GT350 produced will undoubtedly become important in the future as these cars find their way into collectors’ garages.
“When it comes to performance of the current generation GT350, our team did a great job right out of the gate,” quipped Gary Patterson, vice president of operations at Shelby American. “The GT350 leaves its mark on the street that says ‘a Shelby was here’. That’s why we’re packing the ‘12 model with all the same performance as the 2011 Shelby’s.”
The 2012 Shelby GT350 will deliver the same performance numbers as the 2011 model with a 5.0L V8 delivering 430 HP normally aspirated, 525 HP supercharged, or 624 HP supercharged version. The addition of a Whipple supercharger and Borla exhaust system have really allowed this V8 to take on a life of its own. An automatic transmission is optional with the normally aspirated engine, but some will go towards the short throw shifter manual transmission because they actually enjoy to drive.
Keeping the powerful engine under control will be an upgraded suspension system designed by Shelby to give the Mustang reduced body roll and more variability to create custom track setups. Custom ERADISPEED rear rotors in conjunction with Bear 6-piston brakes take care of the car at the corners and bring it to a stop effectively versus the stock items.
The GT350 model is based on the most current Ford Mustang GT and is priced at $26,995.00 (normally aspirated) and $33,995.00 (supercharged). The price, however, doesn’t include the base car which will tack on another $22,000 – $40,000 depending on your preferences. Orders are now being accepted through Shelby and its affiliate tuning shops.
Considering that founder Carroll Shelby is one of the most revered race drivers the United States has ever seen and that his shop has been building the most innovative performance oriented Ford models for over 50 years; it is clear to see that the 2012 GT350 will provide the increased performance and nostalgic appeal that consumers are looking for even at the increased price.